The Book, What Sticks, Why most of the Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours succeeds by Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart, says that a CMO tenure is getting shorter every year. His career, not due to stress from business, as a Chief Marketing Officer, is an average of 2 years.
Not a good thought for aspiring marketing professionals.
Increasingly, CFO and CEO are professionals with Finance background, and therefore the approach towards marketing has changed. Marketing needs to be more accountable (read predictable) and linked to balance sheet to forecast figures to the shareholders. Marketing effectiveness or Marketing ROI is the buzzword, each dollar spends needs to be accountable and marketing more scientific and metrics driven.
Hmm so there is an important question does a good Marketing ROI bring Marketing Effectiveness? Does linking Marketing to finance create the robust marketing environment, on which CMOs can jump to be CEO and be business drivers? The answer doesn’t lie so much in semantics and formula equation. It requires the understanding of what does what.
I was reading an article- “Marketing Effectiveness. It’s more than ROI” by Gordon Wyner, EVP Milward Brown. Great article which helps to define Marketing effectiveness. He states the following as the limitations of ROI…
1. ROI has two important components “R”, and “I”, Investments. Both should have proper definition and we know that the reality is otherwise. And even when “R” & “I” can be pinned down precisely, there would still be some decision that will have to be made, such as strategic decisions, macro environment impact.
2. Segmentations is one of the three pillar of marketing. The segmentation decision is extremely important and should be financially driven. However, measures of current use, purchase, revenue, and profit can always predict the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer.
3. It is very difficult to predict the consumer behavior change, new trends and extract the financial implication.
4. Product Designs can defy ROI calculations for several reasons. And as such only manufacturing cost can be determined.
Even if we best approximate the ROI, one won’t be able to deduce the whys was the ROI bad. An ROI analysis that focuses only on the end result would report a financial failure, but will not shed light on why it happened.
The concept of ROI is straight forward. Whether expresses as a percentage of investment or as NPV (Net Present Value) of cash flows overtime, ROI is an important component of the overall process of linking marketing to Finance. But it is not a substitute for a great understanding of how marketing works to achieve business objectives.
Financial Results is not what you see on the Balance sheet/Powerpoint presentation but in the field and it is that moment of truth that decides the result.
Maybe more CMOs need to go out in the war zone, where the real battle of share is and not just appreciate a good presentation in his swank cabin. Maybe this moment of truth will help them fight the battle harder!