Scottsdale, Ariz.—“You have to determine what it's worth to give marketing a dollar, because marketing is either part of the solution or a cost center.”
That view of marketing accountability came from Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions' service director, at the company's Summit 2011 here. She spoke on Wednesday, along with SiriusDecisions Managing Director John Neeson, on driving marketing accountability through better alignment with sales.
The duo outlined five trends that will inform marketing's accountability in the future.
“The first trend is investing in online channels; that's the key to success,” Heuer said. “Companies tell us they're investing 25% to 30% of their marketing decisions in online options, but how wisely is this being done?”
“And if this is a trend,” Neeson asked, “why aren't companies investing more in online marketing?”
A second trend is the accelerating dominance of content in support of marketing objectives, Heuer said. “The quality of your content is the key to how you'll be perceived online and how trusted you'll be,” she said.
Neeson echoed the dominant theme of the conference—the need for marketing to be intimately involved in sales enablement—citing it as a third trend to watch. “Today, 30% of marketing programs is about sales enablement, so investing further down the pipeline becomes critical,” he said.
The final two trends the two cited were the increasing importance of marketing technology and the central role played by strong data. “What is the cost of a bad record?” Heuer asked. “If one bad record gets into your database and you look to fix it at the point of entry, that will cost you $1. But if it lives there for a year and you market to it, it will cost you $100 to fix it and another $100 in lost opportunities at the end of the year.”
The presenters conducted a poll of the approximately 400 attendees at the session on which of these trends currently has the biggest impact on their work. Developing strong, compelling content led the pack as the most pressing issue for attendees.