Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals


September 27th, 2009

Seven Ideas to Stop Marketing Wastage

In any organisation, marketing is one of the most difficult functions, largely because there’s so much to do and so little time…

Guy Powell who warns that wastage in marketing campaigns has become a key ‘pain point’ during the recession, and suggests seven ideas to stop it happening.

There are, Powell says, many marketing chiefs and departments who simply don’t have the tools or data to answer the most critical of marketing effectiveness questions: ”how much extra revenue did the latest campaign bring in?”

To help counter this problem, Powell suggests seven key ideas:

  1. Account for your costs
    Determine how much you’re spending on each marketing activity, and put in place a cost tracking system that can relate all direct and indirect costs to specific campaigns. For B2B marketers this includes the costs that the sales team, support and the channel spends to promote the product or brand in the marketplace. For B2C marketers, this means capturing the specifics of each campaign plan into a single spreadsheet or database, showing where and how each dollar is being spent for each week of each quarter or year. Remember to track creative development, production, and insertion costs, and compare actual execution costs to planned purchases.
  2. Track your activities
    Just as you need to track costs, you also need to keep track of what activities took place and when. How were online ad impressions and clicks purchased, and what media channels were used? What activities were done through partners or through your own sales team? With a good tracking system in place, you can start to look at ways to analyse this data to support strategic and tactical marketing decisions.
  3. Understand your consumer
    If you understand how your consumers process media, make purchase decisions and consume products in your category or market, you can be certain that you are measuring the right factors rather than simply measuring a few things that are most easily calculated. For B2B marketers it’s very easy to measure the sales cycle, but it’s much more important to measure the purchase cycle. And B2C marketers must understand how brand awareness and consideration translate at some point in the future into purchase and consumption.
  4. Track results
    Marketing results take place at two levels. Interim results, such as web visits, engagement, leads developed, brand awareness and consideration, as well as units and monetary value sold at the point of sale. Interim results should mirror how consumers act in the marketplace and should not be a reflection of your internal organisation. If you track results with the consumer at the central focus of your metrics you will be much more successful than if your metrics only reflect your own organisation. For point of sale data, in many industries, this means purchasing syndicated data (e.g. Nielsen, IRI or others). Put this data into a time series to see how or if your marketing activities drive incremental changes in the results at any point in the future. Don’t forget to include your competitors’ actions, their pricing, and their channel, advertising and product activities.
  5. Choose your analytical method carefully
    Depending on your environment and the availability of data, determine the kinds of analytical tools you could use to start connecting the dots between marketing inputs and outputs. Statistical modeling is certainly one approach to develop a robust marketing mix model, while other options can include split cell testing or agent-based modeling. Even something as simple as tracking the direct response from marketing activities can lead to some very useful insights.
  6. Question your results, and then act on them
    Make certain that your results truly represent how your consumers responded to your marketing campaign, by using control groups to weed out changing consumer trends, external factors, competitors’ actions, and changes in the sales channel. If this is done correctly, the results will be robust and you will be able to make significantly better marketing decisions. However, if you’re still not comfortable with your results, you should start with an in-market test (or some other form of market research) to revalidate your conclusions.
  7. Look for areas of improvement
    Once you start to make better decisions based on the first six ideas, you will quickly see the value of improved data sources, and it will make sense to invest further in more detailed information to make better and better decisions. Marketing risks will consequently be lowered, while forecasts will tend to be more accurate.

According to Powell, “There are two sure signs that you have begun to institute a culture of marketing effectiveness. The first - and probably the easiest - is whether or not you have a specific line item in the budget called ‘marketing measurement’ or ‘marketing metrics’. Without this, you’re always going to be wishing you had money and time to measure your results properly - and you will probably be among the first victims of budget cuts when times are hard.” Marketers need tracking and management systems just as much as any other department in the company, so when money is invested in marketing it’s also worth investing both time and money in this kind of results tracking to validate each campaign and provide ongoing proof of ROI for senior management.

About the Author published by Pete Clark

Peter Clark is the Research Director of  Wise Research Ltd. and the publisher of:

Loyalty marketing... for real facts, figures, research, case studies, best practices, practical how-to's, technologies & examples, The Loyalty Guide III is the world's most complete report (900+ pages) that covers it all. Costing less than the average conference ticket, details of the report's contents, chapter samples, pricing, and ordering details are online now at

Peter Clark, Research Director, Wise Research Ltd.
Publisher of The Wise Marketer, The Loyalty Guide, and Using RFID

Wise Research Ltd UK

Mail: PO Box 505, Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape, 6280, South Africa

Head Office:  25 Shiremoor Hill, Merriott, Somerset, TA16 5PH, UK

Registered Office:  1 Cornhill, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0AD, UK

Tel: +27 73 072 5746

Fax: +44 845 280 1579                     

Email: [email protected]                

THE LOYALTY GUIDE: The only complete report (900+ pages!) covering customer loyalty techniques, measurement, strategies, principles, best practices, detailed case studies, research, theory, know-how and market-by-market intelligence:

 Announcing the world's most comprehensive guide to maximising customer loyalty and profitability...
 Wise Research Ltd, publisher of the internationally renowned 'The Wise Marketer' online news and research service for customer loyalty professionals, is pleased to announce that its research team has recently finished work on the world's most comprehensive global guide to customer loyalty marketing. Rather than merely updating the first volume, this new report has a vast amount of new material, research, ideas, case studies and practical know-how.  

