I read with considerable interest your column on accountability (" `Accountability,' the CMO's watchword," Nov. 8, page 8) .
I'd like to suggest that you consider another angle to the dilemma CMOs face in their battle to become more accountable. While there are lots of measurement tools (most inference-based) out there that CMOs can use, most do not address what we think is a very core issue: the ability to track offline advertising in our digital world. John Wanamaker's "I know I'm wasting half my ad budget..." quote needs to be updated for 2004 and beyond: "I know I'm getting half my orders on the Web; I just don't know where they are coming from."
We believe CMOs need to measure where Web activity is coming from because it is essential to measuring their marketing programs. If you can't determine, for example, that an automobile TV spot produced 1,000 Web visits, and 382 requested to be contacted by dealers, 453 downloaded a brochure and the balance did nothing, then how can you possibly develop meaningful marketing measurement metrics? 99.999% of all ads today have generic, untrackable Web URLs in them.
Marketers of all kinds are pushing people to visit their sites, for many valid reasons. But unless they use a tracking system that can tie back Web activity (leads, orders, pages visited, shopping cart abandons, etc.) to a specific media placement, they don't seem to have a good handle on how prospects and customers are behaving.
Chief Marketing Officer
St. Petersburg, Fla.
I am gobsmacked to read the quotes from CMOs at GE and E&Y. "We must be ready to be held accountable" and "We must align our efforts with the business" ("Marketing accountability demands increase," Nov. 8, page 4).
What have these "top professionals" been doing up to now? All marketing is measurable, if you want to measure it. CMOs have had their collective heads in the sand long enough. If the program doesn't produce a defined return, then you shouldn't execute it.
Marketing is not selling and selling is not marketing, but marketing feeds sales. There is no quibbling about that.
If the program cannot be tied to a metric that has tangible value to the business, then it is a dalliance and not a valuable initiative. Measure it or don't do it.
John K. Thompson
Marketing Sciences Inc.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Cracks in Vertical Insight report
In your "Vertical Insight: Construction" article (Nov. 8, page 17) , we noted several obvious omissions concerning McGraw-Hill Construction, the leading information and intelligence provider to the design and construction industry for over 100 years.
First, there was no mention of The Construction Outlook, a mainstay of business planning for the design and construction industry since 1929. Indeed, our statistics and forecasts are used by many public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and even divisions of the U.S. government.
Second, there were also omissions in the directory that accompanied the article. It left out our award-winning Web site, www.construction.com, the most popular and trafficked commercial construction industry Web site, receiving more than 25.6 million page impressions in 2004 alone, and more than 750,000 monthly visitors. It also omitted several of our publications, including Design-Build and our 12 regional publications. Further, the two publications that were noted, ENR and Architectural Record, were noted as being published by the McGraw-Hill Cos., as opposed to the correct source, McGraw-Hill Construction.
Third, there was no mention of our many global, regional and special-interest conferences.
Finally, marketers also have the opportunity to use the McGraw-Hill Construction Network, our Web-based information solution that provides 24/7 access to the industry's most comprehensive project database: more than 600,000 projects valued at over $1.7 trillion in the U.S.
Norbert. W. Young