The differences in marketing (that maybe you don't realize)
There are two sectors of marketing for arguments sake. The first is direct marketing. There's a lot of testing involved, number crunching where people want to see a direct ROI. This may look like for every 100 emails you send you can expect a response rate of x%. Key words for this are response rate, conversion, A/B testing.
In the internet world, if you primarily talk about list size, affiliates and JV deals, this is typically a sign you come from the direct marketing side of the fence.
You want a direct connection to the consumer and seek leverage and influence through the belief that a certain amount of touches (the amount of times you reach out to the consumer) will lead to a predictable response.
The catalogs you get from unknown companies from snail mail, post cards from local dance studios and emails that tell you about the big 4th of July sale are all examples of direct mail.
They have a goal and they need to be able to measure success. Pretty for pretty sake holds minimal weight.
The second sector is brand marketing.
Brand marketing is aimed at creating a feeling, a story and appearing big and generous. Sponsorships, cool commercials, high level events are all examples of brand marketing.
ROI cannot be measured over the short-term.