Your CMO Guide to Improving Marketing Accountability

Your CMO Guide to Improving Marketing Accountability

Your CMO Guide to Improving Marketing Accountability 1240 520 Eveline Smet

Marketing is an aspect of business operations that is under pressure to make the most for the brand. In the board room, leaders have an interest in marketing accountability. They want assurance that money invested in marketing is producing long-term profitable growth.


The pressure on marketing accountability becomes intense during tough economic times. As such, this topic is becoming more relevant even in good economic times.

Marketing has to respond through continuous improvements in performance. It also calls for disciplined planning and rigorous evaluation. Marketing should be able to link the cause and effect of investments. When it’s objective, it’s easy to diagnose performance problems in good times.

What Is Marketing Accountability?

For marketing to be effective, it must use the right tools and content. This is where marketing accountability comes in. It aims at optimizing the ratio of investment against output or efficiency.

Marketing accountability is the measuring and monitoring of the commitment to deliver results. Marketing organizations are accountable to both strategic and financial initiatives. In examining the ROI, the marketing function addresses the economic component.

Some examples of being accountable include measuring marketing commitment. This aims to increase customer value and market share. Both are important in helping align marketing objectives with the outcomes of business.

This helps to link marketing to the financial performance of the company.

Many companies are investing in marketing accountability initiatives. Unfortunately, their approaches are too narrow, hence diminishing the expected impact. There are value levels you must activate to achieve effective and sustainable effort.

1. Creating Specific and Attainable Goals

It’s not uncommon for businesses to develop intangible goals. For example, they want to increase their marketing sales and bring in more sales. The problem lies in not setting specific goals.

Working with numbers is essential. Ensure you specify the percentages that you consider a measure of success. For example, you could determine that you want to raise sales by 20% over the next five months.

You could also target to increase new signups to your mailing list by 10% in the next month.

Setting measurable goals gives you a way to test your level of success. It also provides a benchmarking tool for the team to check their performance.

2. Strategic Content

To have a strategic foundation in inbound marketing, create compelling and engaging messaging that should be appropriate for the medium in which you’ll display it. Messaging in this context refers to the creative copy, taglines, visuals, and sound.

They form the greater part of your content or communication platform. The best content platform is one that combines strategic insight and creative expression. It strives to connect the insights authentically and compellingly.

You can fuel creativity in content creation by pursuing independent and competitive paths. Creative ideas come from the most unlikely sources. They can originate from individuals, teams, or through crowdsourcing.

After achieving creativity, companies should strive to test the message before implementation. You can’t risk presenting your audience with a message that doesn’t meet their needs.

3. Choice of Marketing Vehicles

Marketing doesn’t end at content creation. Next, the team has to decide the kind of marketing vehicles to use. The choice of marketing vehicles determines the effectiveness of delivery against the strategy.

The alternatives are essential because they determine whether you meet the messaging objectives.  

The messaging instruments must come directly from the communication objectives. Well-informed choices enable the message to reach the target audience promptly and cost-effectively.

One factor that influences your decision is consumer interaction. Consider how they respond to the medium you choose, as well as the costs and benefits. Making the wrong choices can blow off your efforts to achieve marketing accountability. There’s the risk of failure when the vehicles of communication don’t match with the goals of marketing.

All the vehicles of communication chosen should be well integrated. This means they must perform seamlessly to deliver the marketing campaign to consumers. Ongoing and consistent dialogue increases the impact of your advertising.

4. Watching the Right Metrics

Social media marketing is great, but apart from the likes and followings, what else is your business gaining? Are they contributing to the success and ROI of your business? Think about your blog.

It could be receiving a lot of visitors daily, but the rate of conversion could be low. All these are indicative of vanity metrics. It means that everything looks great on paper, but doesn’t contribute to business success.

Some of the useful metrics you need to watch are the number of lead conversions. Analyze how many customers are moving through the sales funnel. How easy or hard is it for the business to bring in new customers?

Define the useful metrics and work on making them thrive. As you define the parameters, ensure you have the right tools to make the metrics work. For example, is your website scalable to support massive traffic spike during promotions?

You also should consider having analytics software. This is to help measure traffic, check the pages, and evaluate search terms. With the right set of tools, the marketing team can do more while being able to report the same.

5. Engaging the Leadership Team

It’s imperative that the extended teams in finance, sales, IT, and service provide their input. Forming strategic partnerships with departments is crucial in creating initiatives for business success. One of the critical actions is building performance management.

Department heads can lead the discussions about metrics and performance management. They can also take the initiative to develop consistent measurements for value creation. IT staff can create and maintain the infrastructure necessary for performance management.

Remember that marketing accountability is a crucial component of performance management. When the teams work together, they build alliances for the marketing management journey.

6. Solid Business Strategy

Having a strategic foundation for your business is critical. The strategy you apply sets up a series of choices that determine value creation. It influences the overall marketing objectives, derived from the corporate business strategy.

