Despite the sagging economy, many companies plan on investing in technology solutions to help them measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, according to a joint study by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). This technology will enable marketers to correlate their initiatives with business results.

Nearly half of the firms surveyed in the Forrester/ANA study plan to spend more than $750,000 this year on marketing automation applications. The biggest spenders include companies in the technology, healthcare, and travel industries. Marketers’ focus on measurement is a notable departure from the traditional focus of marketing automation technologies on customer relationship management, or CRM.

“Our survey of 113 ANA members revealed that marketers have their priorities in the right place,” said Jim Nail, senior analyst at Forrester. “More data, processing power, and analytical tools have emerged that allow marketers to monitor actual consumer behavior, not just attitudes. These tools also enable marketers to track effectiveness of media, promotion, and advertising programs, and stick only to initiatives with proven results.”

“In this competitive environment, marketers want to improve the efficiency of their advertising,” said Barbara Bacci Mirque, senior vice president of the ANA. “Our survey revealed that more companies will increase spending on marketing technology than plan to increase their advertising budgets next year.”

A full summary of the survey results, as well as recommendations for marketers, are available in the September 2002 Forrester Report “Mastering Marketing Measurement.” The report states that to create an effective measurement platform, marketers need to follow three guiding principles: 1) Identify key business, not communication, goals; 2) re-engineer data acquisition and analysis practices; and 3) model data and apply results to optimizing marketing performance and budget allocation.