If you’re looking for a silver lining for the marketing industry concerning the current global health crisis, it is that there will be a change for the better once we all surface from the lockdown and adjust to our new reality.
The current pressure on advertising is unprecedented, and there has been a significant softening in ad dollars globally and across all channels. Performance channels are likely to be the only ones that may escape a decline indicating that channels associated with ‘brand building’ are some of the first to be cut. Now, there are numerous articles discussing how brands who invest through a recession come out stronger on the other side, however, I can only imagine a collective response of dissent across the industry. The reality is that most clients allocate marketing budgets on a simple sales to advertising ratio and this has been the case since the dawn of brands. The need for immediate returns and a clear line of sight on what is working and what is not, is pivotal now more than ever.
With average CMO tenures drastically reducing over the past ten years, there’s no doubt that these executives will be feeling increased pressure for immediate performance and return on investment from any marketing efforts they are undertaking. That tenure is less than half that of a CEO, which averages 7.2 years compared to a CMO’s 3.6 years.
I empathize with them due to the increase of siloed technologies and the challenges with connecting first-party data across their organizations. Marketers often get a fractured view of their audience and struggle to gain timely insights. That means interactions fall short and investments fail to pay off. However, I would add that many will have themselves to blame. Let me explain…
We believe it is incredibly important to have senior client stakeholders who want to partner with us to implement and manage leading-edge Martech and Adtech stacks, have a clear strategy around Identity Resolution for people-based marketing and recognize the value of putting in place a robust measurement framework. I would emphasize to many brands and CMO’s that it’s an ideal time to consider how they are structured in tough financial times. It is crucial, therefore, to be critical when assessing the following:
1. Do you have the right mix of talent to address the challenges?
2. Are you structured in the right way to accelerate that transformation across your organization?
3. Do you have the right external partner(s) with the right expertise to support that transformation?
4. Are they doing everything they can in terms of addressable media in tough financial times in a scaled and compliant way?
With this mindset, it’s a huge benefit to partner with like-minded brands and clients. Having flexible platforms that power applications and services to provide marketers with a holistic understanding of their audience and campaigns enables them to create truly relevant brand experiences that connect with the right consumers.
So why should you care? When we emerge from this tough climate, this way of thinking should accelerate, and brands will no longer accept the ‘spray and pray’ approach. Marketing should be seen as a key driver for growth, meaning that metrics and performance must be measured in a way that moves away from media metrics to true business outcomes and sales.
In summary, it’s critical you fully understand your customers, are able to connect to your audience at scale and can measure the business impact from every investment you make. Focusing on these key performance indicators will position you at the forefront of your organization.