Excessive measurement of marketing performance may lead to information overload

Companies must focus on indicators that are of key importance to their business activities, researchers recommend.

Marketing should be examined extensively from multiple viewpoints not only from the viewpoint of performance measurement. Indicators must be carefully adjusted to the company's own needs, as excessive measurement can lead to "measurement mania".

This all has come to light in a recent paper written by a team made up of Aalto marketing professors and Aalto ex-doctoral students now working abroad. The team evaluated the marketing performance measurement practices of Finnish companies. The paper, which is based on extensive survey materials and objective performance data, examined how successful companies measured marketing performance.

‘The research demonstrates that indicators for marketing performance must be carefully adjusted to the company's individual needs,' says Assistant Professor Johanna Frösén from St. Petersburg State University.

'Many marketing investments become evident in sales and performance only in the long-term. According to our findings, companies should utilise non-financial indicators that are, in the long-term, also linked to profitability,' explains Assistant Professor Jukka Luoma from the Aalto University School of Business.

The researchers observed that successful large companies measure the different dimensions of marketing performance quite extensively, including elements such as customer satisfaction and brand awareness, the company's position in the market compared to its competitors and financial performance. It is essential for these companies that their decision-making is not solely influenced by financial performance indicators.

On the other hand, the paper demonstrates that successful small companies often focus on certain elements of performance, such as customer attitudes. Coordination of measurements is simpler in small companies, but, at the same time, excessive measurement can lead to information overload.

The paper was published recently in the field's leading publication, the Journal of Marketing.

The study is partly based on StratMark survey data that has been gathered from all Finnish companies that employ more than five people at two year intervals starting in 2008.

The article is the first paper published in the Journal of Marketing in which is entirely based on Finnish data and is written by a Finnish research team,' explains a thrilled Henrikki Tikkanen, who is a professor of marketing both at Aalto University and and at Stockholm University School of Business.

Link to the article http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jm.15.0153

The research team comprised Johanna Frösen, Jukka Luoma, Assistant Professor Matti Jaakkola (Aston Business School), Henrikki Tikkanen and Grönroos Professor of Marketing Jaakko Aspara (Hanken).

Further information
Jukka Luoma
Assistant Professor, Marketing
Aalto University School of Business
Tel. +358 40 353 8412
[email protected]

Henrikki Tikkanen
Professor, Marketing
Aalto University School of Business
[email protected]

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