WHAT WE DO
We work with clients to prioritize their marketing spend across geographies and products, define the right messages for their customers, and find the optimal mix of vehicles among today’s wide variety of media types.
The marketing opportunity. Global marketing spend exceeds $1 trillion, which makes it between 1 to 2 percent of global GDP. Marketing spend has been rising faster than the top line for several decades. In our experience, 15 to 20 percent of marketing spend can be released through better marketing return on investment (MROI) efforts, either for reinvestment for growth or return to bottom line. That’s up to $200 billion globally per year. See McKinsey on Marketing & Sales’ collection of articles on MROI.
The challenge of marketing. Marketers face many challenges today, including high growth expectations, cutthroat competition, and the digital and social-media revolution. Embracing MROI as a discipline can help build strong brands that generate improved returns.
OUR CORE BELIEFS
Better MROI starts with better objectives that are based in the consumer decision journey (CDJ). Better marketing objectives, in turn, shape better metrics.
Brand messaging is one of the most important determinants of MROI success. It is more important to be clear on the most effective messaging attributes for the given brand objective than it is to have a precisely optimized marketing mix.
Marketing-mix analytics that don’t make sense to the end business user are useless. Marketing-mix models should be informed by industry knowledge, built with transparent assumptions, and delivered in a way that makes sense intuitively to the business user.
Marketing-investment decisions need to factor in both short- and long-term impact. Marketing mix models, for example, can capture only short-term impact and must be augmented with long-term (brand-building) impact estimates.
Future potential is a critical input. Spend should be biased toward future growth, and not just optimized based on past performance.
Ultimately, driving marketing spend effectiveness comes down to capabilities, processes, and talent. Invest in your organization (not just your data) to build and sustain excellence in MROI.
OUR 5-STEP APPROACH
Spending priorities: Understand where all consumer-facing dollars are being spent at an enterprise-wide level. Include all working and nonworking spend across all geographies, brands, marketing vehicles, etc. Ensure that enterprise-wide spend allocation is aligned with the company’s strategic priorities and with the avenues of future growth.
Message definition: Understand deeply CDJ, and clarify the priority “battlegrounds” for your brand. Clarify the messaging and identify the marketing vehicles that will be most effective at moving consumers through the selected stage in the CDJ. (See “Winning the consumer decision journey,” McKinsey Quarterly).
Marketing mix: Pick an approach based on business needs, data availability, and analytical preferences and stick to it. Look at three approaches—benchmarks, advanced econometrics, and consumer surveys—which can be used independently or together. Don’t forget business judgment.
Spend efficiency: Optimize marketing spend through lean techniques and purchasing controls. Find opportunities to reduce nonworking spend (for example, agency consolidation, research-vendor appraisal) and improve buying efficiencies on working media (such as best-practice procurement and optimized time-length).
Sustainability: Drive sustainable impact through all the classic organization levers. Instill best-practice capabilities, supported by ROI tools and processes, key performance indicators, and by senior-level behaviors. Make marketing an investment, not a cost center.