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What Metrics Do Managers Use?

Mintz and Currim examined what metrics do managers use? What drives metric use? And how does this tracks to performance? These are fascinating questions. The paper has two aims I’d say. Firstly, academics will be interested in the model that the authors use to try and tease out the “why” behind the metrics. Secondly, managers might be more interested in the frequencies of usage. I personally hope that academics also pay attention to the frequencies. As teachers we should make sure our students know what metrics they are likely to encounter and as researchers we should see what we can learn from managers.

Uncontroversial Recommendations

Many of the recommendations will be uncontroversial.

..managers should receive training on the development and use of metrics

Mintz and Currim, 2013, page 32.

Some recommendations, such as greater involvement by financial and accounting people and people with quantitative backgrounds in marketing mix decisions, may worry some. Still they seem sensible to me. I ‘d also hope that the marketers understand the quantitative methods themselves and know enough about finance and accounting to debate with their colleagues from other disciplines.

What Metrics Do Managers Use Or Not Use?

If a metric that researchers recommend isn’t being used we should find out why. This won’t necessarily be clear. It could be a very useful metric/estimate that managers haven’t had a chance to consider and accept. Customer Lifetime Value, CLV, might be in this category.

In other situations maybe the metric isn’t ideal for what the marketer needs for a specific task. Economic Value Added, EVA, might be in this category.

It is also possible that the metric we are recommending is a rubbish one and managers have worked this out before academics. I think this might apply to Tobin’s q. I am pleased to report that pretty much all managers seem to have rejected this metric (Tobin’s q). The authors didn’t ask why. (I have my own explanation and it involves Tobin’s q being silly but that isn’t the point of this post).

Rank Of Selected Metrics For Marketers

What metric was one of the most popular overall? Awareness apparently. I guess we should have been aware of that before.

Read: Ofer Mintz and Imran Currim (2013). What drives managerial use of marketing and financial metrics and does metric use affect performance of marketing-mix activities? Journal of Marketing, 77(2), 17-40.

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