• With the convergence of online and offline marketing, the constantly increasing accessibility of data, and substantial improvements in analytical capabilities, marketers can now measure far more than they could just a few years ago. Choosing the right measures is far more important than the quantity of data measured. Measuring the right data, and acting upon the results found in the measurements, is an essential requirement for operating Marketing as a Center of Excellence. This article provides guidance for how to create a measurement playbook to select and measure the right marketing metrics.
  • There is a difference between being a service provider for Sales or a value generator for the company, and as marketers, our future depends on the latter. Taking an external customer-centric view, rather than an internal Sales view allows Marketing to measure its value, and affect revenue and profit. This article describes both the role of service provider and value generator, with information on how you know which one you are, and five steps for making the transition from service to value orientation.
  • Companies need to make a myriad of strategic and tactical decisions on how they will operate in the market and engage with customers. One of the most important tasks for digital marketing is to differentiate the company and its products from the competition.
  • As it has been shown in a variety of ways over the past decade or so, the days of math-less, mindless, off-the-hip marketing have long set sail. So how do the once gun-slinging marketers of the past begin to tackle the voluminous unstructured data that is collected from nontraditional sources to harness the power of analytics? Big Data, derived from blogs, social media, email, sensors, photographs, video footage, etc. is and has always been the answer. Although Big Data isn’t new, most marketers are still wrapping their heads around the transformation of raw data into action.
  • The relationship between Marketing and Sales is at the core of how well a company attracts buyers and sells to them. This relationship is more than just a simple handoff at the point an opportunity is generated; it is the foundation for profitable revenue growth. This article outlines six best practices to facilitate alignment between sales and marketing.
  • Is there a difference between value and valuable? In today’s world, organizations seek people who are valuable and can make a difference. It is no longer good enough to just work hard and fulfill your job duties. If your work product is valued but not essential to the business, you are not being indispensable to the organization. In this article you will learn the difference between value and valuable, and what it is you can do to be someone that is valuable to an organization.
  • When the time comes to begin creating the next year's marketing budget, many marketers submit their budget before even creating their Marketing Plan. If you don't have a plan for the initiatives you and your organization plan to employ for next year, how can you expect your colleagues in Finance to approve your budget? This is why marketing budgets are oftentimes returned from Finance with major monetary slashes and cutbacks. This article explores a new way to tackle the creation of a Marketing Budget that will greatly enhance your organization's ability to get its budget approved.
  • Various studies over the years have examined the relationship between content relevancy and behavior. Almost everyone would agree with the statement that "content must be relevant." So, what is the best way to measure relevancy? There are a number of best-practice approaches for measuring relevancy, many of them are complex and require modeling. This article outlines three steps any marketer can use to link interaction (behavior) with content and a method for measuring relevancy.
  • Many companies are focused on intensifying and amplifying their message by producing more content and leveraging more channels. But this approach doesn’t necessarily translate into better marketing. Today’s marketer must understand the mental process that their potential customer goes through in solving their problem and making a purchasing decision. By fully mapping and understanding the customer buying process, marketers can effectively produce business results. This article provides specific steps for mapping the customer buying journey and lifestyle and how to match content and channels to the buying journey.
  • Are marketing metrics and marketing analytics the same thing? Definitely not. Metrics and Analytics go hand in hand and are used by marketers to prove and improve the value of marketing, however, they have different purposes and are used to achieve different objectives. This article distinguishes the differences between these two capabilities and outlines the purpose of each. Use the checklist in this article to help you assess what you need to address to improve your marketing metrics and analytics.
  • In today’s data-driven environment it’s important not to confuse marketing analytics with business acumen. Analytics may help facilitate or enhance business acumen or astuteness, but it certainly doesn’t replace it. This article outlines four tips for ensuring your Marketing Analytics are being put to work and not to waste.
  • Seth Godin, and lesser known folks, suggest that anyone can be a marketer. And you know it appears to be true. We have biology, art history, anthropology, and various other degreed folk practicing marketing. Maybe that’s why the marketing profession isn’t as well thought of as we would like by the C-Suite.
