Marketing managers, you are not the sole guardians of the Brand. But you are the sole responsible for
- the systems and processes by which you measure the Brand and its competitive performance!
If you fail to put them in place, remember Peter Drucker: You cannot manage unless you measure. Or perhaps, you cannot defend the contribution of marketing and therefore your own and your team’s work, budgets and salaries, if you don’t establish Brand performance objectivity. And if you don’t make sure all stakeholders are aware of the existence of these performance metrics and of what they attest to.
In difficult times, everyone in the company will have an opinion on your inadequate media spending, or on the lack of adequate digital, or … And some may be closer than you to the ears of top management. And for sure, any salesman’s poor performance will be easily attributed to “poor advertising”. So by definition, marketing is vulnerable to politics. Thus, … how are you going to arm yourselves?
While you will be looking to understand how effective your creative content is, or how strong your brand promise is, it is much easier and cheaper to look first for objective BENCHMARKS of your Brand’s media performance. If benchmarking shows that your media planning and buying are among the best in class and your Brand still does not perform, as distribution and pricing are easy to check, only THEN you can turn to the brand’s promise and creative execution. Only THEN you can align the whole company behind your effort. Only THEN you can go back to HQs abroad and start the conversation about that campaign that was designed to be deployed in the 5 top EU markets, but is obviously not working nicely in your developing smaller market.
So make it a priority to get a media consultant-auditor to set-up for you the proper benchmarking process. The proper partner will bring you back multiple times his modest fee, through over-performance. Usually the minimum ROI of employing an auditor is 7%. But you also get much more: You get control, in-depth understanding of the media scenery and of alternative options, pricing comparisons, etc. etc. But go for a continuous monitor. Not for a post mortem of three or four months after the year end! The dead cannot be resurrected yet!
Evaluation scorecard examples, that also enable future progress control: