| August 06, 2018
The Marketing Accounting Standards Board (MASB) exists to establish and advance accountable marketing practices that drive business growth. With that in mind, it is gratifying to learn that now both Kantar Millward Brown’s Link pre-test, and its Meaningfully Different Framework have completed the MASB’s metric audit process successfully.
The practice of marketing has long been dogged by a lack of commonly agreed principles regarding how best to grow brands and drive sales, so the role of the MASB is an important one. But from a personal viewpoint, that lack of agreed principles was one of the exciting things about joining a small, but growing, consumer insight firm with one office in the UK called Millward Brown. There was a collective feeling that we were discovering some of the basic principles of how marketing worked.
I was lucky enough to get involved with some of the early work that led to the development of the Link pre-test and then led the innovations team that created BrandDynamics, the precursor to the Meaningfully Different Framework. Our basic approach was always to identify what factors seemed to drive sales and financial value growth from the available data, academic learning, and case studies. Then try to encapsulate that learning into a set of questions that would fuel a model predictive of the desired outcome. Importantly, we have always wanted to have an alignment between the causal relationships and a conceptual understanding of how brands grow sales. We wanted to know why a metric was important, not just that it seemed to be predictive.
This approach fits well with the MASB’s Marketing Metric Audit Protocol (MMAP) , a formal, industry-recognized process for assessing connections from marketing activities and metrics to financial performance, and helped with the accreditation process. In a press release Frank Findley, MASB Executive Director and Chief Advisor of the MMAP Center, states,
“By putting the Meaningfully Different Framework through the MMAP protocol, Kantar Millward Brown has shown its commitment to developing disciplined, validated tools that link to financial outcomes and help marketing leaders make confident investment decisions.”
The fact that we have rigorously tested our solutions against behavioral and financial outcomes has been of huge benefit to clients over the years, and has allowed me the ability to defend our frameworks against criticism so it is good to see that work recognized in the MASB accreditation. If you would like to learn more about the Meaningfully Different Framework or the MASB accreditation process why not sign up to hear Chris Murphy our Chief Client Officer for Kantar North America speak at the MASB Summit?
I hope that the MASB will help reduce the amount of debate in the marketing industry as to what works to drive sales in the short and long-term but I suspect that beliefs will still trump data for many. But what do you think? Please share your thoughts.