  • Most, if not all marketing leaders in the process of seeking to prove and continuously improve the value of marketing have at times found themselves “too busy chopping wood to sharpen the axe.” Best-In-Class marketers, however, stop chopping, step back, and allocate time to sharpen their axe. BIC marketers understand that sharpening the axe, not the number of times they swing their axe, is what will lead them to prove and improve the value of marketing. In this article, learn how to sharpen your axe and what you need to develop a high-performance marketing operations function.
  • Even though CFOs believe improvements in both top line and bottom line growth in 2016 will require sales and marketing, marketing budgets are already on the chopping block. One of the underlining causes of budget reductions is that despite improvements in technology and processes as well as increased focus on measurement, only a few marketers can actually prove their value. This same group of CFOs also believe that business agility is critical. Organizations that achieve agility excel at fostering and leveraging best practices. A few elite marketing organizations are making headway on both fronts. How? By transforming marketing into a center of excellence. This article recommends five steps your marketing organization can take to embark on a Marketing CoE initiative.
  • Over the past 200 years the discipline of marketing has continued to evolve, becoming more sophisticated and incorporating more complex channels. Competition has intensified and customers have moved into the driver’s seat. But one thing has remained the same, the root word “market” is still key to our success. As marketers navigate the dynamic fluid environment we need to return to our roots and ensure that all of the stuff we do and produce fulfills our purpose: finding, keeping and growing the value of customers. This article recommends three questions that successful marketers’ should answer in order to ensure that everything we do and create adds business value.
  • As the pace of marketing transformation accelerates, marketers are tackling the hardest task of all: seizing the role of value creator. This article explores the four capabilities best-in-class marketers do better and differently in terms of alignment, accountability, analytics, automation, alliances and assessment to serve as value creators.
  • Although having a “loud megaphone” is beneficial to many companies, it is only one of many tactics that a marketer has at their disposal. The modern marketer must understand the mental process that their potential customer goes through in solving their problem at hand. By fully mapping and understanding this, the company can strategically place themselves in the customer’s buying journey.
  • Finance departments often criticize marketing’s inability to present a tangible ROI and use financial measures.Marketing and finance both have well-developed ideas about what value is and how it should be measured. Unfortunately, their ideas are very different.
  • During the last weekend of February, Laura had the honor of serving as a speaker at the 6th Annual Intelligent Content Conference in California. The event was sold-out, but surprisingly, while she was there, she did not run into a single CMO, Marketing VP, or Marketing Director. The people she did have the pleasure of meeting had titles such as content managers, technical writers, content operations managers, and several more. Managing marketing content is a vital part of a marketer’s job, so why were the marketing executives missing?
  • The sheer number of marketing technology options demonstrates that marketing is evolving and has become a technology-powered discipline. This explosion of marketing technology makes it hard to know which tools are required and which are “nice-to-have’s”. When the CMO owns and defines the marketing technology strategy the organizations achieves more targeted, relevant, and efficient customer engagement and greater revenue contribution. A framework and roadmap for investment is critical for developing this strategy and to ensure your strategy and investments truly help your organization thrive, you need to consider how they create an effective and efficient sustainable “ technology ecosystem”. Whether you are just starting out or are well on your way to building your marketing technology ecosystem, use this article to help you create and sustain your marketing technology ecosystem.
  • By monitoring experience, convenience, and differentiation, you will start to craft a much more comprehensive view of your impact on the customer's buying behavior and thus the effectiveness of your marketing programs. The closer you can link customer behavior to business outcomes, the better.
  • Marketing teams today have the ability to boil oceans of data and produce vast amounts of reports. Access to this information and refined analytical and process skills create an opportunity for us to generate business-relevant insights. We can move from tackling point problems with analytics, metrics, and automation to using these capabilities to act as organizational change agents. This article explores how Marketing is ideally situated to own the role of change agent and five steps for driving and impacting change within the organization.
