Category

CMO

3 Marketing Tips to Deliver ROI Accountability

a hand with pencil on a calculator - ROI

For marketing teams everywhere, the name of the game is ROI. From budget to revenue to cost reduction, no figure reflects a CMO’s performance in the eyes of the C-Suite more than the return on investment. The best organizations don’t leave ROI to chance. In fact, they plan for it by building ROI accountability directly into their marketing plans. That’s according to Amy Gallo at Harvard Business Review, who explains that with discipline and foresight, marketing teams can give their ROI accountability a head start for the coming quarters.

Here are the top three tips for ROI accountability in marketing.

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Create a Single Point of Truth for Marketing Inventory and Resources

Taking stock of the assets, inventory, and resources at your disposal is a critical first step towards ROI accountability. Especially in larger organizations, this can be a challenge. With multiple vendors, distributors, delivery timelines, invoices, warehouses, and more, just getting a clear understanding of what’s at your fingertips can give even the bravest CMO pause.

Gallo goes further, explaining that for many organizations, it simply makes more sense to outsource this business process to an expert. “Recognize areas where it may be more cost effective to partner with an agency rather than trying to bootstrap a solution on your own,” she says. Think of this exercise as a sort of audit for your marketing procurement process. If you can’t see and understand every link in the supply chain, you simply cannot identify areas prime for optimization and cost reduction.

Build a Marketing Schedule That Sticks

Time can make fools of us all, but it doesn’t have to for your marketing organization. That’s why it’s so important to plan, establish, and stick to a schedule. Your team should do this upfront, before solidifying your strategy for the quarter.

“Set clear milestones and deadlines for each [asset]… We recommend scheduling team check-ins in advance around deadlines for key deliverables,” Gallo explains. Not only do these check-ins keep everyone accountable, but they help ensure that every member of your team knows what is expected of them and when, and gives them proactive opportunities to push back against unattainable deadlines.

But anyone can make a schedule. Sticking to it is the real key. In modern marketing, customer demands shift nearly every week. The ability to adhere to strict timelines helps guarantee that your marketing operations remain flexible, on-message, and poised to capitalize in a timely manner on any new development or opportunity. As noted above, business process outsourcing (BPO) for the procurement of physical marketing materials can help build this schedule. With experience and best practices around timelines and delivery, a trusted partner can provide both realistic deadlines and baked-in reporting, so visibility and accountability remain top priorities for your organization.

marketing management

Focus on Your Marketing Activities that Matter

This is another area where BPO can be hugely beneficial. Outsourcing generally provides higher ROI by applying expert talent, best practices, and buying power to your marketing operations, not only improving the effectiveness of your marketing materials, but also significantly lowering the costs of each procurement.

The C-Suite wants to see the bottom line. “Connect your marketing activities to ROI by tracking the path from strategy to tactic,” Gallo says. “Show how each step helps build a program that leads to a shared business goal.” Looping in a trusted partner can secure that bottom line, take unnecessary work off your already-full plate, and help ensure that marketing hits every one of the targets it outlines. With the support of the leadership team, marketing is free to aggressively pursue every opportunity.

Smart marketing teams always build ROI accountability directly into their marketing plans. By partnering with NVISION to optimize your marketing procurement and operations, you can stick to the plan.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Characteristics of Transformational CMOs of Tomorrow

back of a man with arms crossed - transformational cmo

One of the most significant challenges facing modern CMOs and marketers is how rapidly the marketing industry changes. Between new technology, new customer demands, and new cultural trends, it’s more important than ever that CMOs keep their brands positioned for rapid success. That’s why Bob Van Rossum at Business2Community.com spoke with some of the top marketing recruiters in the industry and has put together what he believes are some of the key characteristics of “the transformational CMO of tomorrow,” the type of marketing leader that is equipped to lead his or her brand into the future.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most important characteristics.

Focus and Understanding of the Buyer’s Journey

For many brands, the sales cycle is a long and protracted one. For others, the intricacies of the marketing supply chain – from the creative team’s demands to the CFO’s strict budget requirements – make for extremely complex marketing operations. Either way, as the buyer’s journey becomes longer and features more distinct “moments,” transformational CMOs must be ready.

As Van Rossum says, “We look for leaders that are capable of understanding the various pain points a consumer may encounter during the customer journey. By truly understanding the buyer’s journey, CMOs are better able to drive engagement and growth.”

And that doesn’t just mean knowing which marketing materials will resonate best at each stage. It also means planning ahead and enabling an agile and responsive marketing supply chain that can quickly adapt and react, allowing the brand to capitalize on each moment of the buyer’s journey. Transformational CMOs will be sure to work with partners who enable this responsiveness and success.

be the change - brand activism

Creating Emotional Connections to the Brand

In increasingly crowded markets, it’s no longer enough to simply offer a superior product. Transformational CMOs must use their marketing materials to create a meaningful, lasting, emotional connection with their customers. “A strong brand goes far beyond a memorable logo or slogan…it needs to be immersed in every element and strategic move of your organization to make a true impact,” Van Rossum says.

Developing these connections between your brand and your customers requires both a close examination and an intricate understanding, of changing customer demands and cultural trends. But capitalizing on them, and using them to create lasting, deep bonds with your brand requires agile and responsive marketing operations. When an opportunity arises, your marketing logistics should be simple and fast enough to seize on it before your competition does, and execute on it in a way that keeps costs low and ROI high.

Foster an Agile Mindset

Transformational CMOs must be familiar with what Van Rossum calls “lean and agile” methodologies. “Lean and agile methodologies have transformed other industries, and have a great potential to improve practices within the marketing space,” he says. A lean mindset is one that helps brands maximize customer value (which should always stay top priority) while optimizing for a specific desired outcome. An agile mindset, on the other hand, helps your marketing efforts adapt in real time as you keep your customers the central focus in building effective solutions.

