How do I demonstrate value?
As a senior marketing bloke in a large business, being heard around the board table was always a problem, as it is hard to quantify the impact of what you do. Try as hard as possible, there are still holes in the case, as the reality is that you are setting out to tell the future.
‘Do this, and that will happen’
While marketers are no longer seen as the corporate equivalent of ‘Zelda the fortune teller’ it remains hard to compete for scarce resources with those who are able to table hard data, and are able to quantify the holes in your logic, should they choose to do so.
While pointing out that one is in the past and cannot be changed, while the other is in the future, and therefore is able to be shaped by sensible and informed investment, there remains the uncertainty of the future. Success depends on the confidence that a management has in the ability of the marketer to assemble facts and suppositions into a credible projection of outcomes, in line with the risk profile of the corporation
It is even harder in consulting to small businesses. Every dollar spent on marketing with the promise of better outcomes in the future is a dollar out of the owners pocket. They have all been stung by the purveyors of various forms of marketing snake oil before, so are a wary and appropriately cynical lot.
I have concluded that the answer is a bit like motherhood, the value off which is only visible over a long period, but is then indisputable.
Photo credit Ali Alhosen via Flikr