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What needs to change in Marketing today? Episode 4: Michelle Killebrew

Michelle Killebrew, VP and Head of Marketing at PWC New Ventures talks about how you present marketing results to a CEO and the rest of the C-suite; how to prepare for the difficult ROI questions and how to present campaigns and creative ideas to the C-suite. Michelle also gives her view on what type of analytics that is needed to prove business value.

What needs to change in marketing today?

I’m really surprised at the current state of marketing with this surprise impact of performance because for me having grown up in analytics and starting my career in market research where you’re focused on quantitative analysis and and qualitative understanding of how people behave the way that they do, it’s fundamental. So I’m often quite surprised when I walk into a room and marketing is not perceived as the value driver that actually is.

How do you present marketing results to a CEO?
when I do stand in front of a CEO, a board, a CFO I start with the numbers and interestingly sometimes I met with surprised that I am showing a numbers based business case versus the latest campaign and creative. Ultimately that doesn’t matter they don’t need to know what’s running to drive that performance but the performance needs to drive the business.

What questions do you get from the c-suite?
If you ground your conversation with a CFO, the CEO, the board in the numbers they are more inquisitive to understand how did you make that happen what are the tactics that you drove how did you measure the performance before, during and through the campaign and its creation how did you optimize it? How do you understand your audience and the psychology to drive that next best action.

What about creativity?
Eyes glaze over if you start with a creative first but if you present the numbers and the impact is driving to the business there’s more of an appreciation to that the tactics the strategy and the elements of marketing that make that come to fruition.

What type of analytics is needed to prove business value?
marketers need to understand the foundations of the analytics they need to understand cause and effect and really that, sometimes, starts with very basic understanding of analytics A/B testing if I change this variable what happens to performance and then of course you get more sophisticated over time in understanding multiple variations. Am i segmenting the right audience? Am I looking at the right channel? What is the creative? The color context? The color of the button? Whatever the small detail is all the way over to the ultimate marketing success it gets more complicated so I start with the basics. What are the hypotheses for testing all the way up through to regression analysis on campaign performance?