Marketing Thought

Popular Marketing Metrics: How Not To Mess Them Up

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Neil Bendle launching Popular Marketing Metrics

Make a search on the internet for popular marketing metrics. When you do so you will find a lot of advice on marketing metrics. This could, theoretically, be very useful to marketers and aspiring marketers. Sadly, often the advice given is pretty awful. As such I am creating this series of pages with my thoughts on popular metrics. These pages include advice on how the metrics should be constructed and things to watch out for. My advice applies both when creating the metrics and when being given the metrics by others.

Picture of Neil Bendle
Me looking thoughtful about Popular Marketing Metrics

What “Popular Marketing Metrics” Is Not

This Popular Marketing Metrics collection of pages will be different to the MASB Common Language Dictionary and even our Marketing Metrics book. In creating these popular marketing metrics pages my aim is not to duplicate the MASB Common Language dictionary, and our Marketing Metrics book. The sources above are designed to be authoritative texts. They are also resources that report on what marketers do.

Here I will be slightly more controversial and criticize where I think criticism is due. Rather than seek to explain what people currently do this Popular Marketing Metrics series will be more prescriptive. It will say what I think marketers should do; even if this isn’t what many marketers are doing now.

Who Am I?

While I have some expertise — I am a marketing phd/professor, fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, co-author of Marketing Metrics, and chair of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board advisors — I clearly am not the Pope of Marketing Metrics. As such I can’t say that I have infallible knowledge.

What I will do is lay out my thinking. On the CLV page, for example, I argue strongly that acquisition costs should not be subtracted before reporting CLV. Therefore, I will also tell you why I think this. I will connect my argument to what I think the principles of the metric are. Critically, I will set out these principles at the beginning of the discussion, these principles will mainly relate to usage. I will say what I think the appropriate use of the metric is and then lay out why this means that you should create the metric in the way I outline.

Feel Free To Disagree

I hope to get some comments that disagree with me. Disagreement would be really great. Ideally, these will engage with my arguments and give counter arguments. (Although given this is the internet I’m not expecting universally constructive comments.) In doing these pages I am looking to stimulate thought about what we are doing with marketing metrics. If you use a metric you should know that it is the best approach for the situation at hand.

Topics In Popular Marketing Metrics

As I create pages I will add them to this list. These topics will include:

Please click on the names above. Where there is a link on the term this page is available, where no link the page is yet to arrive.

Using These Pages

Feel free to print my blog and distribute the advice to anyone you think would find it helpful. Specifically, professors you have permission to use these notes in your courses. All I ask is that you cite this page and/or our Marketing Metrics book.

Professors might also want to include a link to the MASB Common Language Dictionary to their syllabi. This is a helpful way to get students all speaking the same marketing language (https://marketing-dictionary.org/).

Thank you.

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