  • Today’s marketers are under relentless pressure to obtain data, prove ROI, and justify decisions. Many marketers we work with have functional responsibilities and therefore their measures often reflect their role. Asking the question “How to measure the ROI of these tactics?” is the wrong question. There is almost no way to draw a straight line between the investment associated with these tactics, measures and business results. We have become so focused on measuring and improving the metrics up and to the right associated with the tactics that we may have lost sight of our real purpose in the business: find, keep and grow the value of customers. This is why it is important, essential actually, that our marketing measurement is part of our marketing governance initiative. A measurement policy can help guide your efforts and facilitate performance management. In this way, you can insure that you develop and consistently manage the processes, data, analytics, and measurement to support marketing investments and decisions that will effectively move the needle for the business not just improve the efficiency of a tactic. This article provides an marketing performance management policy example.
  • More and more of the buying process is occurring without any direct human-to-human interaction. Customers are self-educating themselves about products and services long before engaging with your company. Hence the role of content marketing – a means to communicate with your customers and prospects without selling. Therefore, you need to align your marketing to the new way customers are buying and take the customer buying process into consideration when creating your content. This article takes you through the steps you need to understand what touches and channels your customers prefer along each point in their buying journey.
  • More and more of the buying process is occurring without any direct human-to-human interaction. Customers are self-educating themselves about products and services long before engaging with your company. Hence the role of content marketing – a means to communicate with your customers and prospects without selling. Therefore, you need to align your marketing to the new way customers are buying and take the customer buying process into consideration when creating your content. This article takes you through the mapping the buyer journey.
  • More and more of the buying process is occurring without any direct human-to-human interaction. Customers are self-educating themselves about products and services long before engaging with your company. Hence the role of content marketing – a means to communicate with your customers and prospects without selling. Therefore, you need to align your marketing to the new way customers are buying and take the customer buying process into consideration when creating your content. This article takes you through the steps you need to understand what touches and channels your customers prefer along each point in their buying journey.
  • Selecting the right performance metrics and developing an actionable marketing dashboard is something many organizations are tackling. However, if the link between marketing activities and business results isn’t clear, you may find yourself wallowing in data.
  • Challenging and highly competitive business environments. Channel proliferation. The need to prove and improve marketing ROI. Budgets on the chopping block. Perceived primarily as an expense, Marketing executives face many obstacles. One of the only ways to avoid being “sliced and diced” is to generate measurable value and demonstrate Marketing’s impact on the bottom line.
  • The 2015 Marketing Performance Management (MPM) benchmark study, A Diagnosis and Prescription for Marketing Performance Management, revealed that nearly 50% of marketers scored a C or lower for their ability to prove marketing’s value, impact and contribution. Becoming an “A” marketer is not an easy task, first you must be able to step back and figure out what corrective action(s) need to be taken. In this article we will explain the surmountable reasons why nearly 50% of marketers are receiving a low grade and what actions need to be taken in order to improve their marketing performance.
  • Does your dashboard: 1)Inform the leadership team of the contribution and impact marketing is making on acquiring, keeping, and growing the value of customers? 2)Provide a direct link between your marketing programs and investments and business results? 3)Enable you to make strategic decisions? If your dashboard is not helping you with these three questions then it may be time to do some fine-tuning. Here are 3 things we look for when evaluating a marketing dashboard’s ability to facilitate decisions, improve marketing, and prove marketing’s contribution.
  • As marketers we need to take the macro-environment into consideration when we’re creating any plan. With the election looming, it makes sense that companies are working to understand the implications of the results for several scenarios. However, using the election and waiting on the results to create your marketing plan and taking a “wait-and-see” approach to your investments is probably not the best course of action. The future of your business is more likely determined by your plan of action or lack of than any election outcome. As we enter the election and planning season, this article presents five important planning reminders.
