‘Should do marketing’ – The importance of measuring your marketing activity



Having taught marketing for nearly 20 years, I have long held the view that all marketers should come up with their own ‘model’ at some time or other in their careers.

As a profession, marketing uses large amounts of jargon and due to the nature of its role it also

has more than its fair share of models and matrices at its disposal.

One of the phrases that I have heard a lot recently is “should do marketing”.  It is being used to mean marketing activities that everyone should do such as send out newsletters or use social media.

What nonsense!  Yes, all organisations should do marketing but that is not the message being implied  by the use of the above phrase.  The suggestion is that there are certain key marketing activities that all organisations should be doing and that not to do them, therefore, is a serious failing on their part.  Something to be ashamed of.

I do not subscribe to this view.  The whole process of effective marketing is about matching the capabilities of the organisation to the needs and wants of its customers and markets for mutual benefit.  By definition, this means that in all cases effective ‘matching’ will be different. Therefore, the ways in which this is best communicated and via which media are also likely to be different.

Out of my frustration at this sweeping generalisation was born my own marketing model!

I have called it the marketing activity measurement model or MAM for short – yet another acronym to remember.

Its purpose is a simple one.

The aim is to help you to stop doing, so called, ‘should do’ marketing that isn’t working and to develop and improve upon the activities that are.

Marketing Activity Measurement Grid

  How to use the MAM model

To use the model you need to follow these three simple steps:-


Place all of your organisation’s marketing activities where you consider them to be on the grid.

* If you don’t know what return you are getting then they should be towards the left hand side of the grid

 * If you do know then they should be on the right hand side


Position each activity RELATIVE to the others. In other words, if one activity had the highest spend and gives you the best return it should be at the top right corner. Other high spend,  measured activities that deliver a lower return should be to the left and to the bottom of the lighter green box depending on known data.


  • Act on what you see.
  • Find ways to measure return on activities to the left side of the grid.
  • Look at creative ways to do this. Do some research. Measure numbers of enquiries, responses, sales, visits etc… 
  • Test new activities and force them into this model. Clearly, start with a small spend and then test results – then you can move to the right (green) side of the grid. When an activity stops delivering a return stop doing it!


What each quadrant indicates


This is intentionally in red.  It indicates you should stop what you’re doing and at the least measure it.  If you find that you are getting a low return then  stop doing the activity altogether.  If your findings move your position to the right i.e. the dark green box in the bottom right hand corner – then consider spending more until the optimum balance between spend and return is reached.


This quadrant is amber – i.e. possibly an issue to address – based on the assumption that you have a high spend on an activity for some reason.  Perhaps this is due to historic reasons or insight into your own market communication dynamics.  None of this changes the fact that until you are able to measure this activity you should reduce your spend to enable you to make a ‘should’ or should notdo decision.  If the measured return is high, the position of this activity moves to the right i.e.  the light green box.  Once here, you can look to make improvements to the activity or seek to find ways to lower spend and maintain the level of return.


Activities in this quadrant clearly fall within the ‘should do marketing’ category.  The indication here is that you should look to improve the activity.  How can you make it more effective for the same spend?  Are there opportunities for you to move your position down to the bottom right corner i.e. the dark green box?  Test different spend levels to establish whether the relationship between spend and return is affected.  If there is an opportunity to lower your spend whilst achieving the same return,  then this should be considered.


Again, these are ‘should do’ activities.  The indication is that you repeat the activities and seek to improve them in a similar way to quadrant 3.  Test the effect of increasing spend. Is the relationship between spend and return constant?  If so, invest until a  balance point is reached.

Like many other marketing models, this is all common sense.  Also, like many other marketing models, it exists because common sense isn’t being applied!

Finally, here is my take on ‘should do’ marketing:-

3 things …


Understand your markets and your customers sufficiently well to match their communications needs creatively


Measure ALL marketing activities


Then… continue with developing what works and STOP doing what doesn’t

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