I just got back from judging this year's CADM (Chicago Association of Direct Marketing) entries for their 2009 Tempo Awards.
I have to say, after looking through a good deal of entries, I really appreciate strong creative, but in the end, it's all about results, no matter how pretty the pictures are, how clever the copy is or how many seconds the very creative, Flash-centric design takes to download at the microsite.
Now that's an incredibly simple statement, but still one that many marketers and agencies don't live by. One of the few positive by-products of this bad economy for the marketing profession is that it is forced to become more accountable.
There's been at least a decade of lip service to ROI in the marketing department, but few real results. I don't think there is much of a choice these days, as marketing is being forced to evolve. In my opinion, this situation is actually good for our profession and will help ensure its future, which I believe, should include a more stable seat at the executive table.
For those who think we are there, I beg to differ. When an executive recruiter who works with CMOs calls me, ecstatic over the news that CMOs are now averaging a little more than two years before they are out, things are less than what I would consider stable.