Around the executive table, marketing has traditionally had the hardest time proving their value. The correlation between marketing investment and revenue impact has often been fuzzy.
This is particularly true for consumer marketing. When a shopper picks up a particular bottle of shampoo in the grocery aisle, how much of that decision was influenced by marketing? How much of that decision related to years of brand investment, how much to the latest ad, how much to the recent packaging redesign, how much to the placement on shelf, how much to the in-store sales promotion? There are a lot of factors that go into any purchase. How much related to a brand-building message, and how much direct-response? Which tactics should get the credit, and therefore more investment in the future?
Even with online transactions, it can be fuzzy. Credit has often been attributed to the last ad a customer clicked on or the last keyword searched rather than all of the activities that may have played a part.
Data can be a marketer’s best friend. Marketing tools are getting better and marketers are gaining better access to data to guide decisions. We can see more detail in the customer journey. But the onus is on marketers to lead with data (without being led by data), as in this cartoon from a few months ago.
In many ways there has never been a better time to work in marketing. But marketing has to earn its seat at the table. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to navigate this.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)