Chief Marketing Officers have one of the most precarious jobs in the C-suite. Today's CMOs are faced with challenges such as new channels of distribution, a 24/7 global economy, pressure to deliver identifiable ROI on their marketing spend, and the need to deal with rapidly evolving technologies that are leading to new marketing methods. Today, marketers must more efficiently and effectively segment their markets, attract new customers with continuity campaigns that cultivate engagement, support multiple channels of distribution with comprehensive materials aligned to the specific channel, identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and maximize the lifetime value of the customer.

Statistics provide further evidence of the pressure that CMOs are up against. According to Executive Search Firm Spencer Stuart, the average stay for a CMO is 23 months, and only one in ten CMOs keep their jobs for more than three years. The firm proclaimed, "Just because a marketer was successful in the 1980s (when image and bigger advertising ruled) does not mean that he or she will be a good fit today (when successful marketing requires a much more complete and integrated approach)."

Simply stated, CMOs in every organization are looking for support in some very specific areas:

  • Improving market reach
  • Acquiring an integrated view of the customer and the ability to use technology to learn more about customers
  • Compressing the campaign design-to-execution cycle to improve time to market (statements and transaction documents are typically sent out monthly, giving the CMO the opportunity to plan)
  • Leveraging low-cost electronic media such as the Web, e-mail, and SMS
  • Measuring results from marketing campaigns
  • Justifying marketing ROI

The CMO Council publishes an annual marketing outlook report that surveys CMOs. The Council reports that pressure to deliver on ROI metrics has given rise to a new breed of CMOs that are more focused on measurable performance and business results than ever before. In the survey, the majority of marketers reported that their top goal in 2007 was to quantify and measure the value of marketing programs and investments (43.8%). This was followed closely by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing organization (38.7%) and growing customer knowledge, insight, and dialogue (33.7%).

Transforming Marketing from Art to Science

Marketing has always been viewed as an "unexplainable art." The creative marketing process is not something that has lent itself to disciplined measurement and benchmarking. Despite the drive toward financial accountability in marketing, only 7% of senior-level financial executives surveyed reported being satisfied with their company's ability to measure marketing ROI, according to new survey findings released by Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) and Financial Executives International (FEI).

In contrast to the low level of satisfaction among financial executives, an April 2006 survey of senior-level marketers conducted by MMA and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) revealed that nearly one fourth (23%) of the marketers surveyed were satisfied with their company's ability to measure ROI. It also showed that a quarter of the marketers surveyed felt confident that they could forecast the impact of their marketing efforts on sales.

The message to be gleaned from these findings is that CMOs need to formally adopt processes and standards that can be tracked and measured quantitatively and communicated effectively to financial executives. The good news is that a number of software tools are emerging that will help marketers measure and systematically communicate the results of their efforts. According to the "Measures and Metrics Audit" published by the CMO Council, the most sought after data includes:

  1. Revenue
  2. Bookings
  3. Qualified leads
  4. Marketing program ROI
  5. Customer retention, loyalty, and satisfaction

Useful and meaningful metrics help marketers track how well their marketing objectives are being met. At this year's Graph Expo, software vendors are stepping up to the plate to help graphic communications services providers deliver multi-channel communications as well as comprehensive tracking mechanisms to achieve measurable results.

Graph Expo: The Bridge to Marketing Effectiveness

While the following list is not all-inclusive, there are a number of booths that you need to visit to develop your understanding of the types of campaign monitoring and tracking tools that are available to help you "Save the CMO."

Bluetree Direct Inc. (HP booth # 1229 Software Pavilion)

Bluetree Direct Inc. is currently re-branding under the moniker, "The Science of Marketing" – Solutions for Fact Based Decision-Making. Using Bluetree, all campaign results are recorded in real-time and can be viewed on a marketing dashboard for quick access. Users can access either a high level or detailed view of each campaign and response rates, as well as an activity summary. They can then analyze return on investment for every marketing dollar that is spent.

