One of the biggest problems when it comes to marketing is the lack of accountability. If you look at other areas of a corporation there is rarely a department or area where a person cannot account for everything that happens including where all the finances go. They can also show the direct relationship between a particular action and the success or failure of that action.
Marketing however is different. While positive results can be and often are generated it is rarely the case where the results can be directly linked to a particular action. This is because marketing lacks the metrics and standards, in other words, the units or ways to measure action to result. There is no way to measure success or failure based on a particular aspect of a marketing plan and more importantly there is no way to predict the success of a particular tool, strategy or plan when it comes to marketing.
In part this is not because markets cannot decide on what type of unit to use to measure, they cannot even decide what exactly it is they are attempting to measure. It is common for as much as a quarter of a company’s income to go towards marketing. With that in mind, you must have a plan in action that creates some level of accountability when it comes to finances and marketing.
Generally the only way to measure the success of marketing is through financial means. However, while marketing may use standards of measurement to claiming a successful operation there has been very little done to define what qualifies as success for marketing. As an increasing amount of companies have increased the marketing budgets in an effort to draw in an ever increasing number of clients the need for justification and tracking has become more of a necessity. In turn this has started to move marketing out of the inherently creative and necessary evil categories and into more traditional business positions with more traditional and understandable standards.
Standards of quality leads are necessary in any aspect of business. It helps to maintain a consistent level of production that is predictable and effective. Having a standard that is defined in clear terms is essential in allowing you to make long-term plans.
Here are a few of the things that standardizing and establishing units of measurements can do :
- It can help to allow for more effective use of resources, improve the ability to predict results and provide an increase in the ability analyze and plan for what if situations, which often occur in marketing.
- It can also allow for the investment return to be asset. This allows a business to create a financial balance, which provides an increase in the overall benefit of marketing to the company.
These are some of the benefits as well as some of the problems that have arisen when it comes to creating accountability within the marketing industry. As a result the question then becomes how to create the standards necessary to eliminate the problems and increase the benefits.
This has created a resulting standard of measuring marketing success by cash flow in after campaign reports. Many people do not realize how frequently standards are taken for granted or how difficult it can be to create them. In order to create a recognized and consistent standard, which can allow for market accountability there must be first, a link between the marketing action and a financial return.
This link must be set up and held to the definitions of financial return, risk, the cost and value of capital and money. These are industry standards and help to provide a stable point of reference to from which to work. It is also important to create an accurate way of forecasting. In marketing this is best done through retrospection.
Retrospection uses previous marketing data to exemplify success by example. Standards of accountability must be able to recognize both short term and long-term outcomes when it comes to cause and effect in marketing actions and that these may not necessarily be consistent. In regards to financial returns accountability must include standards for the total return on investment as well as marginal returns on investment.
Accountability standards for marketing must also include recognition of the following facts, different products and markets will produces different results, the ability to distinguish between the outcome and the effort put in to achieve that outcome is a necessity. Information must be comparable and meaningful for all related industries, clear definitions, of purpose, scope and form in regards to accountability measurements must be laid out, documentation is necessary, standards must be validated, and that accountability standards and their development is a necessary investment.
These are the issues, problems, difficulties and benefits as well as guidelines for creating accountability in regards to marketing. These are not limited to a particular industry or market. Accountability and quality standards are demanded in all areas of business considering the portion of a company’s budget that can be allotted to marketing it is time for marketing departments and firms to be held accountable.
I personally believe that you must make SIMS accountable for the amount of money you are spending for their done for you system. If they are charging you $4,000 to train your virtual workers, in that light, the amount of leads should be phenomenal. Lets see…