"Mix Modeling on its death-bed" Starcom MediaVest Group CEO Laura Desmond


Starcom MediaVest Group CEO (and #57 on Forbes 100 most powerful Women in 2008) Laura Desmond believes that Marketing Mix Modeling, platform for measuring Advertising ROI is on it’s death-bed, citing backward-looking focus and lack of ability to evaluate consumer attitudes as part of the reason it is becoming obsolete.

I think Marketing ROI as a concept won’t go away (taking care to distinguish Mix Modeling as the device and Marketing ROI as the objective) for at last a couple of reasons:
-Elegance in evaluating Marketing Strategy was not the primary raison d’etre for the approach, it came about as a means for stakeholders outside the Marketing Department to understand how the dollars they were pumping into advertising was contributing to topline growth (and bottomline performance)- in other words the “business performance” focus she faulted. After all influencing consumer attitudes is not the end-goal of advertising, growing sales is (by influencing consumers positively), so successful advertising needs to demonstrate ability to drive both, not just any one of the two purposes.
-Today the approach does more than that and can simultaneously evaluate both business performance and consumer attitudes, depending upon how much effort you want to put in. I have already written in the past that consumer attitudes not only can but should be measured in marketing-mix models (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1411790)

Leave a Comment