Proving the business value of marketing is getting harder, Dave Frankland principal analyst, customer intelligence, noted during his presentation at Forrester Research's Customer Experience Forum 2010. Numerous challenges affect this. Channel proliferation, for example, makes attribution more difficult. Some marketers have difficulty gaining agreement on a definition of marketing accountability; others say that measure marketing ROI is tricky.
Frankland cited four areas--alignment, process, metrics, and communication--that lead to breakthrough accountability in marketing.Organizational alignment
Frankland advised having a customer intelligence command center. This improves alignment by informing business decisions through data that's centralized. Achieving this requires the right people, like marketing technologists, scientists, and practitioners; a culture of customer advocacy; and technologies like customer analytics, marketing automation, and marketing measurement.
Cross-functional business processes
Accountable organizations collaborate across campaigns, Frankland said. Senior executives, marketers, and IT, for example, should each have a role in the different aspects of campaigns that relate to their area of expertise.
Companies should measure such customer-focused metrics as loyalty (e.g., share of wallet), engagement (e.g., NPS), acquisition (e.g., cost of acquisition by channel), and retention (e.g., customer lifetime value).
Standardizing communication methods build trust and commitment. Provide executives with a top-line summary in a dashboard, for example. Furnish the CMO and marketing strategists with an enterprisewide marketing dashboard and summarized reports. And offer line-of-business leaders self-service or automated reporting.