  • A Forbes Insight Study revealed that 7 out 10 CEOs believe their company wastes money on marketing initiatives. What do CEO’s expect of marketing and the investments marketing is making? They need marketing to be a real partner to the C-suite and provide a system of steady and dependable revenue growth. Organizing for growth requires marketing to go beyond producing demand generation campaigns and equipping the sales team. It requires them to operate as a Center of Excellence (CoE). Every CEO should expect their marketing leadership to be committed to transforming their organizations into a CoE. This article explore how the C-Suite can guide the formation of a Marketing Leadership Council (MLC) to steer and sustain marketing as a Center of Excellence and five steps to help prioritize the initiative.
  • Charts and color-coded reports that convey marketing activities and reveal tactical, channel-specific information such as number of opens and click-through rates for email campaigns resemble what we call Dashboard 1.0. It’s a good start, but it doesn’t really help improve marketing performance or effectively communicate marketing’s impact on, and value to, the business. Best-In-Class marketers are upgrading to what we call Dashboard 2.0. This article presents the five design principles behind Dashboard 2.0. Follow these principles to ensure your new, more advanced dashboard clearly shows the connection between marketing investments, activities, and outputs and helps you quantify and justify resource requirements at budget time.
  • With the millions of bits and pieces of data available for us to collect, marketers must be capable of applying a discerning eye to identify the important patterns that lie within. This article addresses five data pattern detection approaches that all marketers should know, explaining their differences and when it is best to use each one. The marketers that are able to identify data patterns and distill them into something meaningful and actionable will be the ones to succeed in today's data-driven business environment.
  • As CEO’s and other members of the leadership team focus on and invest in growth, Marketing rises to the top of list for helping the organization “get it done.” Understanding the degree of impact your Marketing has on your business starts with measurement. Measurement and analysis are the essential ingredients for optimizing your marketing. But your marketing organization needs input from the leadership team to make headway. This article outlines five fundamental steps every CEO can take to support marketing’s performance optimization efforts.
  • Today’s marketers are swimming in a sea of metrics. Using accountability as the foundation for your performance management will help bring your metrics into focus. Your marketing accountability efforts are about more than merely reporting on your performance. This articles suggests five common traits among the Best-in-Class (BIC) marketers who are doing a great job tackling marketing accountability.
  • Many marketing organizations are playing a strategic role in helping to transform their companies from being operations- or product-centric to becoming more customer-centric. To have an impact on acquisition, retention, and growth, marketers are articulating, developing, and implementing customer-centric marketing strategies that have an impact on the customer buying journey and experience.
  • Not having the right information means that market, customer, and product decisions will have to be based more on instinct and intuition than on facts. Whenever possible, this risky approach should be avoided. What information do you need to make those critical decisions? Having the right information readily available in an actionable, manageable and comprehensible marketing dashboard is essential for success. This article explores three key building blocks for creating a marketing dashboard.
  • As a CEO, you rely on a variety of business data to inform various decisions, such as pricing, productivity, product and performance decisions. A holistic view of this information supports planning decisions, such as what markets and customer to pursue, what product/services to offer, and so forth. The information your marketing organization provides is instrumental in understanding how well your organization is finding, keeping and growing the value of customers, the rate of adoption, traction, and dominance of your product/services in the market, and the rate of your growth in the market and your category. If the marketing information you receive today can’t be used to make customer, channel, product, or market mix decisions, or determine whether and how well your marketing efforts are impacting customer acquisition, retention, and advocacy, or ascertain the the impact, value, and contribution of your marketing initiatives on and to your business outcomes; it’s time to ask your marketing organization for a new dashboard. This article outlines five steps will help you and your marketing team create a dashboard to support strategic and investment decisions.
  • Finding, keeping and growing the value of customers is the job of marketing. The emphasis on demand generation among marketers these days often shines the light on finding customers. Yet the keeping and growing are just as essential. Having a clear understanding of what business needle you expect customer loyalty to move is critical. Measuring the movement of the business needle will indicate you whether or not your initiatives are working. Therefore, if you plan on implementing a customer loyalty initiative, this article recommends five steps to ensure your customer loyalty efforts connect to business results.
