Measuring the contribution that a given marketing program has on revenue and profits has long been the holy grail of marketing—and revenue—analysis, ever since John Wanamaker’s famous quip dating from around the turn of the century: “Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Oh, and by “turn of the century” I mean the last century as in the year 1900!
But believe it or not, I hear somebody uttering a version of this hundred-year-old canard every week or so. Public speakers at marketing conferences open with that line all the time, sometimes acting as if it is a fresh new anecdote. I’m sick of it, and I have made it my personal mission in life to kill off this phrase once and for all.
While it’s admittedly not as clever or euphonic, my goal is to replace Wanamaker’s quip with this:
Almost none of my marketing and sales investment is wasted, but I can easily find out which aspects are performing least well, and make rapid adjustments to drive more revenue.
The advent of the Internet, Google, social media, and all the other digital innovations has prompted the data universe to explode like a supernova over the past 10 or 15 years. At the same time, the ability to use analytics to comb through mountains of data and glean important insights has also radically advanced. Today, it is possible to apply advanced analytics to understand exactly what marketing expenditures and programs have the most ...