The Forbes Marketing Accountability Initiative

The Forbes Marketing Accountability Initiative


The return on marketing investment has long been an inexact science. The CEOs and CFOs who approve marketing investment budgets and capital outlays often compare quantifying marketing performance to “stapling Jell-O to a tree.”

This challenge has spawned an entire industry of modeling, measurement, and analytics businesses hoping to provide marketers the facts they need to measure and optimize the performance of their marketing budgets.

But despite years of vetting and advances in media measurement, analytics, models, and attribution – CMOs still struggle to quantify and communicate the value marketing creates to their leadership, peers, and partners.

The result is a marketing performance credibility gap between boards, CEOs, CMOs and the supply chain of agency, media and solution providers that support them. The consequences of this gap are getting bigger over time. Millions of dollars of investment will be wasted with sub-optimal marketing allocation or outright fraud due to lack of transparency.

The Forbes CMO Practice is sponsoring a CMO Council to help marketing leaders achieve a consensus on common-sense benchmarks and standards for evaluating the contribution of marketing to shareholder value and informing critical growth investment decisions. Learn more about the Forbes Marketing Accountability Initiative and participate in our CMO council on marketing accountability and get access to to a blueprint for communicating the contribution of marketing investment to enterprise value and growth strategy.


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