Marketing organizations are getting better at measuring ROI (return on investment), but are still struggling to determine and convey the business impact of their initiatives, programs and activities. The Marketing ROI & Measurement Study published by the Lenskold Group found that many marketers recognize they are lacking in their ability to assess the incremental impact of marketing and to diagnose what is necessary to improve performance.

Effectiveness and Impact Metrics Enable Marketing to Be More Strategic

efficiency effective marketingThis is a crucial point because only when Marketing can measure how its investments and efforts are affecting the business and articulate its effectiveness and impact will it truly be able to play a more strategic role. Organizations must collect three different kinds of metrics to better understand and evaluate the impact of Marketing and to influence Marketing strategy and performance:

  1. Efficiency –  Marketing efficiency measures relate to rate of speed, and availability. Example of these metrics for Marketing include time to fulfillment of an inquiry and cost measures that help assess how well the Marketing operation is being run. Efficiency metrics don’t help Marketing understand how it is affecting the business and how well it is driving key business outcomes. For that we need effectiveness and/or impact measures.
  2. Effectiveness – Marketing effectiveness measures how well the work of Marketing is helping the organization achieve it outcomes. These metrics enable you to determine whether the right actions being taken to meet the given outcomes. Examples of effectiveness metrics are those that help you understand the role Marketing is playing in acquiring and retaining customers. Effectiveness metrics guide decisions about strategy. 
  3. Impact – These are metrics designed to demonstrate the link between what Marketing does and tangible effects on the organization’s ability to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. 


Measure both Effectiveness and Efficiency

Measure Marketing Effectiveness before Efficiency

Why Marketing Should Start with Effectiveness Metrics

If you’re wondering which you should measure and improve first, effectiveness or efficiency, choose effectiveness. This may seem counter intuitive since financial pressures often take you down the efficiency path. Making Marketing more effective is about generating incremental sales and customer value as opposed to efficiency which focuses on reducing waste. It’s hard to make decisions about where to cut when you don’t know what is and isn’t working. This choice is about doing the right things and then focusing on how to do these things right.

One of the primary reasons we fall short of being a strategic partner is that we lack the data, analytical models and right metrics needed to demonstrate our contribution and connect marketing back to the business. When Marketing starts with effectiveness you can make a strong case for how the Marketing team is playing an important part in the organization’s ability to achieve key business outcomes. Therefore emphasize the analytics and metrics that show the relationship between and impact of marketing initiatives and programs to the organization.

effective efficient To drive effectiveness you will need analytics and data that can be used to tease out the causal relationship between particular Marketing efforts and such business outcomes as customer acquisition, customer loyalty, and customer profitability. The more you can show the impact of Marketing investments on the bottom-line the more influence Marketing will have on company business decisions and future business strategies. These capabilities mean your team must have strong analytical skills, develop solid analytical models and have access to valid measures of company performance. Marketing leaders should harness the talent of marketers who bring data and data analysis skills to the party. 

marketing accountability and effectiveness workbook

Buy Your Best-Practices Workbook

What You Measure Dictates Whether You Earn Your Seat at the Strategy Table

To earn you seat at the strategy table, Marketing leaders  need to go beyond simply showing how Marketing can and has reduced costs (efficiency). Increase your focus on metrics and analytics and your team’s ability to measure its effectiveness, impact and contribution. This is the only way the Marketing function and you will gain the opportunity to become more of a strategic player. Let us know how we can help


Comments are closed.


“I love your articles and advice – I feel like everything you write is thought-provoking and actionable.” – Marcie, Marketing Director, Technology industry.

Join our community to gain insights into creating growth strategies and execution; and employing growth enablers, including accountability, alignment, analytics, and operational excellence.

Follow VEM on Twitter

marketing strategy, strategic marketing, strategic planning, operational excellence, performance management, business planning, competitive intelligence


It's a fast-paced and competitive business landscape. Organizations need well-crafted growth strategies to:

        • Stay ahead of the curve, increase market share, achieve long-term success.
        • Empower your organizations to develop better growth strategies that drive sustainable and impactful outcomes.

Download your copy today to unleash your company’s full potential to successfully implement your growth strategies.

How to Mitigate the Risks of 10 Growth Strategy Pitfalls

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.