Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ROI or Bust

Recently, the famed word-of-mouth marketing agency, BzzAgent offered companies an opportunity to test their traditional media campaigns against a BzzAgent. If the agency did not outperform traditional media by 20%, the company’s money would be refunded.

AdAge Article
WOMMA Article

Although this may simply be a publicity stunt to bring attention to word of mouth marketing, I think more people should take notice. Marketers in general should be holding their partners more accountable for their campaigns ability to contribute to the overall growth of a business. If an agency is unable to craft a program that brings customers in and rings the register they should not be rewarded.

In today’s corporate environment ROI comes down to one thing – the sales numbers. If I’m not hitting my forecasts than neither your agency nor myself are being effective. When have you heard of a CMO losing a job because he couldn’t increase brand awareness? You don’t because they are always being canned because their company/brand has failed to meet its numbers at the end of the fiscal.

Now some may argue that the success in a media campaign is not always seen in the numbers. And my response is that you are absolutely correct. Unfortunately today’s companies are not judged by their brand visibility or reputation among the customer base – they are judged on the numbers. The same goes for the client, he/she is not measured on how flashy and well liked a campaign might be, and instead he/she is judged by how they increased sales.

It comes down to today’s agencies have to work harder for their clients because expectations and the repercussions are much higher.

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