Marketing Accountability: Who Owns What, and Why It Matters

Who owns data quality management (DQM)? Who owns defining the program and campaign calendar? Who owns driving the editorial and content calendars? Who owns the coordination of digital communications with customers? Let’s address them one by one and create some guiding criteria for coming up with the best answers.

In budget discussions, we rarely argue over the very obvious line items that are to be included or excluded from the budget. We spend most of our time debating items near the cut line. It’s the same when discussing which function in marketing is accountable for what items.

Ownership is clear for items such as reporting, budget management, marketing automation platform execution, or digital property management. But the addition of marketing operations as a function, or the creation of a center of excellence, makes it tricky to pin down exactly which marketing group is accountable for what.

  1. Who owns data quality management (DQM)?
  2. Who owns defining the program and campaign calendar?
  3. Who owns driving the editorial and content calendars?
  4. Who owns the coordination of digital communications with customers?

Let’s address them one by one and create some guiding criteria for coming up with the best answers.

1. Who Owns Data Quality Management?

Within marketing, most would agree responsibility falls to marketing operations. But the real question here is if marketing should own this at all, or should sales operations or information technology (IT) own it?

Certainly, there are unique data in the marketing automation platform (MAP) that are not synchronized to the CRM. But much of the data is shared by both platforms, and the CRM is usually governed by sales operations. This problem is solved in some companies by merging marketing operations and sales operations into one function. Here are the criteria to help arrive at an answer when the functions are not unified:

  1. Who has the skills to report on DQM, can be an admin in the CRM and MAP, and understands at a deep level the data needs of marketing and sales?
  2. Who has the relationship with data vendors to support data cleansing and appending of the database?
  3. Who pays the licenses for the software systems involved, and does the licenses cost scale with the number of contacts?

Given the increasingly complex data needs of marketing, and the increases in budget allocated to marketing technologies, it seems likely that the expertise and therefore accountability for this function will shift from IT and sales operations into marketing operations over time.

2. Who Owns the Program and Campaign Calendar?

When a marketing organization has a field marketing team and a headquarters team, the question often arises: Who owns the program and campaign calendar? On one hand, the field marketers are closer to both the customer and the sales organization and know their unique market needs better than HQ. On the other hand, a centralized approach to program and campaign planning will ensure maximum reusability of developed content and assets, consistency in execution, better brand alignment, better best practices adoption, easier reporting rollups, and potentially the ability to focus on programs and campaigns that are delivering the best results. So, the criteria for a decision are:

  • Skill level of the field marketers for ideating, designing, and building multi-channel campaigns
  • Clarity of the brand materials so that consistent application is easy at the regional level
  • Ability of the content/creative group to roll up diverse requests from many regions to create a single content calendar without duplication of effort
  • Availability of creative talent in the field
  • Quality of best practices management and communications
  • Quality of inter-region collaboration and information sharing
  • Frequency of global marketing planning sessions
  • Degree to which regional markets are similar in their needs, maturity, and messaging

The dominant criterion is likely to be the availability of skilled marketers in the field who can design multi-channel campaigns including social and email channels. Even if the execution (build) is centralized, one could decentralize the designs if the skills were available in the field.

3. Who Owns Driving the Editorial and Content Calendars?

If your program and campaign design is distributed, wherein the field can create their own campaigns from scratch, it is likely they will want to keep control of the asset design too. Since up to 30 percent of marketing program budget goes to content creation, it may behoove us to wrest control of the content calendar any from the regional leaders and centralize it. Additionally, content is now coming in other forms than the whitepapers, videos, and PowerPoints we had in days past. Do we really want to foster creative agency contracts in each region? The criteria for a decision are:

How to Formulate Your 2018 Content Marketing Strategy

Carolyn, a director of demand generation in the hospitality industry, shared that “It takes too much work to develop the wrong content.” In this month’s step of the revenue marketing journey, we are going to cover content marketing strategy and the steps to developing the best content editorial calendar.

Carolyn, a director of demand generation in the hospitality industry, shared that “It takes too much work to develop the wrong content.” Sadly, many organizations use a “spray and pray” methodology for content development and discover too late that much of their effort was wasted on the wrong content. Carolyn is not going that route and in this month’s article. In this month’s step of the revenue marketing journey, we cover content marketing strategy and the steps to developing the best content editorial calendar.

Step 1: Know What Content Is Valuable for Your Clients

Seems like a simple concept, right? When was the last time you surveyed your customers to find out what content topics they like, what channels they like, or their preferred content medium? In a recent interview, Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group and co-author of “The Content Formula,” shared that companies are only just now learning “how to utilize content to effectively meet the needs of their audience as opposed to meeting the needs of their business.” If the primary guide for your content decisions is the download reports from your website you are not on solid ground for planning your content calendar. So conduct a customer engagement survey, find out what content they like. Get free subscriptions to Buzzsumo and Grapevine6 and learn:

  • Which audience is interested in what topics
  • What type of content they are sharing
  • What sources of information are they using
  • Which influencers are most important

Step 2: Document Your Personas (5 to 7 Max)

Buyer personas are examples of real people who make up your customers and clients. They can also include individuals who may influence the buying decision in some way. A persona goes deeper than demographics. Personas are developed by asking questions about a buyer’s motivation and learning what holds the buyer back from making a purchasing decision. By taking the time to document and understand your customer in this way, your content team will develop content that resonates and engages, moving leads through the buyer’s journey to conversion.

Step 3: Document the Full Customer Journey Map

Marketing engages with prospect and customer not just when they are in the funnel for the first time, but throughout their lifecycle including adoption, value realization, loyalty and advocacy. This means that we need content suitable for every stage of the customer journey map.

Your customer journey map should inform your content marketing strategy.
Your customer journey map should inform your content marketing strategy.

Step 4: Audit Your Current Content

Now that you have the customer journey map and the personas, audit your content based on which personas suit what pieces of content and in which stages of the customer journey map can it be effective. Some additional criteria you might consider in the audit include content type, medium, consume-ability, centricity (product, company, or customer), level of engagement achieved, product/service served, industry, gated/ungated, purpose (reach, engagement, conversion, retention) etc. Build the audit in such a way that it can be used as an ongoing inventory of content and so new entries are added to it as they are developed. With the audit in hand, you should be able to see the gaps where more content is needed, but we’re not done yet.