  • Customers are more fickle and relationships are more brittle than ever. Even the world's largest companies don't have as many resources as they need to reach all markets and drive ever increasing quarterly revenue. That makes it imperative to implement and maintain marketing initiatives to track and communicate the right dimensions, attributes, and metrics to reduce customer relationship brittleness and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Abstract: An article in Forbes revealed that 70% of the companies that were on the Fortune 1000 list a mere ten years ago have now vanished – unable to adapt to change. The article reinforces the importance of agility. Organizations in pursuit of agility and excellence create and deploy the concept of a Center of Excellence (CoE). A Marketing CoE is characterized by its ability to improve internal business processes, customer-centricity, market leadership, and market innovation. Read this article to learn how to make process and technology the cornerstone of your Marketing Center of Excellence.
  • A recent study by Forrester and Harvard Business Review found that ONLY 8 percent of customers feel GREAT about their experience despite the fact that 80 percent of businesses state they offer a GREAT customer experience. So, unless you work in one of the rare organizations with customers who rate their experience as great, improving customer experience truly is an opportunity to increase your competitive advantage. This article identifies the best practices value creators employ in their quest to understand the customer experience as a means of achieving market leadership.
  • The beginning of a New Year signifies a new start, and with that comes resolutions for the year ahead. We all have New Year's resolutions, and hopefully you made a few for your marketing, with at least one devoted to Marketing Performance Management. Making resolutions is the easy part, but keeping them is where it can get difficult. If you have yet to make a marketing resolution, this article provides four performance resolutions to choose from, along with a few tips for bringing them to fruition.
  • Shifting focus and lack of communication are two of the most frequent reasons why strategies fail. By keeping track of performance in comparison targets, companies can hold themselves accountable for the strategies that they adopt. Using these four steps in strategy execution, any company can improve their odds of success.
  • Creating a successful marketing plan is not fast, easy, or free. This article debunks the three most common myths that prevent marketers from developing a plan that improves and proves the value of marketing, and provides tips on how to approach this important project.
  • Whether to hire a marketing consulting company is a question every CMO and marketing leader addresses at some time or another. As marketer, it is important to know when to buck it up and tackle an initiative internally versus when is it time to secure an outside expert, ideally before the situation becomes critical or spirals into something more challenging. This articles suggests three questions to help you decide whether to tackle the effort on your own or seek outside help. And if you decide to engage outside expertise, what kind of expert might be best suited to the task and the key information you need to bring to the conversation.
  • Many marketers prefer to do as much internally as possible and before leveraging external experts. We begin to see some organizations considering change. Why? Because the value of speed is a big concern for many organizations and we are talking about strategic speed not operational speed. Does that really matter? Yes it really does. Studies show that increasing your strategic speed will increase your sales and higher operating profits. In this article you will learn how to foster strategic speed through two key marketing areas: Alignment and Analytics.
  • Demand Metric and VisionEdge Marketing released the 15th annual marketing performance management (MPM) benchmarking study findings. This ongoing study strives to understand how marketing organizations can achieve superior performance measurement and management and serve as Centers of Excellence.
  • Even though marketers continue to plug away at measurement, marketing leaders still struggle with how to demonstrate the impact of marketing on business. Numerous studies over nearly two decades on the topic have been conducted. Is there anything new left to learn? There is, and as a result, this article shares the insights from the 14th annual marketing performance measurement and management (MPM) study conducted with over 360 business executives and marketing professionals from around the world across all industries. Specifically this article explores: How much progress if any have marketers made in being able to measure contribution, value and impact. Which marketers are making progress. What the marketers who are excelling at MPM are doing better and differently.
  • A small group of marketers have cracked the code for demonstrating their value, impact and contribution to the C-Suite. These marketers focus alignment and accountability in their pursuit to serve as value creators. This paper discusses how they address the challenges of collecting, managing and analysing data, using data to link marketing activity to business outcomes and selecting the right metrics.
  • Best-in-Class (BIC) marketers operate differently than their counterparts. These marketers are more likely to exemplify or function as Centers-of-Excellence (CoE). This article explores what it means to be a Marketing CoE, how the BIC leverage their marketing operations team, and the five critical competencies these marketing operations teams address.