With Bluetree, consumers can also compare responses from various types of campaigns (print, e-mail, ad words, telesales, etc.), determine Web site hits versus actual Web form submissions, access a summary of responses per question or item measured, and view individual response detail. Consumers can use this information to assess the effectiveness of the campaign and to streamline their marketing efforts by target marketing to key areas that provide higher returns.

interlinkONE (Booth # 2497)

interlinkONE President John Foley stated, "For marketing metrics to be effective, they must be applied across the entire campaign spectrum, from start date to end date, from campaign budget to actual cost, from media types to data sources, and to the response methods used. To obtain the answers for your metrics, your marketing database must be tied to all elements of the marketing campaign."

interlinkONE will be demonstrating its metric measurement capabilities at Graph Expo, which include:

  • Response rate to media type (direct mail, e-mail, or banner ad)
  • Response rate to data source (Accudata, InfoUSA, or in-house list)
  • Response rate to response method (personalized URL, business response card, or 1 800 inbound)
  • Cost per lead
  • Lead follow-up
  • Hits per landing page and referral links (where they went after that)
  • Landing page "click aways" before conversion
  • Cost per sale (ROI)
  • Actual per campaign cost
  • Campaign to campaign
  • Product or service interest

MindfireInc (Booth # 4761)

MindFireInc Executive Vice President of Sales Joe Manos stated, "The LookWho'sClicking Campaign Dashboard was designed to present a clear and concise picture of campaign activity in real time." Through the dashboard marketers can:

  • See who is responding within seconds of the visit
  • Use up-to-date aggregate results for ROI calculations
  • Create graphical representations of results that update automatically
  • Improve sales lead effectiveness via automatically delivered lead e-mail messages
  • Gain immediate access to raw data for other corporate systems or processes

One of the new key product features is the ability to monitor open and bounce rates for all outbound e-mails to prospects, including invitational and automated follow-up e-mails. The responses from an e-mail campaign are reported along with those of other channels on the survey tab. This special e-mail report displays read/unread rates and bounce reasons for each type of e-mail.

PageFlex (Booth #4458)

According to Pageflex President and CEO Anna M. Chagnon, "Pageflex has learned about the importance of campaign measurement by talking directly with our customers. These conversations helped Pageflex gain an understanding of the demands that clients were placing on their marketing service providers for accountability. The marketing service providers were aware that they needed to offer their clients a range of details regarding the results of their marketing campaigns. Clearly, their needs had evolved -- they were producing more and more complex campaigns, and it was necessary to find a way to track their effectiveness."

For each marketing campaign, Pageflex generates a customized Web site for viewing the campaign metrics. Pageflex displays the results with easy-to-understand graphs that illustrate statistics such as how many people received an e-mail message, how many of them opened the message, and how many clicked the personalized URL that was provided. Pageflex enables customers to use this information for follow-up messaging. Likewise, users can view reports that reveal who failed to respond to each part of the campaign.

These campaign-tracking features are available with the Pageflex product and they enable consumers to track each aspect of their marketing campaigns, including print, e-mail, and personalized URLs. This level of detail affords marketing service providers and their clients a solid understanding of whether their marketing campaigns are effective and it helps them determine where they are getting the best return on their marketing investment.

XMPie (Booth # 4836)

XMPie is releasing version 4.0 of its software. This version provides a built-in, user managed, campaign-tracking module. The system is designed to record events (e.g., sending of a postcard, landing on a response Micro Site, etc.), the specific offers and images, and the recipients' responses to each event. According to XMPie President Jacob Aizikowitz, "In addition to the typically tracked information that is related to events, we also record the campaign-specific information per individual per event."

XMPie is augmenting its capability to track event history with the uProduce Marketing Console. The Marketing Console is a Web application that is integrated with the uProduce Server. It enables the graphic communications service provider or the marketing executive to view the campaign behavior, analyze it, refine targeting, and drive revised campaigns that are better targeted and more relevant, which will ultimately lead them to achieve much better results. The user of the Marketing Console has the option to use a subset of built-in classic reports or create custom reports that match their specific needs.

Aizikowitz stated, "Print service providers are constantly being bombarded with messages that tell them to become true marketing service providers. They all hear it and see various point solutions, but most of them, quite frankly, are puzzled about what they really need to offer. Now, with the tracking and Marketing Console from XMPie, they have tools to help them measure, monitor, and communicate value to the marketing executive."

So what's the role of the graphic communications service provider???

CMOs clearly view measurement metrics as a top priority, and it presents a significant challenge for the coming year. They are striving to make a science out of the art of marketing, and they are seeking the right set of partners to participate in "justifying marketing spend." Your ability to provide high-quality, accurate, and timely data on campaign performance can be a key differentiator for you and your business. It's time to "SAVE THE CMO."