Use ROI Scorecards to Ensure Success in Marketing High-Involvement Brands

During a recession everyone hops on the ROI bandwagon as marketing dollars are scarce. As soon as the good times return and the marketing floodgates open, most marketers slide it to the back burner. However, for high-involvement brands ROI analysis is mandatory – in good times and bad times. At Kilgannon, we use a scorecard to make ROI analysis relevant, easily understood, and actionable.

But let’s start with what we mean by a high-involvement brand (HIB). This is a brand that has a long sales cycle and the customer perceives some risk with the purchase. It is the opposite of a consumer packaged-goods impulse purchase. Because of the long sales cycle, marketing investments have a long gestation period, sometimes more than a year. It is highly risky for a marketer to wait until the end of a sales cycle to evaluate the marketing spend. This is why milestones are important — to make sure the marketing stays on track.

Our clients have told us that the scorecard we’ve created has proven to be invaluable. For HIBs, the scorecard is like a breadcrumb trail that leads from the marketing activity to the ultimate sale. This process enables a marketer to see the contributions of each phase of marketing activity. In the early stages of the sales cycle this involves measuring the effectiveness of building brand awareness and attitude.

In the middle stages of the sales cycle, customers are beginning to shop for information about the product. This stage is one of the key differences between HIBs and consumer packaged goods. Since HIBs entail more risk, customers go through a research phase where they shop and learn more about the product before making their purchase decision.

Obtaining metrics on product research activity and how it interacts with your brand is essential to understand your ROI. Web analytics, search results, store traffic, call activity, requests for information, and other lead generation metrics are examples of the type of information that fills the middle stages of the scorecard.

The final area encompasses the more traditional financial metrics, such as sales revenue, market share, share of wallet, and willingness to recommend.

By consolidating all these metrics into one scorecard and trending the results, a marketer can monitor his marketing activities in the short term, while achieving his sales goals in the long term. We encourage every marketer of HIBs to use a scorecard so they can be sure their spend is as efficient as possible.

Sample Scorecard for Widget, Inc.

Sample Scorecard for Widget, Inc.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Use ROI Scorecards to Ensure Success in Marketing High-Involvement Brands

  1. Ken Bernhardt

    The key to an effective marketing dashboard (or scorecard) is to first determine which “needles you want to move.” The second step is to set goals for these measures. Then the tracking can begin. I think the post includes some worthwhile suggested metrics. Lastly, I think it is important to prioritize the metrics (for example, some are by nature short term and some are longer term and they can move move in opposite directions – – an example might be sales or market share growth and margins).

  2. Ryan Hendricks

    Equally important to having a scorecard with the right prioritized metrics that you can act upon, is to maintain a database of past campaigns and results by media channel, creative, offer, promotion strategy, audience segment and product. Only then can you begin to identify the 50% of your ads which are wasted.

    You’ll also need to graduate from Excel as the primary tool for managing marketing and get something worthy of all the money you invest in building your brand and relationships with real database mining and monitoring capabilities.

    I can’t believe how many marketers still reply on a $500 piece of software to manage millions in advertising and marketing investments.

    My 2 cents …

  3. Eveline Reidherd

    No Twitter marketing!? What’s with you man!

  4. Pingback: Keeping Score « Kilgannon Says

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