ROI vs. Marketing Accountability

***Thanks to Nadia L. for this post which came from my teams internal blog at Quest***

On May 11, Bryan Eisenberg wrote a new ClickZ article entitled “The Difference Between ROI and Marketing Accountability.” He reference’s Brian Carroll’s recent post on demand generation tools/software. But I was really most interested in Eisenberg’s article title and topic, this idea of ROI vs. Marketing Accountability, which I had never really thought to distinguish between.

The article starts by pointing out that CEOs are demanding “better ROI measurement and accountability from marketers,” which in turn is fueling interest in software “tools to manage the process of lead management, lead nurturing and lead generation with a greater emphasis on measurability.” However, he goes on to explain that unless a company finds a tool that fits within their lead generation processes, metric goals, and supportive users, most companies don’t receive maximum value/ROI from the tool. A comment on Carroll’s article says:

“Measuring the ROI of lead generation isn’t the same thing as full accountability. If marketing is a profitable activity, it still doesn’t mean that what it is communicating to the universe of buyers is building the business. I’ve seen lots of marketers sacrifice early and middle stage buyers because they had to show an immediate ROI on each campaign they ran. Who is accountable for all the potential business they lose by saying the wrong the thing to the right people at the wrong time?”

I found this to be really what is at the crux of the issue, differentiating between ROI and marketing accountability. Finally, Eisenberg talks about a challenge we are all too familiar with — marketers wanting “to think long term but [we] keep getting sucked in by the more immediate and pressing issue of not having enough high quality sale leads.”

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