Marketing budgets, and accountability rise

Despite the recent economic roller coaster, companies are not cutting back on marketing, according to a study of marketing measurement and accountability by Forbes Insights, in association with MarketShare Partners, reports Research Brief. Three quarters of marketing executives who responded to the survey said they expected their marketing budgets to stay the same or increase in their 2010-2011 fiscal year, with fully one-third expecting an increase.

Marketers' focus is split equally between the importance of the "big idea," a core theme guiding all marketing initiatives and programs, and developing accountability metrics. It's notable that marketers with budgets of less than $1 million favored metrics (58 percent); whereas marketers beyond the $1 million threshold felt that having a "big idea" was more important (58 percent). The marketing department shares a significant portion of the responsibility for marketing accountability, with 55 percent of respondents pointing out the CMO is ultimately accountable, a proportion that increases to 71 percent for those with marketing budgets greater than $1 million.

Organizations continue to feel the effects of an uncertain economy, and are seeking new ways to maintain their edge and remain nimble. Marketers cite the desire to remain competitive, the current economic climate, internal financial pressures, changing customer behavior, and addition of new marketing tactics as the top issues driving changes in their needs for analytics. In keeping with the internal financial pressures to justify marketing spend and demonstrate ROI marketers report experiencing, measurement's role appears to be proving the impact of marketing on the bottom line. Some 59 percent use "lift" impact on sales volume and revenue to measure the success of their marketing programs; more traditional, customer engagement-oriented metrics such as cost-per-acquisition and brand awareness trailed distantly at 42 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/accountability