What Doesn't Get Measured...

... doesn't get managed.


This was too good to not share. Credit goes out to Tom Fishburne from the Marketoonist.

When it comes to the marketing field, I've always found it quite interesting that to many people, the term "marketing" is synonymous with "advertising". In other words, these folks think marketing is all about coming up with a well-designed ad and spreading to the word about a business or brand.

Yes, advertising is an aspect of marketing communications. Yes, it's important to communicate your value proposition to drive short-term sales and build long-term brand equity, but if you're not measuring your marketing campaigns, how do you know if your marketing dollars are being utilized in an optimal way?

Unless you're living in a world where money grows on tress, there's normally a limit to your marketing budget. With that being the case, resources have to be used in the most effective manner possible. In order to increase the return of investment (ROI) of the marketing campaigns, marketers and marketing researchers utilize a variety of methodologies, from marketing mix modeling to brand equity trackers, to evaluate marketing effectiveness.

As useful as some of the above-mentioned methodologies are to help maximize your marketing ROI, you need to established what your current ROI is. To those aren't familiar with the concept of ROI, the essential ROI formula equals to net profit (from a certain marketing campaign) divided by investment amount (for said marketing campaign) multiplied by 100 (ROI's expressed as a percentage). An ROI of 0% is your break-even point and an ROI of 100% means that you doubled your money. I would suggest using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for the calculation and easily creating a chart to visualize the data.

While the idea of ROI starts to become a little fuzzy around branding, you want to keep your pre-established key performing indicators (KPIs) for the business in mind and work towards meeting the goals for these KPIs.

The moral of the story - marketing isn't just about creating pretty ads and promoting them.

Marketing's both a science and an art, requiring creativity in producing out-of-the-box strategies, but also analytical rigor to measure what works and what doesn't. Don't let your marketing dollars go to waste.

Adventures in Taste Testing for New Product Success

You know how people say the devil is in the details? Well, that couldn't be truer than with taste testing.

During college I participated in my fair share of paid food research studies (which was a great way to make a quick buck as a college student btw). While I took part in these taste testings, I never really gave much thought to the complexity of the research until years down the line when I decided to conduct taste tests for a food product I was considering bringing to the market.

As with most consumer usability testing, consumer taste research design is pretty complex. Some of the considerations include testing location, in addition to whether you want to reveal the product brand, conduct the research with a group of people verses one person at a time, and who exactly you're going to be recruiting for the study. Mike Burkenbine and Kathryn Korostoff do a great job at breaking down some of the research details below.

Some of the key take-aways from the video include:

  • In-facility testing is vital. In-store/in-restaurant should be conducted as a second part to the research.
  • "People eat with their eyes" - be weary of variables, whether it be the color of the packaging or serving utensil, that might affect gustation via vision, audition, olfaction, and somatosensation.
  • Ethnographic research might be best for packaged products that are made to be used at home (e.g. frozen meals).
  • Conduct blind testing first to check if the target market likes the product, then conduct further branded testing to check brand association.
  • Beware of regional differences in taste preferences.

If you've ever wondered how CPG companies and restaurant chains what food and beverage products to sell (and mitigate some of the business risk of launching a potential flop), consumer taste testing is the way to go.

UMG & Marketing in the Music Industry

Mixing Board

I've been completely infatuated by the business of entertainment for some years now. As I reflect on my interest in this industry, I can boil it down to a couple points:

  • The growth of media streaming platforms, their business models, and how the different players within the streaming ecosystems capture value

  • Connected devices causing a shift in consumer behavior as it pertains to media consumption

  • Monetizing intellectual properties as a form of passive income

The entertainment industry is undergoing major changes and it's all pretty exciting. 

In the back of my mind, I knew I was going to end up working in the industry soon or later. Guess it looks like it'll be sooner than later.

I'm proud to announce that I'll be working as an Artist Brand & Insights Strategist at Universal Music Group starting next month.

As I wrap up my grad program and gear up for my new role, I've been studying up on the industry. In doing so, I came across Bobby Owsinski's Inner Circle music podcast - a highly recommended podcast series for anyone interested in the music industry. In the episode below, industry veteran & Music Executive Ted Joseph talks about radio promotion, retail store co-op advertising, and more during his time as Head of Marketing at Warner Music.