A rather depressing read for client-side marketers this week as we discover from the Fournaise Group that most CEOs have a rather low regard for their marketing departments. It seems, that for all the talk of big data, marketing by dashboard, the hybrid CMO/CTO, there’s still the perception that marketing doesn’t, well how do I put this politely, deliver. And as a result, CEOs have given up on expecting them to. Of course the idea of the ivory tower marketing team, waltzing in from their latest agency lunch, waving a few mood boards and promising that changing the color of the packaging will make the consumers flock, is nothing new. “What has marketing ever done for me” used to be the favorite line of one sales VP I worked with. (Answer – as I’m proud to say I converted this particular sceptic - quite a lot, but I digress). In fact we’ve discussed here before but perhaps it’s time to revisit and propose three golden rules that will ensure the CEO re-engages with the marketing team and that the marketing team is engaged with the business.
- Embrace the objective. For many marketing functions there exists what I would call the objective gap. You understand (providing the CEO hasn’t really left you in your bubble) the business targets and KPIs. But you don’t translate them efficiently into the marketing layer then there is instant disconnect. Each campaign, each activity needs to tie to that overall objective. Stratify your strategy and come closer to the business. Fuzziness isn’t going to work anymore. Saying that social media is good because you’re listening more to customers – if it doesn’t show in customer retention metrics, you’re not going to be convincing.
- Metrics mean business. Measurement in the digital world is impossible to avoid. You’re surrounded by analytics tools, by reporting, by insight. You can crossover platforms. But don’t measure without thinking about the why. When you launch your campaign, whether it’s digital, broadcast, traditional print, or any other sort of creative reach, ensure that the metrics you’ll see will support the information that will show whether you’re reaching those business KPIs in point 1. Lots of charts look nice, they fill out the meeting time, but if they don’t show what you need to know…and ultimately ROI is the one line that every business head is keen to view. Don’t forget the old data-information-knowledge transformation – you need to know how these results will make you act next time. Take actions from your metrics, moving to knowledge about your function, your customers and your business and the hearts and flowers will be a step closer.
- Customers are closer if you know their behaviors. Whatever your business, whether it’s focused on consumers or b2b, whether you sell direct or through channels, you have to get closer to your customers if you want to know what’s going to make them buy again, or people like them buy for the first time. If, like many, you’re using your CRM systems as a glorified spreadsheet, vow to make more sense of your customer data. Spot the trends, increase the interactions, make the social CRM a reality.