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Chief Marketing Officers: Demand to be Measured!

There is plenty of popular press today about the lack of quantitative metrics in marketing departments. In a recent study of senior marketing executives, nearly 31% rely mostly on qualitative measures, about 24% consider some basic quantitative measurement, and 23% base their decisions on the previous year’s performance without tying that to any specific business objectives.

An additional study by executive recruiter Spencer Stuart shows that the average chief marketing officer at 100 leading consumer companies hangs in at the position for just over two years—about 26.8 months to be exact.

Are these two data points related? Is there some link between effectively measuring your performance and tenure? Compare the above finding to perhaps the most measured individual in the “C-suite” – the CFO.

The CFO is responsible for reporting the financial results for the organization including regulatory, tax and compliance filings. A CFO will not survive unless he or she utilizes robust quantitative analysis and can communicate quantitative metrics to audiences that range from the most sophisticated (e.g., Wall Street, S.E.C., etc.) to the most simple (e.g., mom and pop shareholders, reporters). And the tenure of CFO’s? The average tenure of CFOs in the top 500 companies is now 4.1 years, almost double their CMO counterparts.

What is a CMO to do? They can continue to measure marketing in terms that are relevant within the confines of their departments and agency partners. Or CMOs can broaden and deepen their organization’s quantitative skills and demand to be measured. Without taking a stance on measuring the value of marketing and the hard-dollar returns, marketing will continue to be viewed as a cost center – spending millions on advertising campaigns without a clear return – instead of the organization’s engine for acquiring and expanding customer relationships and generating revenue.
How is your marketing department being measured? How are you working with the CFO and finance department to make sure the appropriate metrics are in place?

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