[photopress:apples___oranges.jpg,full,alignright]According to the CMO Council’s latest annual Marketing Outlook survey (via Marketing Charts), CMOs are upbeat about spend levels, which are supposed to stay steady or trend higher, and frustrated and stymied by organizational culture, senior management mindsets, and insufficient budgets.
According to the survey, more dollars are going towards the analytics side of the business and the use of more tangible and targeted forms of personal interaction, contextual communication and online demand generation.
When asked how they measured success of their marketing spend (well they were asked for return on marketing spend – more on that later), 20% of respondents said they were not measuring marketing ROIs, and 32% said they were planning to introduce a formal ROI tracking system.
The leading area of marketing dollar allocation – strategy & branding! Following that are events and trade shows, operations, direct marketing, sales support, online marketing, advertising, and market research.
The main reasons why marketers switch agencies – which was very frequently, with 41% who switched ad agencies – are:
- Lack of innovation
- No value-added thinking
- Poor creative
- Quality of work
- Results and deliverables
Duh – maybe all the interrupt-based stuff that they use is just not working anymore 🙂
Unfortunately, the increased focus on ROI will likely not be the expected savior that will return credibility to the marketing department. First off, ROI-driven companies are often focusing their measurements on transaction-based buying activities. In the long run, however, it is not the efficacy with which you can get one person to buy something once that counts, but rather the customer lifecycle value and the ongoing amplification in the form of word of mouth that goes along with a long term customer relation. ROI is also a trailing indicator, and as all financial services companies will tell you – past performance is not an indicator of future results. Lastly, and by measuring ROI on discreet processes (i.e., a specific lead generation campaign), which most companies who measure ROI do, companies are reducing marketing to a collection of simple linear processes, when in reality it is a complex multi-variable and non-linear system. So by oversimplifying marketing to make it measurable, many companies will actually break marketing more so than it already is.
Nowhere in the survey was there any mention of consumer generated content – somewhat of a surprise considering that fewer and fewer buyers make their buying decisions based on information coming from the vendors.