It’s all about size

The size of the marketing return on investment, that is.

This week in McKinsey’s Quarterly’s premium edition, there’s an interview with Cammie Dunaway, Yahoo!’s Senior Marketing executive.

She explains how she is preparing Yahoo! for the future using strategies that people like myself, Kennedy and many others have been on your case about for a long time.

Warning: If big corporate dotcoms are finally waking up to the realization that their marketing should be using it, you’d better get your act together as well, if you haven’t already.

So what’s she doing for Yahoo!?

Simple. She’s shifting the companyĆ¢??s marketing dollars to vehicles whose returns can be measured.

Imagine that.

It doesn’t matter what media you use, it can be done.

Print ads can use special phone numbers, advertising codes, special prices/deals not advertised elsewhere, and special web addresses / URLs.

TV and radio ads can do the same.

Online ads have had this capability more or less since day one. Landing pages, Adwords, text links in emails, banner clicks etc can all be measured.

I find it a little ironic that Yahoo! is finally going to emphasize the use of something that they have offered for some time via their Overture advertising services, but at least they are doing so.

What’s the big deal about measuring response?

For starters, anything else is speculation. If you aren’t measuring the response to each media, each ad, etc, then you don’t know anything about your marketing except how much you’ve spent.

You don’t know if the $10000 you spent on tv ads last year brought in less business than that ad in the local shopper that costs you $32 a week.

You don’t know that the newspaper is a lousy place to sell mold restoration services but a great place to sell chiropractic and hearing aids.

Or that Tuesday is the worst day of the week for radio ad response.

Or that ads on billboards that are on the driver’s side of the road perform better than ads on billboards on the passenger side of the road, except on Interstate highways.

Or that advertorials in magazines outperform advertorials in newspapers.

What else don’t you know?

Measuring advertising response will tell you a lot of those things.