Marketing Accountability


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At the recent Forrester Customer Experience Forum, Principal Analyst Dave Frankland spoke about the four tenets of breakthrough marketing accountability: organizational alignment, cross-functional business processes, value-based metrics, and communicating results. In addition to these core components, here there are some other things which are also critical to establishing marketing accountability:

1. Use Incremental Rather than Gross Measurement

Marketers are much more credible when they embrace the discipline of incremental measurement.  This requires (where possible) using statistics to design “control groups” which do not receive the marketing stimulus in question.  In that way it is possible to isolate and measure the impact of that specific stimulus.  This is not common practice, but should be.  The reality is that measurement is most commonly in “gross” terms –producing results which do not break out what would have happened absent that marketing stimulus.  This leads to inflated results which some marketers think look great but which in reality erodes their credibility with internal business partners.

2. Define Success in Advance, Not After the Fact

When planning any kind of marketing investment, define the standards and threshold for success before you execute the initiative.  Too often marketers are guilty of spending money and then trying to justify it after the fact.  That just diminishes trust in their numbers and in their motives.

3. Communicate Using Metrics the Rest of the Business Can Relate To

If you talk only in marketing-speak, then you risk being relegated to a second class corporate citizen who appears unwilling to be held to the same hard metrics that other teams have to sign up for.

4. Walk The Walk

Demonstrate accountability by killing failing programs and promoting continuous improvement.
If you want to demonstrate accountability then you have to show that you will live by the results of objective measurement.  In other words you have to be willing to make the tough decisions that the numbers dictate.  That may require you to kill failing programs and challenge received wisdom, but being willing to do so is essential to your credibility as a marketer.

5. Embrace Analysis, Don’t Try to Kill It

This will sound sinister but I see it happening all the time – marketers not liking the analysis presented to them because it does not fit with or convey their desired outcome.  So they push back.  They challenge the methodology.  Or they “shoot the messenger” by throwing their reporting and measurement colleagues under the nearest bus.  To be accountable you must be willing to be measured objectively and to live with the results.

6. Get Buy-in on Shared Results

If you feel that by launching a marketing initiative you can positively impact the results of another group – say, field sales – then work with the management team of that group to agree on the type and magnitude of that impact.  Otherwise you risk making claims on behalf of others that may have no basis in reality and that will not be believed.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Niall Budds
Niall Budds is Director of Client Management at Quaero, a CSG Solution. Niall delivers client relationship management and advances the Quaero Solutions Group capabilities and intellectual capital in marketing operations. He applies best practice techniques and technologies to deliver continuous improvement in marketing performance.


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