Rethinking ROI: The New Marketing Metrics

Rethinking ROI: The New Marketing Metrics

Marketing’s measure of success is often boiled down to a single metric: Return on Investment (ROI). However, recent research commissioned by Iterable and conducted by Wakefield Research, and published by Ad Age, suggests a shift in how marketers perceive ROI from investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI in Marketing ROI

Efficiency and Customer Relations: The New ROI Drivers

Unlike traditional views that align ROI directly with financial gain, today’s marketers are increasingly valuing efficiency and improved customer relations as primary indicators of ROI in AI initiatives. The study reveals that 51% of marketers define ROI through the lens of efficiency gains, underscoring AI’s role in streamlining operations and enhancing productivity. Furthermore, 50% of marketers connect ROI with the improvement of customer relationships, highlighting the potential of AI to personalize customer interactions and allow for deeper connections.

Data Analysis and Forecasting: Enhancing Decision Making

While financial gains are still significant, with 46% of marketers linking ROI to improved financial outcomes, there’s a noticeable shift towards valuing the strategic advantages of AI beyond direct monetary returns. Additionally, 42% of marketers see the value of AI in providing accurate forecasting, which can be pivotal in strategic decision-making.

Marketers’ Adoption and Attitudes Towards AI

With 91% of surveyed marketers already using AI technologies, the perception of AI as a transformative force rather than just a tool is gaining traction, yet only 37% see it as an essential skill they must master, despite widespread concern about keeping up with technological advancements.

The Future of AI in Marketing: Opportunities and Challenges

This shift in perspective is not just theoretical. Marketers report that AI contributes to better job performance and operational efficiency. Most believe AI opens doors to new positions rather than replacing jobs, with 69% viewing AI as a creator of opportunities.

The shift in ROI measurement underscores a broader transition in marketing—from a purely financial focus to a multi-dimensional strategy that includes efficiency, customer relationships, and data-driven decision-making. As AI technologies continue to advance, their role in reshaping marketing strategies and defining new success metrics will undoubtedly expand, offering both challenges and opportunities for marketers aiming to stay ahead in their fields.

About the Data: The results are based on a September 2023 survey of 1,200 marketers.

For help infusing AI into your workflows, schedule a call or email Lori Berson at

BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. AI use cases and client list.



Most Important Marketing Tactics Contributing to Campaign Performance [Report]

Most Important Marketing Tactics Contributing to Campaign Performance [Report]

Almost 2,000 marketers around the world were asked by Nielsen to rank the order of importance of a variety of marketing tactics from most important (1) to least important (9) when considering the contribution to campaign performance.

Marketing Tactics Influencing Campaign Performance

The results of Nielsen’s 5th Global Annual Marketing Report indicate that audience targeting came out on top, with an average rank of 4.1. Following closely was a grouping of ad creative, audience reach, and data quality, each with an average rank of 4.2.

Rounding out the top 5 was personalization (average rank of 4.6), ahead of path-to-purchase message sequencing (5), AI/machine learning (5.1), and publisher placement (5.3).

Almost 5 years ago Nielsen released a report which found that at least for CPG campaigns, creative (quality/messaging) had a far greater contribution to sales lift from advertising than did reach or targeting. A more recent survey from Westwood One and Advertiser Perceptions, however, revealed that marketers and agencies believed that targeting was a bigger driver of sales than creative or reach.

One factor unique to this latest survey is data quality. Only about 1 in 4 (26% of) survey respondents strongly agree that they have access to the quality audience data they need to get the most out of their media budget, though it’s true that an additional 45% somewhat agree that they do. This is supported by recent research from Ascend2, in which only 1 in 3 respondents said that the quality of their data allowed them to make effective decisions on where to spend marketing and/or sales resources, though another 55% somewhat agreed.

More than 1 in 3 of the Nielsen survey respondents report the following to be extremely or very difficult: data access (36%); identity resolution (36%); actionable data insights (36%); data accuracy/quality (35%); and data scale (34%). An additional third or so find these topics to be moderately difficult.

About the Data: The results are based on an online survey conducted December 2, 2021-January 1, 2022 among 1,943 global marketing professionals at or above the manager level, working with annual marketing budgets of at least $1 million. Respondents were from the auto, financial services, FMCG, technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, travel, tourism, and retail industries.

Need assistance with your marketing strategies? Schedule a call or email Lori Berson at

BersonDeanStevens has been a recognized brand strategy and marketing leader for over 25 years, including over a decade in marketing and sales automation. We work in partnership with you to differentiate your brand and achieve your business goals. Client list.