Marketing Directors will still face an increasingly challenging environment in which to deliver ROI.
Having spent time over the years working with many Marketing Directors, I see two different types. In addition to the smart and the not so smart are the ones running ever faster just to stand still, and those aware that just doing more of the same simply isn’t working anymore.
You would think that with the ability to measure everything when you do online marketing, many companies would do so.
Not so say McKinsey consultants – while 91% of the marketing executives who participated in the McKinsey digital-advertising survey (06/08) reported that their companies were advertising online, 80% said that their companies allocate their media budgets by using subjective judgments or by repeating whatever they did the year before.
Amazingly 50% were using click-through rates to measure effectiveness of their online direct response ads. And only 30% considered the offline impact of online marketing.
Surprisingly (not), those who were measuring the impact of online marketing were more satisfied with digital marketing than those who did not, and 55% of them (compared to 43%) were cutting their spending in traditional media in order to increase their spending online.
It is amazing how many marketing departments are still not accountable for results…sigh…
What tends to differentiate them is their collaborative engagement with the key stakeholders from sales and the other key business functions. The always relevant “acid test” questions:
a) How do we sell more?
b) How do we fill the pipeline with quality leads?
c) How do we improve our conversion ratio?
d) How do we accelerate the sales-cycle?
Articulating everything they do in terms of the impact on the top or bottom line value to the business is the leader’s responsibility.
What the smart Marketing Directors do is ask the Sales VP where their best leads have come from in the past. Typically this is not from advertising, nor from direct mail, or events, but where leads have been referred from those movers and shakers in a particular marketplace. These are the people listened to by prospective customers because they’re respected, trusted and usually pretty independent. These leads enter the pipeline in the first place because the sales or business exec has a relationship with one of these influencers, or is in some way networked to them.
This doesn’t happen by accident. Most Sales VPs and CEOs of successful companies intuitively map out those key players who define their marketplace — the people most influential with their customers and potential prospects. They tap into their networks and existing relationships to source quality leads, create awareness and advocacy amongst the people that most matter — in a word, the Influencers.
But nobody’s network is endless and although this will produce significant initial results it will provide diminishing returns over time. Enter the smart Marketing Director who understands this and realizes that broadening and deepening the relationships with the current customers is the best and most effective ROI of all. That’s Influencer Marketing.