Keys to Continuous Improvement in Return

MASB Summer Summit 2015

A cross-functional team is one of six key elements that will lead companies to continuous improvement in return, according to Jane O’Keefe, director of Marketing Return Optimization at MillerCoors, speaking at MASB’s Summer Summit in Chicago.

“If your marketing folks are focused on improving brand image while your sales folks are focused on improving only sales volume or acquisition, they could be working in opposition to each other. A cross-functional team is established to collaboratively work to correct that.”

Equally important are:

  • Continuous improvement orientation – a culture built on ensuring that profitable growth is predicted and return is increased cycle over cycle.
  • Common purpose – a focus on a single financially relevant measure when seeking funds.
  • Central funding – all marketers seeking and receiving funding from a single source, with the funding decision-maker using the key measure as its primary filter for funding.
  • Thresholds – Funding is only provided to marketers who can project that their investments will operate within defined limits or parameters related to a level of return over some reasonable amount of time.
  • Common rewards – Marketing leaders providing rewards (pay, promotions, accolades) to people who clearly help improve the key measures.

“One thing we’ve seen at companies like Sambla OY and MillerCoors is that when you incentivize individuals or groups for achieving different metrics – which aren’t aligned – you are not going to have an organization that is pulling together to achieve goals.”

O’Keefe is co-lead on MASB’s CIR Project Team.