Posted in Innovative Ideas, Marketing Programs, tagged Chris Halsall, demand generation, dialogue, integrated marketing management, Jim Lenskold, marketing, marketing accountability, marketing automation, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing performance, marketing technology, Michael Dunn, NPV, ROI on July 16, 2009|
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The prevailing wisdom in marketing today is that achieving the greatest levels of performance requires true, closed-loop, customer-level insight into the effectiveness of marketing programs. If you can see a detailed, causal chain through the complete demand-generation process and correlate steps and interactions in that chain to account-level customer spending, you can then analyze how various marketing activities contribute to final results. Further, if you can analyze your marketing at such a granular level, you can tie spending to specific outcomes and can continuously tune your overall marketing formula at all levels.
I’ve touched on this imperative in past blog posts. So no argument here. In fact, as a tenured marketer (and now as a team member at a marketing technology company), it’s exciting to look around and witness the rapid evolution in marketing technology that is moving us closer to this reality.
It also goes without saying that in this environment, plenty is written about the drive for marketing accountability.
Yet there is something subtle that gets missed and that I would argue should be the greater focus in the accountability dialogue. It is the inherent and holistic upside for marketers of having an accountability mindset – i.e., the positive transformation that results from embracing a new approach to marketing.
I call it the ‘halo effect’ of marketing accountability.
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Posted in Innovative Ideas, Marketing Programs, tagged Akin Arikan, CMO Council, David Raab, digital, innovation, Jim Lenskold, marketing, marketing automation, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing metrics, marketing organization, marketing ROI, marketing technology, NPV, Pat LaPointe, ROI, Sandy Carter, technology on May 28, 2009|
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I’ve been pretty heads-down over the past few weeks, analyzing the data and results from my graduate research and also working on my upcoming book. As I’ve dug into the data, there clearly are some self-evident themes emerging around marketers’ opportunities and challenges with adopting strategic marketing systems and technologies (which I will be covering on this blog in more depth over the coming weeks). One of the clearest themes is the great chasm that exists between aspiration and reality for marketers when it comes to marketing measurement and the analysis of marketing return on investment (ROI).
My research found that these topics are top of mind for marketers, and many state their organizations are already beginning to engage with analytics software. When asked about tactical/operational objectives for new technology deployments, measurement and ROI analysis are at the top. This is consistent with a new Lenskold Group / MarketSphere report, released this week. “Current economic conditions are putting pressures on marketers to better understand their marketing effectiveness as 8 in 10 marketers (79%) report that the need to measure, analyze and report marketing effectiveness is greater in 2009,” according to the press release for the report.
Yet my research found that the same marketers give their organizations low marks on analyzing performance and overwhelmingly comment that their organizations are ‘not aggressive’ when it comes to marketing technology investments. Aspirations are high, but the reality of investment in systems and technologies to deliver on the aspiration is low. This also was echoed by Lenskold/MarketSphere, which further commented in their release, “[B]udget pressures are evident with 6 out of 10 (59%) indicating that this higher demand for measuring marketing effectiveness is not budgeted for … .”
The reality is that marketers cannot get enough of systems and technology to tackle measurement and ROI analysis; they have barely scratched the surface. Far from solved, this is an issue that has only become more important and yet more complicated over time. Customer channels are exploding in number, and yet marketers are incapable of delivering measurement and ROI analysis that takes this new reality into consideration. “Buyers are multichannel beings. Buying cycles are cross-channel,” comments Akin Arikan in his recent book, Multichannel Marketing. “Yet online and offline marketers still perform their measurements of success in isolation.”
So what are marketers’ aspirations; where is the disconnect; what are their challenges; and what are potential strategies for overcoming these challenges?
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Posted in Brand Strategy, Innovative Ideas, Marketing Programs, tagged Bob Barker, CMO, CMO Council, CRM, dialogue, digital, innovation, John Quelch, John Rotheray, KPI, marketing, marketing execution management, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing metrics, marketing organization, marketing technology, Mike Pilcher, NPV, organizational change, ROI, Scott Brinker, technology, technology change on March 20, 2009|
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No member of the C-suite has a riskier or more-short-lived term than the chief marketing officer (CMO). The average tenure of a CMO at the ‘100 most advertised’ US brands is 28.4 months, according to recruiting firm Spencer Stuart in a recent Advertising Age column by John Quelch. In fact, as a marketer, few things are as much of a sure-fire, eventual career killer as being named CMO. Strange … you’d think that getting to the top of marketing hierarchy would be the pinnacle of one’s career.
The challenges faced by the CMO speak to many of the fundamental strategic problems underlying marketing organizations and marketing science today and that are linked to a permanent shift in power from brand-company to customer and to a proliferation of communication channels and information sources.
For CMOs to succeed they must sit at the top of a newly-agile marketing organization, built from the ground up with sophisticated, financially-savvy and technology-empowered closed-loop systems and processes in place that can scale, that can manage increasingly complex and customer-centric communication execution and that can provide necessary transparency into multi-channel program performance. And this transparency must provide other C-suite colleagues with the real-time status of key performance indicators (KPIs) and on the return on investment (ROI) of marketing programs in net present value (NPV) terms. “[F]inancial accountability of marketing is here to stay,” argues Quelch in the Advertising Age column. “[I]mproved accountability requires CMOs to be financially literate, to understand the balance sheet as well as the income-statement effects of marketing initiatives.”
Too often, though, such an organization does not exist. “Although the marketplace has changed beyond all recognition due to Web 2.0 and the explosion in digital – marketing technology and process have not kept up with the changes,” commented Bob Barker, VP of corporate marketing at Alterian, in a recent post on DM News.
The imperative for the CMO, thus, is to drive change.
And that change must be focused on building just such an organization. It is not sufficient to manage execution of the existing organization or to believe that your company is already ‘getting it right’ today. There is no room for complacency or incremental efforts. Marketing is a dynamic practice that keeps an organization in check with the dynamic needs of its customers and of the marketplace. CMOs must drive change because their organizations must constantly change to remain competitive – a fact that was validated in a recent CMO Council report, which noted “… 61% of respondents believe that marketing operational transformation will be an essential area of focus for them in the months ahead.”
So how do CMOs do this? And where should they focus their efforts to transform the marketing organization?
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