The year 2002, I believe, will be remembered as the year "the bill finally came due." For a number of years, marketers have invested heavily in channel development and new marketing programs, from e-mail marketing to Web site personalization to call center contact strategy. In 2002, as heralded by the difficult end of 2001, executives finally heard the wake-up call and asked, "What are we getting for the marketing money we invested?"

The answers they received were frequently less than optimal. Difficulty in tracking investment results became unacceptable in many companies last year, which led executives to curtail non-trackable investments. Clearly the message was received that results were "in" (the sooner the better) and long, complex, ineffable programs were "out."

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