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Written by The Mezzanine Group
on June 12, 2008

At the start of every year we get a deluge of new projects. It’s usually because marketers are working on growth initiatives and they need market intelligence to build their plans. This year that influx didn’t happen until late into February. At first we didn’t know why – we’ve learned it was because many people were looking at the US economy, unsure of how things would play out, and were holding onto or tweaking their budgets.

That was our first clue that this year was different than the past 3 or 4.

But then the projects started to roll in, and we started to see another difference. The theme of projects was changing. ‘Marketing ROI’ was on everyone’s mind. Marketing ROI has been a topic for years – stronger in some camps than others – but in general it’s been a, ‘Hmmm, what do we do about this’ topic rather than a ‘Let’s do something about this’ topic.

This year that seems to be changing. Marketing ROI, aka Return on Marketing Investment - ROMI, is getting more attention and more budget than we’ve ever seen. There are two good reasons for it, and it’s great news for marketing.

The first reason is that the economy is tight – the rising dollar, rising gas prices and declining consumer confidence mean that companies are focusing on costs. We know that successful companies are the ones who increase or maintain their marketing spending in downturns, not decrease it. Despite that, cuts will come – the question is where. And while it feels like short term pain, it’s a great thing for every company to be looking carefully at the results they get for the marketing dollars they spend.

The other big reason for the rising interest in Marketing ROI is that it’s more achievable than ever before. Everything in digital marketing is measurable – and increasingly what we’re doing in marketing is digital. That means we now have more measurability. And we can’t talk seriously about ROMI without measurability.

That old saying “I waste half of my marketing budget , I just don’t know which half” is officially dead. Now let’s see how companies respond to the new landscape.

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