Business strategy is also essential for differentiation and brand positioning. Any erroneous assumptions in these issues can undermine the effectiveness of marketing. You can avoid this pitfall with a transparent and disciplined approach.

Transparency is about keeping all stakeholders informed. They should know the facts, beliefs, data, and assumptions on individual decisions. This helps develop a shared view of the marketing strategy.

The approach relies on analytical and conceptual techniques that are well-understood. These include target group identification, positioning, pathway modeling, customer segmentation, and brand equity. The combination of these approaches develops a strategic value proposition.

Teams should translate the medium to long-term strategies into short-term marketing objectives. In defining the goals for the next marketing period, consider the existing communication barriers. The need to increase awareness and keep existing customers should determine the path to follow.

7. Choosing Investment Levels

After choosing a marketing vehicle, place it on the investment level that yields the most ROI. This should be relative to the other available investment alternatives. In choosing an investment level, you must diagnose whether it’s too high or too low to yield the expected ROI.

You need to define the exact boundaries of the investment. This is difficult, but some solid empirical foundations can back up your decision. One approach is the incremental approach.

It starts with the current investment level, where you investigate the impact of an additional investment unit. Determine how the unit would over-proportionately increase the benefit. Alternatively, you can investigate whether the removal of one investment unit would produce an under-proportional impact.

By using both approaches, you’ll better understand how your investment levels impact your ROI. Remember that these calculations are based on assumptions.

The assumptions can gain a new shift within a short time. Everything from the target group to competitive activities can have an impact on ROI. Even as you work on an assumption-based plan, make the evaluation as objective as possible.

This is the only way that you’ll build a pool of KPIs. They’ll be useful in helping you plan and evaluate your future investments with accuracy.

8. In-Market Execution

Your business can be adversely affected if you don’t get the implementation process right. For example, the development of great content isn’t enough if its implementation is wrong. It can only meet its objectives if its implementation is successful.

To plan for proper in-market execution, you must make crucial decisions around the media mix. One critical preliminary is a crystal-clear team briefing. At this stage, too many errors are made.

They can only be eliminated through a deeper understanding of the implementation strategy. The team also needs to be clear about the target group, vehicle mix, and message. They can then work on aligning the implementation strategy.

For enhanced effectiveness, consider including a marketing performance bonus in the contract. This instrument ensures the partners make alignment a priority. It also increases marketing accountability.

The bonus system works best if based on how well the campaign meets the objectives of marketing. For example, does it increase specific attributes of marketing? Besides, check to see that the objectives are dependent on the implementation strategy.

9. Fixed Cost Management

For a company to realize the benefits of marketing accountability, it must focus on cost efficiency. Management of fixed costs almost always yields better results. There’s a need to pay attention to the marketing production costs for the various programs.

Fixed costs depend on the mix of marketing programs. Since they take up a given percentage of costs, they’re a considerable basis for cost optimization. Fixed cost management call for pragmatic thinking from the procurement department.

It all starts by understanding the ratio of working and non-working expenditure. This must also be accompanied by the consistent implementation of strategic sourcing principles. Specific strategies include continuous price negotiations and streamlining suppliers.

Importance of Marketing Accountability

Companies want to remain competitive in the rapidly changing market. As such, they should take advantage of the benefits of marketing accountability. These include:

1) Connecting Marketing Investment and Enterprise Value

Studies from financial markets show a significant relationship between marketing and enterprise value. Marketing investment and activity contribute to enterprise value by as much as 50%. This is possible through proper customer, brand, and digital asset valuation.

The impact of marketing performance, perceptions of innovation, and collaboration should be measured

2) Building Competencies

Marketers who are keen about marketing accountability achieve better ROIs. They also have higher levels of growth performance than those who don’t. They’re developing competencies to leverage marketing services, systems, and data.

3) More Value Creation

Every organization can take immediate steps to maximize their marketing efforts. In so doing, they can generate profitable growth by improving accountability.

Improving marketing efficiency should be a priority for every business. Without the necessary resources, marketers will continue to struggle. They can’t get the real value out of their marketing efforts.

When accountability is a priority, there’s a remarkable difference in your e-commerce business.

Final Thoughts

Marketing strategies become more effective when teams are held accountable. Creating marketing accountability is not a one-day thing. It calls for the input of the various groups within the organization.

Some of the strategies for creating accountability include creating strategic content. Marketing is not only about communication. It requires specificity and creativity. It’s also essential to choose the appropriate channels to have the message delivered.

Accountability is also an observation of the right metrics. Ensure your business employs the correct tools in monitoring the effects of marketing. For a strong foundation, use the right business strategy right from the beginning.

Creating an accountability strategy is a lot of work. Yet, the benefits you derive from having it are worth the process. It helps build more competencies and increase value creation. It’s also the bridge that connects marketing investments and enterprise value.

If you’d like to engage in marketing accountability but don’t know how, be sure to contact us at any time. At The Growth Agency, we’re a team of scientific marketers that use data-driven marketing to help you attain your business goals.