  • A hyper-competitive environment, greater channel complexity, the continued shift of power to the buyer, and increased pressure from the C-Suite to prove the value of marketing have all forced marketers to be more scientific (working with big data, and using analytical and measurement skills) in their marketing efforts than ever. But like weighing down only one side of a boat, are we now in danger of capsizing the marketing vessel, which still requires creativity in order to achieve balanced market leadership? And if so, how do we “right the boat?” This article outlines a few key points on how to successfully blend the art and science of marketing in order to make consistent, sound and rational decisions and recommendations to ultimately recruit and retain profitable customers.
  • All marketing leaders in the process of seeking to prove and continuously improve the value of marketing encounter at least some objections from team members, such as lack of resources, not knowing how or where to start, lack of data, and truly believing measurement is possible. This articles offers practical suggestions for how to overcome some of the most-frequent excuses marketing leaders (CMOs, VPs and Directors of Marketing) face to move their Marketing Performance Management (MPM) initiatives forward.
  • Best-In-Class marketers excel at alignment and accountability. The Golden Circle helps marketers determine what to align to and what to measure. By focusing on Why, How, and What rather than What, How, and Why, marketers are able to focus more on business outcomes and the steps they need to take to achieve those outcomes rather than focusing wholly on the steps to take. This strategy of focusing on the Why enables marketing to follow a more strategic performance-based of growth and measurement. In this article, learn how to apply the Golden Circle concept to your marketing planning and performance management.
  • Your marketing organization like any team is a system. And for it operate at its full potential everyone on the team needs to be in the right position at the right time. This takes exceptional communication and synchronization. Sometimes teams have an overly strong player which can actually be harmful to a team’s performance. Consider the example of “outkicking your coverage.” This article explores how “outkicking your coverage” applies to business and marketing and steps to manage it.
  • Best-in-Class marketers focus on delivering the “RITE” content (Relevant, Informative, Timely, and Entertaining) in the right channel. An essential part of the RITE equation is to match your marketing content with the customer buying journey and lifecycle. This means your first step is to map your customer’s buying journey, move from profiles to personas, and clearly understand your customer’s lifecycle. Read this article to learn more about how to tackle this effort.
  • The more you understand your customer’s journey the better you can address opportunities to improve key business results such as product/service adoption, and loyalty. What tools you use to create your visual map isn’t as important as how you create your map. This article outlines the five primary steps for creating your customer journey map.
  • Let’s face it, it’s never been more challenging to achieve market leadership. The “mores” also make it extremely challenging to lead the marketing function. There is more data to crunch, more silos to tear down, more marketing disciplines to manage and more marketing technology to evaluate and implement. And certainly there is more pressure from the C-Suite to prove and improve the value of marketing. Given these challenges, you and every member of your marketing team needs to bring more skills and more experience to the business of marketing than ever before. This article explores steps and processes you can take and use to convince the C-Suite to invest in top quality marketing talent and development.
  • With the availability of more data collection and analysis tools today, marketers are better able to understand what content, channels, and touchpoints are most effective in communicating with prospective customers. However, many marketers are still struggling and find themselves in a hit-or-miss situation. If this is the case for you, it might be time for your organization to create personas. In this article, find out the what, why, and how of personas, and get started on creating and implement this valuable asset.
  • Customers are at the heart of every business, and that concept was reinforced over this past Valentine’s Day. While on a getaway over the holiday weekend, a hotel in San Antonio provided the best customer experience, almost guaranteeing that visitors will become repeat guests. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to share insight on one of the tools we think best enables organizations to provide this type of excellent customer experience—the customer experience map.
  • Use the four steps in this article to design a performance management and measurement system that serves as a continual, repeatable process that helps you measure, analyze, and act. Measuring the right things is paramount to making more informed decisions and successfully producing better predictable outcomes.
  • In order for a business to function effectively, we all need to be solid and dependable team players. However, you must also remember that there is a difference between collaborating and abdicating. Marketing leaders often times find themselves in situations where their power has been diminished, especially when it comes to authority over budgets and programs. This article provides some ideas on how marketers can "take back the reins" and re-gain their power in their organization.
