“There’s never been a better time to be a marketer.” So says Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes in her latest blog, “In Defense of Marketing.” (Editor’s note: Adobe is the parent company of CMO.com.)
But how do we get from it being a great time for being a marketer to having to defend marketing? Well, therein lies the tale.
Lewnes’s blog is a call-to-arms, of sorts, a railing at the age-old complaints about marketing that have only been exacerbated in the new digital age:
“You can’t prove advertising really works.”
“Marketing is all gut—there’s no science to it.”
“The marketing department is a cost center, not a revenue driver.”
Lewnes, with the full backing of the company for which she runs all marketing, counters sternly: “The creative tools we have at our disposal make it easier than ever to turn a great idea into something real. New technology has given us new ways to connect with customers and measure the impact of our work. Marketing matters more than ever.”
And her company is putting its marketing where its mouth is, with the launch of a new campaign called “Metrics, not myths.” The premise is that these old saws about marketing are bogus—BS, as she says—and the right metrics and analysis can prove it.
“As a CMO who spends 74% of her own marketing budget on digital,” writes Lewnes, “I know [that] marketing’s impact can be measured. Creativity and data can work beautifully together. We’re willing to prove it. . . . More importantly—with so many eyeballs and so much opportunity moving online, to mobile, to social—digital marketing has to work.”
One of the more innovative and exciting ways Adobe has concocted to make this case is the “It’s the ultimate case study: Ourselves” page, on which the company is going to show how it’s using its own wares from the Adobe Marketing Cloud to track and measure the new campaign. According to the site, the company will constantly monitor how the new campaign is performing—“what’s working, what’s not, what we’re learning and what we’re doing about it.” It invites marketers everywhere to keep checking back to see how the “marketing myths” campaign is adjusted based on data and insights gleaned from its own Marketing Cloud.
A pretty bold move by a bold company—and a bold CMO. If you’ve ever had to manage a major campaign—and we can’t imagine any senior-level marketing exec not having done so—this is a rare chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at how it can be done in our new digital age.
Done with metrics, of course, and not myths.
CMO.com is going to keep an eye on it, too, and will report in every now and then over the course of the campaign to see how things are progressing. It should be quite interesting.