When Leapfrog Marketing Institute's CMO Benchmark Survey showed that 93% of CMOs were under pressure to deliver measurable return on investment, I wasn't necessarily surprised. I was sympathetic though.
Sure, on its face, it’s not shocking that an enterprise is on the hook to show ROIs across departments, but it is markedly more difficult for marketers to show returns than sales or IT.
However, that vast number - over nine in ten marketers who are expected to deliver measurable ROI - offers a glimpse into a struggle we can all recognize when we attempt to quantify results: internal silos, limited expertise with technological solutions, and skeptical executives who are looking for the quick fix.
The pressure to present results is maddening, but what complicates matters is the fact that so few companies even have the ability or data to deliver those results. If you're expected to show return on investment but you're faced with those silos, a lack of technology and impatient executives, you're left spinning plates and crossing your fingers.
No matter the industry, preference management not only paves the way for a modern omnichannel approach, but it also forces silos to break down and provides quantifiable data. Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication is an initiative that can be rolled out slowly, allowing early stages to prove the ROI before expanding to additional touchpoints.
Because preference management is built from consumer opt-ins, the initial data is already positive – indicating which customers are ready to start a conversation with your brand. Moreover, additional data will continue to enhance the relationship by establishing preferences stated by the consumer himself.
So sure, proving marketing ROI is difficult when you have few tools, but so is breaking down silos and impressing both executives and customers. No need to cross your fingers with preference management - the how is step-by-step and the why is ROI.
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.
Labels: CMOs, data, marketers, marketing ROI, omnichannel, preference management, ROI