How Enterprise CMOs Keep Their Budgets From Being Squeezed

anacmoFor a CMO, convincing the CEO or CRO to put more money toward marketing is a tall order. Because it’s difficult for marketing to prove ROI, large organizations often squeeze the budget.

That’s changing. When Denise Karkos became CMO of TD Ameritrade, she told her board upfront that she planned to invest in data, analytics and media-mix modeling to break out ROI granularly across digital mediums.

“I stand for the science of [marketing],” she said at the Association of National Advertisers’ Masters of Marketing conference on Friday. “That’s where our resources are going, where the funding will go and how the decision-making will play out.”

With proven results, Karkos can bring her board into the vendor selection process and invest more in better marketing. TD Ameritrade increased its flexible dollars by 80%, opening up opportunities to test and learn in new areas like addressable TV.

Marketers, however, should take heed: Pivoting a legacy organization’s perception of marketing takes time and resilience, Karkos said.

“A big part of our job is respecting that change management comes a lot slower than you think,” she said. “Figure out how to have conversations with executives and meet them where they are.”

The Cross-Platform Challenge

Even when CMOs have a budget to work with, reaching consumers across platforms who have no tolerance for ads is a whole different ballgame than the days of the 30-second spot.

“Today the world is really different in terms of how people are interacting,” said MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar. “Attention is so fragmented, but the connection is always on.”

To get its audience’s attention, MasterCard brought its 17-year-old “priceless” campaign to life by connecting customers with experiences through technology, like virtual reality tours of exotic cities.

“It’s not just about telling stories,” Rajamannar said. “They have to be an integral part of the narrative.”

For Fidelity, a great consumer experience meant a great customer experience. Jim Speros, EVP of corporate communications at Fidelity, saw an opportunity to use cross-platform technology as a launching pad into better customer service in new verticals.

The financial services company opened a benefits package with a private mobile health care exchange for small businesses. Through Fidelity’s Amazon Echo skill, Alexa can pull up the latest stock market reports. Fidelity families can access and store documents like wills and trusts in a secure mobile cloud. Money management app Fidelity Go helps millennials pay off student debts and save for retirement.

This cross-platform push increased Fidelity’s revenues by $15.9 million in 2015.

“Experiences are being defined not necessarily within your own category and industry, but oftentimes outside,” Speros said.

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