Marketing budgets are under attack and the best response is to provide proof that marketing will predictively build brands and create corporate value. CoreBrand’s continuous, quantitative research over the past 20 years shows that 70% of marketing budgets go underfunded and brands achieve less than their potential, creating a continuous struggle to justify additional spend.
Here are five critical steps to building a measurement program that predicts return on investment (ROI), builds credibility and justifies your marketing budget:
1. Know your objectives
It seems simple, but if you don’t have a clear vision of what you are trying to accomplish, it is difficult to measure progress. Knowing whether your goal is, for example, to build market share or to increase revenues from existing clients informs your marketing activities and your measurement program design.
2. Understand your current brand image
Getting a temperature read of your brand today is critical in understanding what will drive success in the future. Quantitatively measuring the familiarity (size) and favorability (quality) of your company’s reputation provides the snapshot needed to understand your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, and reveals your brand’s strongest drivers.
3. Put yourself in a competitive context
Once you have a sense of your own brand’s performance, compare it to the performance of your close peers. Doing so helps highlight your true differentiators and competitive opportunities.
4. Incorporate market trends
Sometimes the limitations to success are due to external factors. Mapping your industry’s trends across the board reveals the permissions that exist in the marketplace and helps you understand the investment required to make an impact.
5. Link brand with your financials
With the above information understood, you can build a model that directly links brand to financial performance. This allows you to predict outcomes for various levels of spending, across a variety of brand drivers, in the context of a variety of competitive responses. Your marketing spend can be directly translated into brand image outcomes and, in turn, into future contributions to corporate value.
Chief financial officers see marketing as an expense and not an investment. Measurement and monitoring help build the case that these expenditures are helping your company grow and gain value. Providing the right research, analysis and time-tested metrics that prove ROI to your senior management will turn your CFO into the biggest brand advocate in the company — enabling your brand to reach optimal performance.