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Why do some people have to pee on an electric fence before they learn?

Will Rogers said, “There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading, the few who learn
by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”

IStock_000008142616SmallSo I ask, why do marketers, in spite of irrefutable evidence have to learn in the most painful way that there is a predictable return on investment for lead generation programs?

Some marketers run marketing programs without an attempt at an ROI and get burned when management wakes up and asks for them to prove the return on investment. And yet there is a plethora of information on how to prove the ROI.

(Image from iStockphoto.com)

Click here and see what Silverpop has to say in their white paper entitled: Show How Marketing Makes Money: A 5-Step Plan for Proving ROI

Not enough proof for you? Try reading “Ways to Prove the ROI for Sales Inquiries” from Go-To-Market Strategies. 

Want something about social media? Try these case studies: “10 case studies that prove the ROI ofSocial Media” from Lauren Fisher of Simply Zesty.

I especailly like the blog entry, “Proving ROI is Simple,” from Bob Rose from 2007. The information is very pertinent. Whilst commenting on why managers don’t measure the ROI Rose said, “There are two reasons for this. First, we're very, very scared of the answer we might get.”Read the second reason here.

These are just four examples of how quickly you can learn how to measure ROI, but I suspect the real issue is, as Bob Rose said, most marketers are afraid of the answer.

If we can learn measuring ROI by reading, there are plenty of sources to do this, learning by observation must be undertaken with courage and confidence, learning my peeing on the electric fence is more akin to being fired because you can’t prove the ROI. I wonder which is the least painful?


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