Marketers have focused on the links between their actions and financial performance for two decades. There’s been considerable development of tools on the practitioner side, as well as implementation of financial management within companies. Academic researchers have improved their strategic understanding of the role of marketing by studying its impact on customer behaviors and financial measures. They’ve gained clarity on how marketing experience and skills contribute to successful financial management. However, marketers may see a new set of priorities emerge due to technology. What made sense in the past may not work for marketers in the future.
Accumulating studies pinpoint the impact of increasing numbers of marketing drivers, customer behaviors and resultant financial outcome metrics. For example, the list of potential drivers has expanded to incorporate many digital and mobile marketing investments in new formats, delivered through new media platforms and sales channels. We understand more about intermediate steps in the process leading to financial outcomes, such as customer satisfaction. Our comprehension of the effects of marketing is becoming more refined, often including both impact on financials and how marketing responds to financial performance.
Understanding marketing impact often includes both the macro view at the market level over time, and the micro view at the individual level, such as customer segments or purchase occasions. Understanding costs is also becoming more explicit in research, where cost elements are identified within total economic value measures to isolate marketing’s impact from things that are outside of its domain.