Marketers should be “very clear” about how they are spending their budget if they are to win over boardroom approval, according to Dame Carolyn McCall, chief executive of European airline easyJet.
Speaking at today’s Mumstock 2017 conference in London, run by UK digital parenting network Mumsnet, McCall disputed the assertion that marketing is an undervalued discipline in the business community.
The former Guardian Media Group CEO insisted that all of the organisations she has worked for have viewed marketing as “critical”. She explained the reason for promoting easyJet CMO Peter Duffy to a customer-wide role, arguing, “Everything you do is informed by how your customer feels about you.”
McCall said that marketers can now prove the tangible benefits of their investments, so need to explain their plans to senior management: “It is easier than ever before to measure the value of your communications. Now you can know it to the last penny.
“Marketers have to be very clear about how they are spending money, and they need to include the finance department to understand how it benefits the business, and how conversion works,” she said.
However, McCall added that she does encourage her marketing team to, on occasion, “take a flier” and gamble on a new idea without the ability to prove ROI – citing an immersive theatre experience it created in London last year in partnership with the Netherlands Board of Tourism.
In a category dominated by price-led communications, McCall also commented that the low-cost carrier is determined to boost its brand reputation against its rivals. “There will always be people who just book [air travel] on price, but our whole aim is to make sure we are a preferred brand, that people feel something about us. If there is not a big gap on price, they will prefer you,” she said.