Creative folks often appear afraid of accountability in marketing: like a playful cat, they fear bean counting will hamper their play. As Jennifer Zeszut of Beckon puts it “We marketers spend our time and money executing in channels, and all those activity metrics mean nothing to the business. Marketing leaders are looking for strategic metrics, diagnostic measures and aggregate performance trends.”
However, in my experience, accountability helps great creative projects shine. In companies from Diageo and Coke to Proctor & Gamble and Unilever, marketers track how their campaigns move consumers’ hearts and minds – and ultimately wallets. Yes, Old Spice’s “The Man your man could smell like” got excellent TV ratings and millions of views and tweets, but it also doubled sales. How much more business did Turkish Airlines get for its (supposedly) successful ‘Ice cream’ spot with Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant, racking up 105 M Youtube views? Did it even measure how the campaign moved opinion and feelings about the company in its target markets?
How do you bring home the bacon in your organization, where data seem to be everywhere and nowhere? Out this week, my book (www.notsizedata.com) gives tips and case studies of small and large companies in Asia, Europe and America pulling together the right data to improve their marketing decisions. Last week, I started consulting a company that contacted me months before they are executing a campaign, to make sure the right measurement is in place for evaluating different creatives during and after their push. I was impressed – like a medical doctor, I am typically called in afterwards to provide a campaign autopsy. The company has a proud history of including measurement and business goals in any marketing proposal, and rewards creative managers and agencies whose ideas have been shown to drive performance.
So what have we learned? Help your creative cats bring home the bacon: link their actions to company goals, think early about the measurement, collect the right data, and then your bean counter (or I ) can analyze and translate into actionable insights. Maybe the campaign made a big splash in certain media but not in others, for certain segments but not others. The question then becomes: how can we scale it up to reach new segments through appropriate channels? Maybe the campaign spent too little on creative and way too much on broadcasting, annoying consumers with over-exposure (as I experience every day in Turkey). Shifting money around helps you develop better content, avoid annoying consumers AND saves resources your company can use to develop better products, lower prices and pay more to its employees and stakeholders. Ain’t that the sweetest thing?
Here’s to the ART AND SCIENCE of marketing!