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Marketers have to be accountable for business consequences

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MUMBAI: Marketers have to be accountable for business consequences and not just idea executions, experts in the industry said.

“There has to be an analytical correlation. If Rs 100 million is being spent, the marketer must know by how much he has moved the needle of market share. There has to be a target. A brave CFO (chief financial officer) works with his gut after getting an idea from his marketing team. Marketers should have the courage to put their necks on the chopping block and own the idea,” said Reliance DTH and IPTV CEO Sanjay Behl, while speaking at the Mindshare Brand Equity Compass.

Spatial Access Managing Partner Meenakshi Madhvani bemoaned the fact that big money is chasing mediocre ideas. “90 per cent of advertising consists of mediocre ideas. So marketers feel that they have to shout louder as the idea is mediocre. We are on a mediocrity spiral as often there is not enough time for creative. Every brand manager feels that a bigger budget leads to a stronger market position.”

 

Madhavani made the point that advertising shies away from accountability as there is no long term perspective. This is the same reason why a marketer will not want to invest in developing an accountability matrix.

Lowe chairman and chief creative officer R Balki denied suggestions that there is no accountability for a creative agency. “If that was the case and we kept failing, then why would we keep getting business? We get a retainer fee. There are also incentives which are not much anyway. The rewards and amount kept for success are not linked to performance. What we do is in line with the objective of a campaign. Is it to change perception or to sell?

 

There is a need to have ROI modeling embedded in the minds of marketers. Behl noted that Cricket offers immediate reach and impact. It is more measurable than any other media tool. Techniques are advanced and it can be known which game gave better economic value.

Madhavani said that cricket is good if you have just launched a product and want lots of people to know about it in a short period of time. “However if you have been doing a sustained campaign for your product over months, then you might not need cricket. Also for involvement, cricket reaches a small group. Advertisers are being misled by the fact that women watch the IPL. But IPL is not cricket. It is a tamasha. Generally women do not watch cricket.”

 

Obviously if one is getting higher value, then one will spend more. The question is what is the premium you have to pay and how much more value is the client going to get. Clients and agencies must also have a vision.

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