The relentless pressure to drive growth keeps marketing in the C-suite’s hot seat. In fact, CMOs have the shortest tenure in the room these days; but recently, things have taken a surprising turn for the worse as a growing number of CMOs find themselves without no seat at all.
Companies as wide-ranging as Coca-Cola, Hyatt, Uber, Johnson & Johnson and Taco Bell have pulled the seats out from under their CMOs and replaced them with chief growth officers or chief revenue officers. The reasons are as plain as the titles themselves: Businesses are seeking greater accountability for revenue and growth.
Exploring this trend and what marketers need to do to reverse it was the focus of a recent webinar and white paper by SmartBrief, sponsored by Keen Decision Systems, both titled, “A CMO’s Identity Crisis: How to Keep Your Seat at the Table.”
At the heart of the challenge sits this uncomfortable reality: Marketing spends $1 trillion a year…that generates just a 2% return.
If marketers want to remain relevant they must begin now doing a better job of generating and reporting on marketing’s financial contribution. Here are a few “how-to’s” from the SmartBrief reports:
How to Rebrand Marketing’s Role
Keen’s CEO Greg Dolan tells marketers to follow these four steps to begin repositioning marketing for success:
- Start with Your “Why.” The C-suite’s focus is on the top and bottom lines. Yet this year’s CMO Survey showed that more than half of marketers still rely on qualitative metrics to demonstrate value. Such metrics simply get lost in translation. Take steps now to create the capability to measure marketing’s financial contribution, not just on programs you’ve executed, but on the ones you’re evaluating for the future. Be sure you have the insights to know if, and by how much, your next marketing spend will drive growth.
- Value Decisions Over Data. With the deluge of big data marketers often find themselves valuing what they measure instead of measuring what they value. Make sure your metrics equip you to answer this essential question: “If I spend more on marketing what return can I expect in revenue, profitability or long-term value?”
- Leverage Technology Wisely — Why build what you can buy? In a burgeoning martech landscape that boasts more than 7,000 solutions and is growing every day, savvy marketers will seek to leverage available technology smartly to accelerate innovation and growth.
- Increase Probability of Success. If you’re only looking at your own historical data, you’re not getting the full picture you need to make the best decisions going forward. A recent ClickZ survey showed that 99% of marketers who use predictive analytics report lift of 10-50%. That’s a compelling, “how to keep your seat” hack if ever there was one.
The bottom line is that it is up to you to demonstrate definitively and confidently that your marketing budget is delivering a good return to the business compared to competing investments. Doing this requires the right metrics, generated by the right technologies (and the good news is that more options are available to you today than ever before), and a decision by you to accept accountability for driving and reporting marketing’s financial return to your company’s senior management.