Kimberly A. Whitler interviewed Mark Stouse for an article in Forbes titled The Marketing Proof Gap: What It Is And Why Marketers Should Care (May 4, 2019). Stouse is CEO of Proof Analytics, and a former leader of global marketing and communications in large enterprise B2B businesses including HP, BMC Software, and Honeywell Aerospace.

« The term “proof gap” was coined by Oracle CEO Mark Hurd when he was CEO of HP. This is the gap that exists in the minds of the C-suite between what marketers say about their impact and the sort of objective computed ROI that many leaders expect. Raytheon board member and former technology CEO Bob Beauchamp wrote a lengthy article about it. »

« The marketing proof gap is particularly acute in B2B, where complex go-to-market machines and extended time lag between marketing investment and return on that investment tend to obscure impact and value. »

« I believe the primary mission of Marketing in many companies is to help Sales sell more product to more customers, faster… When there is a lack of clarity on marketing ROI… It creates a demonstrable lack of trust between many marketers and their C-suites. »

« We also see a lack of marketing influence in conversations about business strategy compared to other players. And there continues to be a pretty small number of marketers serving on Fortune 1000 boards. »

« The fact is that B2B marketing creates value on a different timetable than B2B sales. B2B marketing and sales are highly complementary, but they also are asynchronous. Last year’s MQLs are this year’s deals.  Last summer’s brand awareness campaign is this winter’s increase in audience awareness, confidence and trust in the company.  And if you don’t know the time lag for each marketing investment you make, it is a mathematical certainty that you won’t be able to prove the created value. »

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