This 900+ page report's research programme started in late 2007 and the first copies of The Loyalty Guide III
shipped in mid-2008, with its contents being updated through a readers-only web site well into 2009. This is your chance to make best use of this all-new report by getting your copy hot off the press. Loyal customers – how to identify them, how to keep them and how to get them to spend even more.
Did you know that poor customer engagement is reported to cause up to 75% of lost sales, and that loyal customers buy more, and will often pay more for better service? And did you know that a good increase in customer retention can boost profit by up to 100%? Or that strong customer relationships are a key driver of sustainable business growth?       

More and more marketers are quite rightly focussing on their customer retention and loyalty initiatives. But simply retaining more customers is not the answer - leading loyalty marketers are selectively retaining those who provide most profit and not wasting money on those who don't. In many cases, up to 70% of customers cost more to serve than they provide in profits. Find out how, by gathering and using loyalty and transactional data cleverly you can stay ahead of the game.  

Yet another goldmine of loyalty information
 The Loyalty Guide III sits side by side with the popular Volume II (published in 2006), providing yet another goldmine of practical know-how and experience you can use to increase the profitability of your customer base. Not being a mere update (it has less than 10% cross-over), it's right up to date.       

As before, you'll get online access to working statistical models and formulae that you can use to model how a loyalty programme will affect your company's profitability. You also get charts, diagrams and dozens of web-based updates for a year after publication. This 900+ page report, bound in two parts, is a comprehensive source of facts, figures, market sizing data, trends, forecasts, and ideas for your proposals, presentations, and project tenders.  

Secrets and strategies for success
The Loyalty Guide III will show new entrants to the market the essential concepts and techniques underlying a successful customer loyalty programme. And it also serves a total guide to global best practices, and signposts the road ahead for even the most experienced relationship marketing specialist. And, if you place your order now, we'll express-courier the report to you right away.




Experiensumer : The new consumer profile

Many brands, and an entirely market are increasingly pointing out to a new consumer profile, the experiensumer. Characteristics of this profile are: - Sees consumption far beyond a transaction or a process, with a more experien...
by David Camps

winning brands

Brands who do it right

When it comes to building a successful brand, an unwavering dedication to making customers happy is an often forgotten but vital element. Earlier this year, Temkin asked 6000 US consumers to rate their interactions with differe...
by Bruce Temkin


Global Customer Service Barometer

The recent report published published by American Express® tells us the state of the customer service industry - with some interesting findings! Below you will find a handy infographic to help you digest the details. If ...
by James Digby


brand vs customer

Brands versus the Customer Experience

To understand what is relevant and does get traction with customers, it is critical to recognize that the pursuit of market share and commodity sales are not the same thing. Germane to this distinction are the two buying perso...
by John Todor


Companies in denial when it comes to providing good customer service

Lisa Grantham, Director of Marketing for Northern Europe at Nuance Communications, discusses the economics of call centre automation Many companies are focused on innovating with new products, inviting store experiences and ent...
by Lisa Grantham



Building Giving into Business: 5 Trends for Companies to Consider

Doing well by doing good: it’s not just a corporate catch phrase or nice-to-do anymore, it’s a must do for a growing number of businesses. With Pepsi cancelling its 23 year stint of Super Bowl commercials to instead invest ...
by Jana Taylor


Loyalty without Bribery

Author Glenn Harrington of Articulate explains to Return on Behavior Magazine how to develop loyalty schemes and work with the information without having to bribe customers for their business. Phrases such as points program, ...
by Glenn Harrington



How to Build Customer Loyalty – Make and Keep Credible Promises

It is no wonder that very few companies enjoy customer loyalty nowadays. Consumers are skeptical of company promises. A “new” product is not really “new.” A great-looking item on an info-commercial works much differentl...
by Scott Glatstein


Strategies for Maximum Customer Loyalty, Profits

If you’re finding it a challenge to create profits, you might appreciate knowing that you’re not alone. Profits in this Great Recession are elusive  for other businesspeople, too. A case in point: 50 percent of the memb...
by Terry Corbell

cost of customer experience

How much does bad customer service cost?

According the results from a recent survey completed by Greenfield Online, bad customer service seems to pose a big problem – over $338.5 billion a year. The survey was carried out in 16 countries across the globe, with nearl...
by James Digby


One Comment

  1. great blog Hope will be visiting in the future for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz: