Overcoming Short-Term Bias In Marketing Measurement

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

MediaPost, 10/6/10

At best, marketing measurement tends to slant toward short-term payback at the expense of longer-term brand and customer development. But when you add heavy doses of highly measurable online tactics to more quantitatively elusive offline approaches, the slant can become an outright bias. Unchecked, this can seriously impair the marketer’s ability to make smart decisions beyond the next quarter or two. This is particularly acute with respect to fully integrated programs designed not just for lead generation, but for brand and customer development.

This pressure for short-term payback exists in part because finance cannot afford to “trust” the marketer more than one or two periods into the future, and in part because the marketer cannot “prove” that the immediate impact understates the true value derived. Rising above the stalemate requires some new thinking in how marketers plan, execute, and measure their programs, not to mention the way they communicate their expectations and findings to finance.

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