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The measure of success

By Fran Brosan, Chairman

With the UK downgrade conversations about the economic pressure on businesses have reared their heads again. In marketing circles the standard response is to say that it will put more and more pressure on marketers to prove the return on investment. That’s certainly backed up by our What Works Where in B2B Digital Marketing survey which shows ROI as the biggest challenge marketers face.

How come then that twice as many senior B2B marketers in 2012 (vs 2011) do not measure ROI and have no plans to start?

Two recent events have thrown some light on this – what are your thoughts?

The pressure on marketing teams to deliver is undoubtedly increasing, day in day out. Do more (as media continues to fragment exponentially) with less (money, resource, time). The result, as a group of agency leaders discussed in a recent industry meeting, is that clients and agencies simply fall over the finishing line, massively relieved to have got there at all. As one person put it, in a great phrase; ‘Out the door is good enough’. Similarly budget pressures mean that there’s no time to research or plan properly; if senior management approves it – out it goes.

This is bonkers. Marketing is not about doing what the senior management of a company thinks it should be doing (no matter how good they are), but listening to what the customer actually thinks and wants and aligning the company behind that objective. Which means planning, strategy, thinking, time. All of which are in short supply. Why does it matter? Well, the risks of getting it wrong are considerable. A totally brilliant session run by the Account Planning Group showed there is a direct correlation between the actual value of a company and its perceived value. Taking the time to get it right (that’s the planning, strategy, thinking etc) means that you create something which drives shareholder value up.

If you don’t take the time you simply get something that gets out the door.

Which is, perhaps, why it’s not worth measuring.

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