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The Marketing Proof Gap: What It Is And Why Marketers Should Care

Forbes marketing proof gap where complex go-to-market machines and extended time lag between marketing investment

A common attack levied at marketers is the failure to demonstrate value. Somebody who regularly tweets about this is Mark Stouse, CEO of Proof Analytics, and a former leader of global marketing and communications in large enterprise B2B businesses like HP, BMC Software and Honeywell Aerospace. After some time exchanging tweets, I met with Stouse to interview him about marketing accountability and the “proof gap,” what it is and the causes and consequences of the gap.

Kimberly Whitler: What is the “proof gap”?

Mark Stouse: The term “proof gap” was coined by Oracle CEO Mark Hurd when he was CEO of HP. This is the gap that exists in the minds of the C-suite between what marketers say about their impact and the sort of objective computed ROI that many leaders expect. Raytheon board member and former technology CEO Bob Beauchamp wrote a lengthy article about it.

The marketing proof gap is particularly acute in B2B, where complex go-to-market machines and extended time lag between marketing investment and return on that investment tend to obscure impact and value.

Many leaders say they are ready for marketing to stop being the function that seems to play by a different set of rules regarding ROI.  Last year, we saw this sentiment in a 16-month survey of Fortune 1000 C-suites about marketing value.

The marketing proof gap is particularly acute in B2B, where complex go-to-market machines and extended time lag between marketing investment and return on that investment tend to obscure impact and value.

(read the full story at Forbes)