The time for the chief direct marketing officer is now

It is an often aired opinion at events where marketers gather that marketing is at a crossroads.  

Russell Parsons

The financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent recession led to a a lot of naval gazing.

For too long marketers have talked in fluffy language that only their peers and agency partners understand, the argument generally goes with “engagement”, above the line” and “cut through” tossed around as examples of buzzwords that are not understood beyond the marketing walls.

In order for marketers to be taken seriously, the argument goes, they need to talk in commercial terms recognised by their colleagues in the sales and finance departments and most importantly, the executive suite.

The argument was coloured at an event last week, attended by the some of the UK’s biggest marketing names, to mark the publication of Effective Brands’ Marketing 2020 report into how brands should be organising themselves for future growth, of which Marketing Week is a partner.

Speaker after speaker at the event talked about the need for marketing departments to both justify themselves and account for the investment made in marketing by demonstrating return on investment. To be seen as a growth driver and not an operational expense the ultimate aim, the speakers opined.

Language and sentiment that every direct marketer will recognise. It does appear that the biggest names at the biggest brands have come around to the direct marketers’ view of the world. Data-driven insight producing campaigns that can be measured and accounted for, a template that is now being called for across the marketing board.

The watershed moment in marketing thinking provides direct marketers with an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. It also calls for consideration of a change in the job title of those that sit at the top of the marketing tree. Chief direct marketing officer anyone? 

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