Marketing Best Practices

August 22, 2007

The Question

An ANA member would like your insight on how you share your marketing best practices. The member asks:

  1. How do you define a marketing best practice?
  2. How do you measure the success of a marketing best practice? What metrics do you apply, other than sales?
  3. Do you have a process to share best practices globally? If yes, do you use a manual process, or do you use an external or proprietary software?
  4. What criteria or "buckets" do you use to organize the best practice data?

Below are the responses that we received from our members:

Member Response #1

We've been running our current best practices program for a couple of years now. We solicit entries every other month and a panel of leaders from our HQ and geo's as well as senior agency folks serve as the judging panel. We typically review between 15 and 20 submissions each go around. We've broken the best practices into two categories for new ideas/approaches and to encourage the adoption of best practices we have a re-use award as well. The top entries receive either a bronze or silver award (certificates and lapel pins for the teams involved), and silver winners compete for campaign of the year - which includes a cash award for the winning team.

Answers to your specific questions:

  1. Although the bulk of our best practices are around campaigns, we encourage the teams to submit any smart thinking, and have given awards for new tools and approaches as well as campaigns.
  2. We tend to evaluate the entries based on 1) results (and we will occasionally defer a decision to see if results develop), 2) Campaign consistency. It must be on brand, and on strategy. It's relatively easy to bring a creative idea out of left field, but to impress our judges, it needs to deliver in the context of executional constraints we place on ourselves. And 3) we look for integrated execution rather than 'one off' tactics.
  3. Bi-monthly winners are announced via e-mail, and all best practices are posted on line with links to the materials as well as to the team that executed.
  4. As noted above, we break the judging into two categories - new ideas and re-use of past winners. We pay particular attention to ensuring that we make at least as much noise about re-use - to discourage 'not invented here' behaviors.

Member Response #2

  1. In our case, we don't actively attempt to pursue "best practices" in every area of our marketing efforts. I would describe the way we work as utilizing the best communication or promotion practice, process, measurement system, analytical tool or research practice that we are aware of at the time. Where best practices come in is that we are always looking and open to new ways to do things. We work hard at not staying with what we do today simply because it has worked. For example, I sometimes authorize research spending on a new process or system - in addition to what we do today - simply to find out if it works better. We will only change when we see a compelling improvement. I like to be able to compare to a body of our own results as internal benchmarks and won't change things lightly, but we do makes changes as technology or analytics improve.
  2. Sales are the key measure in many areas. Consumption, measured thru scan data or panels or Retail Link are obviously critical. However, we also track other "leading indicators" such as the standards of awareness, usual brand, best quality, etc. These tell us much more about our brands and their place in the consumer's mind than just sales can.
  3. We are only Domestic US with a small bit of export, so global best practice sharing is not an issue for us. We work very hard in our US headquarters to make sure the product groups share their knowledge with each other.
  4. We don't really group it that way.

Member Response #3

  1. How do you define a marketing best practice?
    A program with higher than usual success rate.
  2. How do you measure the success of a marketing best practice? What metrics do you apply, other than sales?
    Could be some or all of the following: Cost per call, conversion rate, Cost per Sale, Response rate, ROI.
  3. Do you have a process to share best practices globally?
    My focus is the US.
  4. What criteria or "buckets" do you use to organize the best practice data?
    Same as number 2.

Member Response #4

  1. How do you define a marketing best practice?
    Any marketing strategy, tactic or tool that exceeds expectations and/or the success of it is repeated over time.
  2. How do you measure the success of a marketing best practice? What metrics do you apply, other than sales?
    Success is measured differently, depending on the practice and the business. Besides sales, anything from customer satisfaction to increased usage to sales force support may be used as measures of success.
  3. Do you have a process to share best practices globally? If yes, do you use a manual process, or do you use an external or proprietary software?
    We have in-person/phone forums for marketing colleagues across businesses and around the world, and that is the venue used to share best practices.
  4. What criteria or "buckets" do you use to organize the best practice data?
    Again, depends...

Member Response #5

[W]e have been trying to select world-class thought leaders as agency partners to help us with best practices (as assessed by Forrester, Gartner for direct agencies and Ad Age/Brandweek for media/creative agencies.)

We only do US, so have no global POV.

Sales is the "be all and end all" metric for retailers."


Member Response #6

  1. How do you define a marketing best practice?
    What are we doing well that has been defined as something we want to continue doing and/or what do we observe that other brands are doing that we consider "best practice."
  2. How do you measure the success of a marketing best practice? What metrics do you apply, other than sales?
    We have a variety of kpis for our marketing activities-not just measuring something that is "best practice." Obviously gross sales, net sales, arpu, churn, and most want to investigate are some...
Source

"Marketing Best Practices." ANA Senior Marketer's Think Tank; ANA Marketing Accountability Committee, August 2007.