To this end, partnering with a marketing supply chain and logistics partner can take much of the burden of searching for ways to stay lean and agile off of the CMO themselves. By working with an expert whose business is keeping costs low and production time short, CMOs can foster this transformational attitude in all areas of their operations, saving time and preparing for changing definitions of success.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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What Smart CMOs Are Focusing On in 2018: Gartner

2018 has already been a big year for CMOs. Between advantageous new U.S. business tax laws and the growth of multi-channel marketing, many brands and CMOs are tackling new opportunities, as well as new challenges. That’s according to Chris Pemberton at Gartner, who shares several of the key lessons and takeaways that the research and advisory company has identified for CMOs in 2018. 

Let’s take a look at some of the major trends and opportunities facing CMOs this year, and how to position your marketing department for success!

Man holding tablet with icons popping out - CMO

Marketing Budgets Tied to Results

According to Gartner, 75% of CMOs in the “Leaders” category expect their marketing budgets to increase in 2018. That’s despite the fact that Gartner reported that marketing budget growth stalled in 2017. The reason? 70% of CMOs who expect their budgets to increase predict those increases will help support advanced marketing analytics and customer intelligence.

It is due primarily to a growing need for more concrete marketing KPIs and metrics that more closely tie into the organization’s business goals. Things like conversion rates and MQLs/SQLs will be key for CMOs to prove their impact and justify their budgets. CMOs should prioritize revenue attribution and strategic partnerships that feature robust analytics and results tracking.

Marketing Technology (Martech) Grows in Importance

Gartner also found that marketing technology (martech) will grow in both strategic value and budget expenditure, among leading CMOs in 2018. According to the firm, far more of their designated “Leaders” than “Laggards” are leveraging martech, with 26% of the latter claiming they are not effectively acquiring or using it, compared to just 16% of the formerFurther, more than twice as many Leaders (65%) as Laggards (31%) plan to increase martech spending this year.

It is primarily due to several factors. Organizations that are rapidly growing need the scalability that martech automation provides. Plus, the efficiencies in both cost and time that martech offers deliver greater attributable revenue and profit, the ultimate goal of CMOs everywhere. CMOs should perform skills assessments and technology audits to determine whether an increased investment in martech is right for their organization.

three female shoppers-retail

Increased Focus on the Entire Customer Journey

From acquisition to retention to growth, leading CMOs understand that the customer’s journey is a long one, with the need for specific and personalized marketing materials that capture and resonate with the customer each step of the way. According to Gartner, leading CMOs emphasize analytics in all aspects of their marketing operations, from supply chain to ultimate asset performance, to measure the customer’s journey.

This attention to detail allows savvy CMOs to anticipate and prepare ahead of time for what marketing materials and activities they will need, and equips them to be ultra-responsive to shifting customer demands and requirements. It is this understanding of the customer journey as a long and changing one that will set successful CMOs and organizations apart from those playing catch-up.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Emerging Challenges Facing CMOs in 2018

Man pointing finger on the marketing materials on the desk in the meeting

As Summer 2018 approaches and brands are preparing to make their marketing pushes to capitalize on the summer spending season, it’s not just sunscreen and cook-outs on the minds of marketers. That’s according to Emily Cross at the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), who explains that there are five (5) main areas where CMOs are facing new challenges, exactly what potential dangers those challenges pose, and how savvy marketers can overcome them. So let’s take a look at some of the challenges CMOs are facing in 2018, and how smart brands are dealing with them.

Digital Transparency: the Real Numbers

Digital is the hot word on the lips of CMOs right now. Omnichannel expansion and the Internet of Things are revolutionizing how marketers target and reach their audiences. But there are some pitfalls with digital as well. Namely, that ROI and revenue can be much more difficult to attribute with digital versus print. That’s why WARC says that most brands cite “digital measurement” and transparency as the number one issue in their marketing plans. In fact, 30% of those polled expect to cut their digital spend in 2018 if these issues aren’t alleviated.

So, how can smart CMOs protect themselves and their brands?

  • Take proactive steps to minimize risk
  • Prioritize ad visibility over duration
  • Explore more traditional channels

Customer Experience: Superior and Competitive

In increasingly crowded marketplaces, more and more brands are setting themselves apart by delivering a superior, highly personalized customer experience. And the reasons are obvious. Modern consumers will actually give preference to brands that offer them personalized experiences. In fact, 80% of consumers state they are more likely to engage with a brand if it offers personalized customer experiences, and customers will shop 3x as frequently if it provides experiences personalized to them. That’s why, according to WARC, 53% of brands will prioritize CX in their marketing strategy for 2018.

So, how can CMOs position themselves to compete – and win – on the customer experience?

  • Understand CX is a whole customer journey, not one touchpoint
  • Structure teams, operations, and supply chains to execute
  • Use data intelligently to create a full view of the customer
brand idea poster - onsite services

Defining Your Brand Purpose

Everyone is searching for a purpose in life. But according to WARC, many brands are, too. As the lines between politics, world events, and marketing continue to blur thanks in part to social media, many CMOs are seeing purpose-driven advertisements as a powerful way to associate their brand with issues that matter to their customers, winning their loyalty.

Which explains why WARC reports a 300% increase in purpose-driven ads from the top 100 global brands in the last five years. But when purpose-driven marketing misses the mark, its backlash can be loud and damaging. Authenticity is key.

So, how can CMOs leverage their brand purpose wisely?

  • Keep it rooted in your brand’s current, actual values
  • Support long-term brand building and customer loyalty
  • Respond rapidly to popular trends; don’t wait too long and miss them

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE