Businesses are increasingly looking for evidence from marketers that shows why they should invest in the discipline and the impact that investment will have on the top and bottom lines.
In the second episode in this series on marketing effectiveness, created in partnership with Thinkbox, we talk to people who aren’t marketing directors – from Direct Line CEO Paul Geddes to marketing effectiveness consultant Peter Field and Manning Gottlieb OMD’s Richard Shotton – about why data matters and the value of short-term versus long-term thinking.
Geddes believes marketing is “absolutely able to be a science” because of the amount of data marketers have at their disposal.
“As a CEO, I love scientific business cases set out in front of me so it’s absolutely predictable and measurable, for me, the effect marketing should have on a business,” he explains.
“When you’re assessing marketing against other investments in the business, it is actually the most proven and most verifiable. I quite like the science of marketing.”
However, Shotton admits that doesn’t mean making the case is plain sailing. All research methodology, he points out, has a flaw but the key is to understand those flaws and come up with the best strategy despite them.
“The reaction shouldn’t be to throw your hands up and ignore evidence because you’ll end up in an even worse place,” he says. “The reaction should be, ‘let’s use a multitude of techniques’. Where those techniques come to similar conclusions we can have greater belief in the findings. And where they contradict each other, that’s the role of a planner or strategist to come up with hypotheses to explain that contradiction and come up with more ideas to test.”
There is also the risk when there is so much data that marketers can become too reliant on evidence to the detriment of creative. But marketing effectiveness consultant Peter Field warns against this.
“We have to use data to give us insight and help guide us in the ways that it can but we must never walk away from the astonishing power of insight and the ability of fantastic creativity and fantastically-creative media to game-change brands,” he warns.
For more insights into the role of evidence-based decision-making watch the video above. And head here to watch the other videos in the series.