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It seems that in a tough financial market, Marketing Directors have the ability to control their budgets, evaluate suppliers and manage business requirements, but can no longer be trusted to sign off any expenditure.
I have spoken with some clients and they have seen signatory powers reduced to around 10 per cent, so from £100,000 to £10,000.

A professional services firm we are currently in the final stages of agreeing a contract with, has the proposal sitting on the Global CEO’s desk. Twelve months ago it would have been signed in two weeks by the marketing director. The new process has resulted in signatures not only from the marketing director, but also the IT director the COO, a budgetary committee, the London Managing Partner and finally the Global CEO or maybe even god.So has this made a difference? Are companies finding that the FD or CFO are better placed to understand how investing in web technologies can help deliver better results for the business?In good times should the money have been used to implement the lead nurturing applications or system integrations? Should time have been spent measuring the success of campaigns rather than constantly moving on to the next one?Is it all the marketers fault?

Thanks to the tracking available, digital is still a very strong option for marketers who now have to prove their spend, but it is not just about benchmarking click thru rates and page impressions, you have to translate these into something the rest of the business can use and understand.I am still to meet a CEO who is impressed by a click thru rate. What marketers need to do now, is track what the click thru actually means to the sales funnel or client retention programme.

A while ago we talked about Marketing fighting to get on to the board, will the current economy mean these ambitions are hampered?

In the last recession some big brands did spend. The likes of Accenture, saw it as an opportunity to increase market share whilst their competitors battened down the hatches, so will more people have learnt from their success?

In BusinessWeek 's annual ranking of the 100 Best Global Brands (, it seems some are, “several are keeping their US marketing budgets steady, as a percentage of revenue. Among them are American Express (AXP) (No. 15) and Diageo (DGE (owner of Smirnoff, No. 89). Others are going further. Louis Vuitton (No. 16), Kellogg's (K) (No. 39), Accenture (ACN) (No. 47), and Kleenex (No. 74)”So as marketers are you seeing the current climate as an opportunity? Or are you hiding under your desks hoping you are not next?