Once viewed more as art than science, marketers are increasingly interested in measuring performance. Like it or not, there is a new wave of accountability in the world of marketing, and if you're not prepared, you could get swept under it. Companies are becoming increasingly concerned with ensuring that all activities are profitable. As a result, each dollar invested in marketing is being challenged to demonstrate bottom line performance. New forms of marketing, escalating ad costs and tools that purport to measure marketing effectiveness have all contributed to the pressure traditional media is facing to "prove its worth."
Ask communication professionals why measurement is important, and their answers are likely to involve accountability, measures of effectiveness, ROI and planning support. Ask market researchers what makes for good measurement, and they are likely to respond that it involves reproducible results, adherence to rigorous standards and objective impartiality. Within the communication process, however—especially within PR and media relations—there is a tendency to look more closely at the output of their programmes than at the methodology yielding the data charts and reports. While market research has a well-established body of theory to support its claims of delivering objective and authoritative data, media analysis as a commercial discipline is only just beginning to grasp the importance of these standards.
Many companies have taken a limited view of the impact that marketing communication can have on overall corporate objectives, reducing their understanding of the value of marketing communication. One reason for this resistance is that the value of IMC can be complex to measure in a world where marketing usually moves at a dynamic pace and is driven by a changing competitive landscape and seemingly unpredictable shifts in customer attitudes. The potential revenue and customer satisfaction benefits of implementing an IMC program can be so dramatic that companies shouldn't ignore the movement any longer.