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Ashley Zeckman

Are You A Guilty Marketer? Opening Keynote at #SESCHI by Mikel Chertudi of Adobe

By Ashley Zeckman     B2B, B2C, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies

mikel chertudi keynote SES ChicagoMikel Chertudi, Senior Director, Global Media & Demand Marketing at Adobe Systems, presented Tuesday morning’s opening keynote at SES Chicago. The goal of his presentation was to take a deep dive into:

  • How the value of what marketers do is often viewed incorrectly
  • Mistakes that many marketers are guilty of
  • What questions marketers should ask themselves in order to invest marketing dollars appropriately

Changing the Marketing Conversation
Often times, as marketers we talk too tactically

Many marketers today still refer to marketing dollars as “spend”, “budgets”, or “cost centers”. One of the things that Chertudi urges online marketers to do is change the conversation. What does this mean?  Organizations should begin considering marketing costs as an investment and not just a cost. Instead of focusing on the “burn rate” we are urged to focus on determining if our investment is large enough to fuel the growth of the company. This will enable marketing to be properly viewed as a means of growing the organization instead of being perceived as a cost center.

Alleged Counts of Being Convinced Guilty
What we know we should do better, but don’t

Marketers often are aware of the areas within their department that require improvement but they simply don’t take the time to make adjustments. What are the different types of marketers and what are they guilty of?

  • Guilty Marketers: Those knowingly operating in a suboptimal fashion and wasting budget.
  • Wishful Marketers: Those hoping their efforts are positively impacting business but are lacking evidence.
  • Clueless Marketers: Those that should know better, but no one has stated the obvious.

The 7 Counts of Marketing Guilt
1. Lack of clear strategy and objectives
2. Sloppy efforts to track and measure
3. Assuming Too Much
4. Too much science
5. Too much art
6. Short-term vs. long-term oriented
7. Unauthentic

Negligent Acts of Wishfulness aka Cluelessness
According to Chertudi there are 3 types of negligent acts committed by marketers on a regular basis.

Misunderstanding the Business: Organizations often invest funds into the top of the funnel without understanding how it truly impacts the bottom line. As marketers we need to really understand how it is that our business operates.

Organizational and Tactic Silos: Considering the impact that one form of marketing has on another is key in forming strategy. By properly utilizing technology we can better understand these silos and how they work together.

Improperly Attributing Attribution Models: The majority of marketers are not aware of what models they are using. If you don’t understand the difference between last click, first, all, even, and weighted models you are leaving money on the table as a result.

Investing Correctly
Questions that every CMO should Ask

  1. Which words do we use? As marketers it is important to shift focus from marketing spend to ROI by quantifying results in terms of sales.
  2. Do we validate what we assume to know? If we are making assumptions we should be aware of how largely these assumptions impact our bottom line.
  3. Do we have a clear way to measure and track results? Proper implementation of marketing measurement tools and the diligence to de-duplicate results if needed will help us to track our results.
  4. Attribute to the real results and what are the financial outcomes? Tracking the impact of marketing results and the financial outcomes is essential for proper measurement.
  5. Can we attribute attribution correctly? Over 98% of marketers cannot do this correctly because they do not have the right set of tools.
  6. Is your marketing department behaving like a team? Each segment of your marketing department is working towards a common goal of increased sales. Knowing how each of these marketing initiatives works and what impact they have on growth something that all marketers need to know.
  7. Can you balance the left brain and the right brain? There needs to be a proper balance between art and science. Just because something works doesn’t mean that it is always the correct course of action.

Depending on the size and nature of your business there are many impacts large and small that marketing investment can have on your company. It is imperative that marketers continue to focus on accountability and real measures of attribution as they impact the bottom line.

For our readers, I’m curious to know what marketing “sin” are you most guilty of? What do you know you should be doing better but haven’t been able to? Is Marketing viewed as an “investment” or a “cost center” in your organization?


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