Marketing: Art, Science or Artful Science?
Much has been written about the concept of ROI (Return on Investment) within the marketing process. While ROI has dominated the conversation for decades, it has consistently fallen short of what marketing is really about. It seems as though marketers want to know even more about how their efforts are impacting customer relationships.
In the March 2015 edition of Ad Age, Andy Frawley touched on the idea that maybe ROI has seen the end of the road. In his article, "ROI Is Dead. A New Metric Is Needed for Customer Relationships and Why Brands Need to Measure Customer Experience and Engagement", he proposes a new idea for our complicated landscape. He calls it ROE2; which stands for return on experience and engagement and provides an in depth look at the artistry of our brands.
While ROI is a short-term measure of specific, individual campaigns, Frawley believes a more comprehensive and longer-term look is what defines a real brand. Either way, the debate be-tween the art and science of marketing still exists.
Some believe that the discipline of measuring campaigns is required to validate activities and keep people focused. Perhaps marketers would embrace the concept of ROI more completely if it were used as a tool to manage people properly rather than to simply validate marketing ef-forts. The reality is that in most cases ROI is simply about guaranteeing a return on dollars spent, which does not paint the whole picture for organizations or their marketing teams.
Whether it is ROI or ROE2 it doesn't matter. They are financial terms that were invented on Wall Street, and what company CFOs and shareholders live and die by. It was not invented for digital social metrics, which have no measurable value on any global trading market - unless you're Facebook, Twitter, or Google.
Marketing minds simply want to get back to the basics of brand marketing financial yardsticks ... sales, market share, and profits. In other words, at the end of the year, hopefully the company has made more money, the level of brand engagement is high, and the brand has the kind of persona that makes everyone in the organization proud. That is the artful science of marketing.