By: Barbara Bacci Mirque
We have all heard the credo – those who increase share of voice in a down economy when others are cutting theirs – reap long term benefits. We have the case studies to verify that. At the ANA we believe wholeheartedly that marketing leads to superior financial performance and is a growth driver for the firm. But what do you do when your boss comes into your office and says we either have to cut staff or cut the marketing budget? How are you going to make the right choices that will have minimal impact on your business?
If you have a marketing accountability program in place, those decisions will not be as difficult. In the six years that the ANA has been studying this issue, there has been a marked increase in marketing accountability tools and processes.The ANA has documented best practices that marketers can undertake to begin an accountability effort.
- First and foremost, work with a cross functional team that includes finance, so there is broad based input and ownership.
- Be sure your CEO is a champion of your efforts – my guess is that this could be the year to gain that sponsorship if it has been lacking in the past!
- Align your brand metrics with the strategic and financial metrics of senior management.
- Identify required and available data sources and review data gaps and issues to develop solutions and if needed, work around strategies.
A well structured marketing accountability program can enable marketers to back up their gut instincts with fact and add rigor to the marketing department. To learn more about how to start or improve marketing accountability in your organization, ANA members can access the ANA Marketing Insights Center resources at http://www.ana.net/michome2/micktshow/10. Non members can read the top line report from our sixth annual ANA/MMA Marketing Accountability Survey at the ANA website at http://www.ana.net/news/content/1282.