Merging of the minds - the topic of marketing accountability

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I recently had the pleasure of moderating a panel focusing on the top of Marketing Operations, which included Kim Collins of Gartner, Cedrick Shelly of State Farm Insurance, and Stephan Nobs of SAS.

This panel was extremely timely as we move into the coming year and hear so much about the topic of marketing accountability. Fortunately for SAS, we are poised to help customers tackle issues they may face around marketing accountability, operations and other marketing process related topics with a lot of the marketing operations solutions that we provide.

So let me touch on a few key points that were made during the session:

Optimizing the marketing fulfillment process leads to greater marketing accountability.

We began the session talking about Gartner’s five competencies of MRM – Planning and Financial Management, Creative Production Management, Reporting and Analytics, Marketing Asset Management, Marketing Fulfillment. While all of these competencies are important, one question posed to Gartner's Collins was this – “Which competencies will experience the most future growth and why?” The discussion headed directly towards the marketing fulfillment competency.

The key message we heard was that optimizing the process of marketing fulfillment – that is the processes necessary to receive, service, track, and fulfill requests by the marketing department – will lead to a more accountable marketing organization. If we can track the marketing process at a more granular level – using visual workflow and approvals – we can hold parties and resources more accountable to the creative process. If we can track financials associated with marketing fulfillment and understand those financial implications – we can hold marketing more accountable to the funds they are spending from creation through to consumption. If we can manage how marketing assets are being used, versioned, and distributed – we become a more accountable marketing organization.

Consolidation of systems and processes simplifies the marketing accountability process.

We next moved to the topic of key business issues solved by organization having better marketing operations and accountability processes in place. As one might imagine – the initial answer – marketers realize greater marketing efficiency and effectiveness by system consolidation.

One key point mentioned here was that there are a lot of entry points for MRM style solutions – ways that marketing resource or marketing operations initiatives can be introduced to the marketing organization. Whether it be through multi-channel marketing solutions (we have campaign management in place, but need to track at a more granular level associated financials and workflows), resource planning projects (we need to get a better hold on how and where our creative assets are being used), or even financial planning overhauls (we need to more effectively track ROMI) – more organizations are focusing on addressing disparate marketing systems.

StateFarm's Shelly commented that it’s really about understanding what systems are currently in place, how you can match the best players to those systems, and then realize results from consolidating those systems effectively.

Marketing accountability will spur new SoLoMo initiatives in 2014.

We then moved on to discuss how the topic of marketing accountability will affect organizational initiatives in 2014. Kim Collins expects vendors to focus from an R and D perspectives on enhancing the following MRM capabilities:

• More social collaboration embedded within Marketing Operations processes
• Mobile access (to do simple tasks such as approvals)
• Overhaul of marketing calendars – to make them more interactive
• Marketing workflows will become more flexible – to include additional data (such as location based)

Focusing on these new initiatives will give marketers the ability to do more with their marketing operations solutions. Having more insight into marketing processes and more information about those processes will help to create a better marketing mix at the end of the day, commented SAS's Nobs.

So we can leave it at this - as CMOs and CIOs become more aligned, marketing operations will allow for quicker speed to market, more effective marketing processes, better control of marketing budgets and spend, and ultimately better marketing accountability within organizations.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

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This panel discussion took place at the 2013 SAS Customer Connection for Customer Intelligence event for our customers.

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About Author

Jonathan Moran

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Senior Product Marketing Manager focusing on the SAS Customer Intelligence Solutions. Over 10 years experience in the Customer Intelligence industry. Very interested in the rise of social, the profitability of customers, and best practice retention strategies. Love talking sports, family, and music!

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