Leadership's expectations of and pressure on Marketing continue to increase. When we ask CEOs, "Would you like to know Marketing's impact on your business?" every one of them answers with a resounding and unequivocal "yes!"

"Huge leaps in technology, together with the instant gratification of real-time campaign measurement in Internet marketing, have converged to bring the issue of marketing accountability to the front page of the business section," Joan Ritter recently wrote in The Technology Executive.

So, if you haven't gotten on the marketing-accountability bandwagon (measurement, effectiveness, analytics, etc.), now is probably the time to do so.

The American Marketing Association defines accountability as "the responsibility for the systematic management of marketing resources and processes to achieve measurable gains in return on marketing investment and increased marketing efficiency, while maintaining quality and increasing the value of the corporation."

To be truly accountable, marketing professionals need to periodically report on their performance and contribution. You are probably thinking, "We are reporting. We provide project status updates and use the reports generated by our marketing automation platform (MAP) and our customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) platforms."

That's a great start, but here's the bad news. The status report of projects— such as website updates, upcoming events, new collateral or direct marketing campaigns, reports on website visitors, open and click rates, follower (Twitter) and fan (Facebook) counts, and reports on the number of marketing qualified leads—are no longer enough.

Those reports do not address the questions the C-suite is most concerned with: What is working, what course adjustments (if any) are required, and are the investments the company funnels into Marketing properly allocated?

Marketers need to develop a more valuable and insightful report that benefits both Marketing and the C-suite—one that can be used to optimize performance and make decisions. That kind of report needs to provide an at-a-glance view that quantifies the overall impact Marketing makes on the business and how well marketing initiatives are increasing customer acquisition, retention, and share of wallet.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM