COI proposes common approach to evaluating campaigns

The Central Office of Information (COI) is proposing the adoption of a common approach to measuring the financial benefit of public sector marketing campaigns at a time when pressure to cut Government spending on marketing and communication is growing.

Mark Lund

The COI aims to boost the financial effectiveness and efficiency of campaigns by introducing a series of universal definitions and a 10-step process to help Government marketers determine the financial benefit delivered by campaigns and the Return on Marketing Investment.

The COI says that there are currently inconsistencies in the methodology and approach to evaluation, adding “there should be at least common, and, at best, universal, practice across Government”.

“Done well, analysis of these measures can be used to not only better demonstrate the role of communication in helping deliver successful policy objectives, but also the real value to the taxpayer,” it adds.

COI spending was lambasted by The Conservative Party in June after it was revealed that investment in marketing and communications increased 43% year on year to £540m in 2008/09.

The Tories have vowed to cut spending if the party wins the next election, while some observers have suggested that the Government could review COI spending in a bid to reduce the deficit.

Mark Lund, chief executive of the COI, says of the proposals: “At a time of great pressure on public finances it is right to be looking closely at how communicators measure the benefits of what they achieve for what cost.”

The COI says it hopes the document, which was development with Les Binet and Sarah Carter from DDB, will become “the definitive guide” on the issue for public sector marketers.

The proposals are subject to consultation and the deadline for comments to the COI is 6 January.

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