Determining Dimensions

Demma, Ken
September 2004
Marketing Management;Sep/Oct2004, Vol. 13 Issue 5, p28
This article describes a marketing performance framework which can be used to measure, defend, and validate an organization's marketing performance. As we explore the actual measures that inform and drive marketing, we realize context is critical. Context applies to our ability to map our marketing activities in a manner that is consistent with how we move customers through a development cycle. More specifically, we must rigorously categorize our marketing investments if they are to be assessed with clarity. To gain a better understanding of where marketing resources are invested and what they are generating, we must carefully delineate and disaggregate our investments. We can then begin to make more sophisticated, causal linkages between actions and outcomes. Marketing performance measurement, however, begins with a focus on customer segmentation. Segmentation provides a way of differentiating the various groups of customers we are trying to engage. It enables us to invest resources and measure results in relation to the importance we assign these groups. Whether the segmentation scheme is based on behavioral factors, perceived value, life stage, or some other variable, a solid customer segmentation model is a critical first step in terms of marketing measurement. Once customers have been segmented, we can define, delineate, and measure marketing performance more clearly. In fact, the various segments represent lenses through which performance can be viewed and investments attributed to actions and outcomes. By breaking all customers and prospects down into exclusive and exhaustive segments, we can begin the process of linking marketing investments to market impact. Critical to our analysis will be the ability to visualize how we invest marketing resources relative to these different segments. Through this process of segment-based disaggregation, we gain deeper insight into what level of resources is being directed to each customer segment.


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