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Formal marketing accountability programs are becoming an accepted business practice among marketers, but dissatisfaction about marketing measurement and internal marketing accountability processes is rampant, according to a new study from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

Though almost all surveyed companies (92%) have created some type of marketing accountability process, the study found a lack of consistency in how those processes are managed and which departments are responsible:

  • Informal/grass roots efforts (24%)
  • Marketing department exclusively (31%)
  • Cross functional management – marketing, IT, finance (20%)
  • Marketing and finance only (17%)

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(All charts courtesy of the ANA. The full survey is scheduled to be unveiled during the ANA Marketing Accountability Forum on September 10, in Palm Beach, Florida.)

The following are additional findings from the 2007 ANA/MMA Marketing Accountability Study:

General Dissatisfaction

The study indicated noticeable dissatisfaction with marketing accountability among more than half of marketing executives, including regarding the following issues:

  • Dissatisfaction with marketing ROI measurements (42% – up 7 percentage points)
  • Lack of marketing ROI definitions (45% – up 20 percentage points)
  • Poor organizational response to marketing ROI data (48% – up 16 percentage points)

The study also found that the relationship between marketing and finance still lacks strength and consistency – particularly when attempting to establish metrics and methodologies for measuring marketing ROI:

  • Most marketers (61%) indicated “some” cooperation between marketing and finance.
  • Only 22% indicated full cooperation.
  • About half of respondents said that the marketing and finance departments don’t speak with one voice or share common metrics.

ana-marketing-accountability-finance-marketing-relationship.jpg

Tracking ROI

Only 55% of respondents said their marketing ROI goals were closely aligned with their company’s overall corporate goals, and half (51%) said there were no written goals for marketing ROI in their organizations.

The metrics most commonly used to measure marketing effectiveness:

  • Changes in brand awareness (81%)
  • Changes in market share (79%)
  • Changes in consumer attitude toward the brand (73%)
  • Changes in purchase intent (59%)
  • Return on objective (36%)
  • Lifetime customer value (23%)
  • Changes in the financial value of brand equity (20%).

ana-marketing-accountability-metric-importance-measuring-branding-effectiveness.jpg

Effective measurement is still an issue for ANA marketers as evidenced by the dichotomy between what companies are measuring and what they feel is most important to measure, the ANA said: Though 70% of respondents said “return on objective” was an important measure, only 36% were using that as a tool for measurement.

About the study: Conducted in July 2007, these findings are from the fourth annual ANA/MMA Marketing Accountability study. The survey was distributed online, in partnership with Guideline Research, and surveyed over 200 senior-level marketers/ANA members. The 2007 ANA Marketing Accountability Committee, formerly a task force, is composed of 57 ANA member companies, including IBM, Coca-Cola. Microsoft, ING, and Nestle USA.

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