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Hasse Jansen, 10 Nov '16

How to Create Marketing Accountability

Creating marketing accountability is key to making CEOs happy. Here are 5 steps to create accountability and realize favorable marketing ROI, consistently.

No CEO wants to be told that their investment in a marketing strategy was a gamble that came to nothing. What’s more, they don’t even want to be told it was a gamble… whatever the outcome happens to be. This is where marketing accountability comes in.

When profits and reputation are at stake, marketing goals need to be clearly defined. This is where marketing accountability is critical. When you take responsibility for achieving measurable gains across your marketing activities, you increase efficiency whilst also enhancing business value to both customers and stakeholders.

Steps to Implementing Marketing Accountability

Creating marketing accountability is an important process. But it is no different from any other process within your organization that sets out to achieve a specific objective. The issue with marketing is that ‘a specific objective’ is often missing, so streamlining the process that should help you achieve that (missing) objective rarely even crosses most marketers’ mind. But things are looking up.

Marketing accountability is rapidly gaining momentum across organizations looking to get the best return on their marketing investment. A study by IBM Unica revealed that establishing goals, measuring results and actioning data are still the top priorities for marketers today.

Not sure where to start? These five steps will help you to identify the gaps and failings in your marketing activities that could be damaging your business, and to establish a solid marketing accountability strategy for the future.

1. Audit your current strategy to identify data, alignment and process failings

Do you know your current state? It's time to draw a line in the sand and identify where you are right now. It establishes the baseline you need to identify the effectiveness of future improvements realized by orchestrating tools, processes, personnel and systems.

2. Keep marketing activities and business results in your line of sight

Many marketers carry out marketing activities with no clear goal in mind other than to ‘create some considerable buzz’ or to ‘produce X number of banners’. However, the path to profit isn't always so clear.

One approach is to use a mapping methodology that requires all scheduled tasks to contribute to a particular commercial goal, and for smaller commercial goals to contribute to one (or few) end goals.

3. Create a performance management and measurement framework

Once you have clearly defined your commercial marketing goals, you need to determine how you are going to measure your success along the way. At every stage of the journey towards a goal, you should be looking to add value.

Whether you are collecting data before beginning a new marketing campaign, analysing conversion data or carrying out split testing, each activity should be measurable and indicate the overall impact your activities are having on commercial goals.

4. Create strategic marketing accountability partnerships throughout your organization

CEOs and CFOs are increasingly becoming key partners in marketing accountability processes. After all, they have a vested interest in the outcome. Marketing accountability should not become just another "initiative," but a core business activity that is adopted throughout every department that has a touchpoint in your marketing strategy, e.g. sales, finance, IT, customer services, etc.

5. Review and test your technology stack regularly

Good marketing accountability relies on specialist technology designed to help you achieve your objectives and position your marketing strategy for success.

From website behavior and demographic data to cross-channel marketing and product engagement, the right tools in your tech stack will help you to collect and measure data effectively, helping your marketing dollars to go further and generate optimum results. Our research shows martech stacks consist of 18 tools on average.

Final Thoughts

Marketing accountability is all about establishing clarity and developing a disciplined approach to improving marketing performance. Without this clarity and discipline, people can become overwhelmed, their focus is lost and targets are missed or never defined in the first place.

With the right processes in place, marketers can enhance customer and stakeholder value and give CEOs the good news they really want to hear.