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At the Plate with Two Strikes
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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If you are familiar with baseball, then you know why, as a batter, being at the plate with two strikes is not a place you want to be. When the count is 0-2, it throws the advantage from the batter to the pitcher. The pitcher knows that in order for the batter to "stay alive," they have to swing at anything close and around their strike zone. The batter knows that too. Now the batter was to keep an even closer eye on their surroundings, and take a risk when they need to, in order to avoid striking out.

This is the position marketers and advertisers find themselves in.

At least according to the latest research. Eloqua compiled research into an inforgraphic that looked at the relationship between the C-suite and marketers. According to their study, 80% of CEOs say that they don't really trust the work done by their marketers.

Another 80% of CEOs said that marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities.

So not only does the boss not trust your work, but thinks that your work doesn't account for spending, or the ever-fleeting "ROI."

What is a marketer to do?

First, we've got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. The study reveals that 1 of every 3 B2B marketers doesn't calculate ROI on marketing activities. Unfortunately, the days are over when we can create work and tell the C-Suite that the results will be shown in the sales, the calls, or the people coming through the door.

Oh, wait a sec...maybe not. This brings us to our second point: define with the CEO, or whoever will look at the metrics, what you both consider ROI to mean. The definition will be different to different people. Once a common ground is established, then the marketing folks can put measurements in place that will show the lovely numbers and data the C-Suite is looking for.

And our third and final point: hold C-Suite accountable. Don't let this be a one-sided argument. Do marketing groups have the funding available to invest in the tools needed to supply relevant ROI data? Does the group have the leeway and authority to use whatever tools necessary and ask for whatever capacity it may need to do the job effectively? The C-Suite is getting comfortable in demanding a lot in answers but giving little tools for us to use. Like a construction team cannot build a house with buckets of screwdrivers, we need to make sure the C-Suite is setting our marketing brethren up to succeed.

Let's make sure we can take some pressure off the batter.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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