Why outcomes matter, not just to the CMO

Published on November 16, 2018
blog, insights
This article was originally posted on Campaign Asia | November 14, 2018
Every leader and company know what they do, but very few understand why they do what they do. Inspired by Simon Sinek, the power of starting with why is what makes leaders and companies great, and within the Xaxis organisation, a movement has been started with our new outcome-based approach, where everything we do and deliver as a company needs to deliver true value to our clients and help them achieve their goals and objectives through digital transformation—ultimately getting closer to their why.

“Not enough advertisers know what value means beyond pricing and therefore can’t understand how media can drive growth in their business.”

Inarguably, CMOs and their underlying organisation are the ones in the absolute spotlight when it comes to ensuring continuous business and market share growth. With these objectives at hand, they look for marketing and media partners who are able to deliver the highest value on the basis of their overall marketing strategy and investment. However, perhaps the pressure should to some extent be liberated from the CMO, as it should be in the best interest of all business functions to become more outcome-driven—working collectively towards the same goal. As a result of this change and transformation in thinking, some business functions beyond just marketing can be positively impacted by adopting an outcome-based approach.


Traditionally, the main responsibility of a procurement department is the process of selecting vendors, establishing payment terms and negotiating contracts regarding the purchase of goods and services. This used to be a “simpler” task in the offline world, but it has become more difficult to navigate during the digital transformation that most industries have experienced, on account of the technology and data infrastructure that particularly goes into marketing and media investments today. Despite this transformation, their main goal has not changed—finding more cost-efficient ways to drive value for the business. So, when it comes to procurement of marketing and media services, rather than evaluating cost metrics that are somewhat irrelevant and arbitrary, imagine how their jobs would be much easier if marketing and media partners actually offered guaranteed outcomes, catered to them and tied them to their business goals.


With increasing investments going to marketing and media services, and the underlying technology needed for a CMO to deliver continuous business growth and prove ROI, it is inevitable that more and more invoices start sliding under the door of the finance department. Without specific knowledge in this area, it can be hard to decipher various infrastructural media costs and the importance of media partner payment terms. They are usually familiar with more traditional goods and services, but with marketing and media services, they have to understand that many stakeholders are reliant of timely payment to keep the lights on in the growth engine.
The supply chain is much more complex than with most other suppliers: DMPs, DSPs, data partners and media owners to name a few. Without actually understanding what you are paying for, it is understandably challenging for most finance departments to decipher all of these costs, especially when looking at arbitrary media metrics such as CPM, CPC or CTR. Changing to an “outcome-currency” can help demystify invoices coming in from these services, and make finance more comfortable when understanding the services they are paying for and the actual value they get in return.


Recruiting and retaining top talent is a difficult for most companies, and today’s workforce is no longer just looking at salary, retirement plans and other perks when evaluating job satisfaction—they are looking for a purpose. Spending more than a third of a lifetime at work, it is important for many to have an objective or goal with what they are doing on a daily basis, and how it contributes to the overall mission of the company. Transforming a company into being solely focused on that purpose—and the outcomes which will help them achieve it—will not only retain talent, but also help to recruit top talent by showing how job functions and specific roles will contribute to the greater purpose of the company.


The CMO is obviously not someone who alone can change the culture or mindset of an entire organization. But, by becoming more outcome-focused, and pushing increased accountability and measurable value towards the main business goal, its one step in the right direction. As with any movement or change, it needs to start somewhere, and it has the potential to transform most, if not all, business functions.

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Have you read the 2018 Outcome Media Report?

We surveyed almost 5,000 marketers across 16 key global markets and unearthed some fascinating insights into how the industry thinks about digital media success measurement and its priorities for 2019.

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