I read with great interest your story "CMOs losing influence at the executive table" (Oct. 11, Page 1).
Where I believe there is some difficulty in assigning accountability for the ROI of campaigns is that the marketing organization rarely has direct control over the function and quality of the sales process-the most significant influence on ROI.
Further, I've found that many CEO/COOs, especially in small-to-midsize technology companies, do not recognize the difficult-to-measure value of brand-related metrics. Revenue is easy to measure, understand and report back to the board. Too often metrics such as "loyalty"' are only viewed in terms of "repeat customer revenue" and not in terms of brand equity.
While the CMO Council's four recommended areas of measurement are truly foundational, they also represent an "ideal type." Many of the same C-level execs above would have difficulty thinking about justifying the potential additional expense of identifying and capturing the data needed to position metrics such as "market adoption rates, user attachment and affinity, loyalty and word-of-mouth."
I am curious about the experience of other technology marketers. Are there others who have been trying to be more scientific but run up against some of the same obstacles?
TMS Consulting Inc.
Smaller companies can be `Best,' too
You do a wonderful job in every issue, but I particularly enjoy the BtoB Best special issue (Oct. 25). It's great to see the heavy-hitter companies that do a stellar job. You also bring focus to the importance and excellent results of b-to-b marketing as a discipline (as we tend to get overshadowed by the b-to-c players).
Have you considered creating a special issue for innovative smaller b-to-b marketers? By doing so, I think that you'll inspire less-well-funded companies to do even better marketing.
Howard Friedman Associates
When I eagerly opened the Oct. 25 special issue, I found myself wondering who it was written for. Our clients' budgets run to the hundreds of thousands [of dollars] annually, or, if we're really lucky, up to a million or two. Everyone profiled is doing great work, but with resources most of us can only dream about. I'd love to see you consider a category for small-budget marketers that still achieve great results.
McClenahan Bruer Communications
While reading how top marketers with multi-multimillion-dollar budgets develop successful marketing programs is interesting, it is certainly not inspiring. I suspect you have numerous readers who, like me, work with numbers in the low-six-digits range, yet find a way to capture market share from the giants and build strong, viable, interesting businesses. That requires creativity-and from the marketer, not a high-paid agency. Now those stories would be inspiring (and of great practical use).