Andrew Willshire wrote an article for MarketingWeek titled It’s time to embrace marketing as a cost not an investment.

«  It is an article of faith among marketers that marketing is an investment, not a cost. Yet, examined logically, that’s simply not true. »

« So, if we had to describe the defining criteria of an “investment” then we might come up with the following list:

  • It is likely to involve the acquisition of a tangible asset
  • The required short-term expenditure will only be recouped over a protracted period
  • It is distinct from our essential day-to-day activities
  • It is a discretionary expenditure

Marketing fails to meet every one of these criteria.  »

« Are we actually content for marketing to be viewed either as discretionary or as distinct from day-to-day operations? Because that’s the implication of our choice of language. It also leads to perverse decisions, not least the decision to try and build an industry on the deeply flawed metric of return on investment (ROI).  »

« The role of marketing is twofold. First, higher sales… Secondly (and often strangely overlooked when evaluating effectiveness), marketing permits a higher selling price than a functionally identical, but unbranded product could command, further increasing the profit per unit.  »

« By placing it in the correct context, we finally accept that yes, marketing is a cost, but we can also assert that it is a key driver of profit in the business. »

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