When Marketing Gets
Accountable, the Accountable
By Greg Banks
It seems three questions keep arising in our business:
• What happens when longstanding direct marketing abilities, such as results accountability,
become required across the entire marketing
• What becomes of the direct marketer’s role in
the overall marketing mix now that we can
measure the “untrackable?”
• What happens when integration of a fragmented consumer, media and marketing landscape
becomes a necessity for success?
The answer to all three questions is the same:
direct marketers must rise to their destiny to become
leaders of integrated marketing. Or when marketing gets
accountable, the accountable get marketing.
All Accountable, All the Time
The new generation of marketers is changing its
focus to such things as integration and accountability
for all marketing, not just direct marketing. The major
• Chief marketing officers (CMOs) with more
training in finance and business operations are
rising through the ranks to hold full profit and
loss responsibility in most major corporations.
• The Internet, with its ability to measure every
click, has been a wake-up call about the value
of accountable marketing principles.
• The fragmentation of the marketplace contin-
ues unabated across the Internet; across TV in
forms of broadcast, cable, satellite and fiber;
across narrower and narrower vehicles; through
database technologies; wireless devices; and
more. “Mass market efficien-
cies” are no longer available.
Add it all up, and we see
that all marketers must now be
able to continuously measure
and improve results, show accountability for profit and loss
and manage complex processes involving fragmented
Measuring “Untrackable” Results
Direct marketers honed their craft over the years
on media, such as DRTV, direct mail and telemarketing, that allow direct tracking through devices such
as toll-free phone numbers. At the same time, mass
marketers honed their craft on media that allow mass
purchase efficiencies, such as general TV, print and
radio (we used to call these “untrackable”).
But the line of demarcation is going away. We can
now measure results all the way to ROI from even formerly “untrackable” media. We can measure responses
even when there is no direct response device. We can
dissect individual media results, even when multiple
media overlap in time. We can attribute a sale to
a marketing investment, even when the sale takes
places weeks or months later.
How? By merging the techniques of mathematical wunderkinds, such as econometricians, with the
business savvy of the direct marketers, we now have
the tools, such as time series regression analyses, to
measure all marketing spending. The kinds of measurements that only direct marketers have enjoyed
for decades are now available to all marketers: the
econometrician’s nonlinear equation.
The New Leaders of Integrated Marketing
Think about the challenges facing this new generation of marketers, who must not only make money,
but must simultaneously organize scores of fragmented
marketing disciplines. The typical CMO of a major
U.S. corporation must manage departments and/or
supplier agencies across such specialized disciplines
as creative, branding, direct, interactive, diversity,
sponsorship, retail, public relations, channel, media,
promotion, in-store and more.
Somebody has to “integrate” all these specialists!
So the “direct tracker” of yesteryear now becomes the
“accountable marketer” of the new generation.
With a long history of measurement and accountability, with proven abilities to manage complex
processes and with new measurement tools, the direct
marketer is the best person to manage the new world
of integrated marketing. ■