Colin Bunn, Director of Market Analytics at Numwood, outlines the key requirements for successful implementation of POS which delivers ROI.
We are seeing a rapidly growing client appetite for evaluating return on their investment strategies, and insight into where best to allocate budgets across marketing, innovation / portfolio management and channel development.
There is also an increasing momentum behind implementing ROI management as a more formal business process and discipline.
Recently, much has been written and debated about the rapidly changing business landscape: proliferation of media and distribution channels; growth in customer segments and product portfolios; technological advancements providing increasing consumer control of their exposure to media and their choice of point-of-purchase.
It seems that mass marketing may even be on the long downward slope of its life cycle. However, the new marketing model is still very much being defined.
A major key to unlocking it centres on how to implement the required ROI discipline to more cost-effectively reach customers – across all the touch points of their brand experience – in this increasingly complex and fragmented landscape.
Whilst much of the focus to date has been on ROI measurement, our broader experience suggests that there are a number of key elements required for the successful implementation of a systematic ROI management programme:
Business Metrics / KPI Framework
Populated by both internal client data (such as financials) and external research data. This framework needs to be simple enough to be operational, but comprehensive enough to cover critical decisions on the customer base, marketing effectiveness, portfolio management and channel management.
Knowledge Management System
Built initially on historical data, and a real facilitator for ensuring the dissemination of action-based insights across a business. More crucially, however, is the enablement, typically through tools like business dashboards, of a systematic, forward-looking approach to ROI management that can effectively disseminate on-going evaluation of key business metrics in order to influence and impact current business performance.
Advanced statistical and modelling techniques for in-depth exploration of client business issues that deliver both strategic and tactical insight and enable future business plan development.
Predictive applications, fuelled by analytics, enabling business plan simulation. Linking these to the business dashboards within the Knowledge Management System allows for the on-going tracking of business plan execution and actual performance vs forecast. This then enables course-corrective action to be taken as required.
Finally, alignment with the business planning framework and its key stakeholders is also required.
Urged on by our clients, our developments in ROI evaluation are advancing rapidly. At the crux of it all is the strong desire to learn from, but not dwell on, the recent past, to translate that knowledge into forward-looking business decisions, and to do that as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The payback potential from a well defined and implemented ROI management programme is just too great to ignore.
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