bottom line, Chief Marketing Officer, Lifetime value of the cutsomer, LTV, Markeing ROI, Marketing Effectivemess, marketing performance, Net Present Value, ROI Marketing, segmentation

How Long Does a CMO Live?

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!


expedia, Personalisation, phocuswright travel conference, segmentation, targeting

S T P (?)

I came across this inspiring note by Norm Rose, the 26 years travel industry veteran. His blog is compendium of interesting articles on travel technology, emerging trends and latest happenings. In this particular article, Mr Norm has covered Expedia’s new approach (basis Dara Khosrowshahi’s address at PhocusWright conference, Nov 2007). This might not sound rocket science but pretty much what we have always been discussing about. Though written in Nov 2007, but is still valid..

Expedia has 3 focus areas…

> Email: Make it more focused and targeted. Email has tremendous potential of upsell opportunity

> Segmentation: content based segmentation. Premium groups, no cancellation/change fees or other services

> Search Experience/Personalisation: New algorithm will send people to a specific hotel property, therefore increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Thus Expedia’s leap from being impersonal to a more personalised interaction. I saw lot of Amazon in their approach, emailing, algorithm, personalisation etc. You can read his full article here.

As an emarketer, I’m sure most of us have always been smitten with the Google bug, Search Optimisation Search Engine Marketing other display related communication to reach out to our target consumer (talk about segmentation, targeting and positioning). I’m also sure that very few of us would have looked internally, at our own database, our own consumers and found effective ways of marketing.

Banking folks are a great example and market according to clusters lifetime value etc (alas, they might be around for long). However, the other service industry players such as travel and retail e commerce still have to long way to go.

Truly, in the context of e-Marketing, the three pillars of marketing strategy- Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP, as we call it) has a new P- Personalisation. Practicing this formula on Search (whether SEO or SEM) is relatively easy. All we need to do is to marry the keyword (read as search intent) to the product offering. But, what Expedia is talking about is the next level. This will marry the customer level data (from CRM) to the content to enhance conversion. And we don’t have to look elsewhere, but our own data and integrate this to deliver the lasting consumer engagement. I’m reminded of a scene from minority report, where Tom Cruise, while walking in a mall is offered a proposition basis his Retina scan.

Sounds very simple, eh! But who cares, as long as, we have Google 🙂


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