  • Nearly everyone understands that the marketing function is vital to an organization's success. A center of excellence consists of subject-matter experts and uses methodologies and tools that enable shared learning and encourage the building of a performance-based team. By using outcome-based metrics, a center of excellence justifies the Marketing team. So, how far along are you in making Marketing a center of excellence? Check out the following infographic to see what makes for a successful marketing operations function.
  • Because of explosive increase in the data available, the real challenge for marketers is to transform marketing data from a collection of charts and graphs into something much more engaging and appealing. This work requires marketers and data scientists to tease out the story hidden within the data to help facilitate decisions. Creating an engaging story is not an easy task. Many marketers which whom we have worked with have asked us for ideas to help them develop this skill. This article outlines 5 tips to do just that.
  • Businesses now have access to as much data as there are stars in the sky. In a world where date is king, it sometimes becomes difficult to really understand what your business should be tracking and what information is unnecessary and superfluous. Knowing the metrics that matter the most to your business’ organization and goals makes for a more efficient and effective marketing performance strategy. Businesses need to use their metrics to track what it is that is working in your marketing strategy and what must be improved upon.
  • Preparing your marketing strategies and initiatives is a lot like preparing to participate in an athletic event. Without a solid training plan, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, resulting in your unpreparedness for the event. The same thing can happen to marketers—without a strong plan, it is easy to get lost in the data. This article describes three key metric categories—Outcome, Performance, and Process—that can help athletes prepare their training schedule and assist marketers to develop, focus, and set their priorities, and ultimately to achieve the desired outcome target.
  • It is essential that marketers court, engage, and build a relationship with customers to gain loyalty. When your marketing genuinely employs empathy you are more likely to engage the target audience with your content, your message, and your story. This article discusses how to take a customer-centric approach and use empathy to craft stories that will resonate with your customers and create loyalty.
  • Imagine you have two new customer acquisition programs in play: Program Excalibur produces 100 qualified leads and Program Camelot produces 50 qualified leads. At first glance, it might appear that based on volume, or the quantity of qualified leads, that Excalibur is the better program. What other metrics should organizations use to evaluate opportunities generated by Marketing? This article explores six additional pipeline metrics every organization should consider.
  • Three key performance categories from the world of sports are relevant to marketing: outcome, performance, and process. This article defines these three performance management categories and explores how to apply them to marketing. The article provides tips and examples for how to formulate performance statements.
  • Marketing cannot be successful unless they forge a viable partnership with Finance. Unfortunately, in too many organizations, a disconnect exists between these two departments, making it more difficult than it should be to gain approval for marketing budgets--without significant cuts. While it's tempting to point the finger at someone else or circumstances, the major reason for this disconnect is that marketers do not speak the language of Finance. This article recommends an alternative approach for developing a Marketing budget and a dialogue for obtaining approval for a budget that will enable both Marketing and overall business success.
  • It’s never been more challenging to achieve market leadership and to meet stakeholder expectations. So, companies can no longer afford to have Marketing Operations function in a tactical service station model. Winning requires Marketing Operations to operate like strategic pit crew at a Formula One race. This article identifies the differences between the two models and provides ten critical questions to help with framing up Marketing Operations function that will make Marketing and your company faster, stronger more agile.
  • Many marketers have gotten so caught up in the creation of content, however, that they have forgotten how important it is to match marketing content with the customer buying journey and lifecycle.
  • In today’s world, financial rigor and strategic insight are becoming tightly linked. Increasingly, CFOs are playing a primary role in developing and implementing strategy within their company, serving as a key advisor to the CEO for developing growth opportunities for the future. With finance gaining greater influence and authority over the business as a whole, including marketing, marketers wanting to invest the company’s money in strategies and programs that enable the organization to acquire, keep and grow the value of customers need the CFO’s buy-in. Securing the CFO’s support takes credibility. This article outlines five steps that will help Marketing gain greater credibility with the CFO.
  • In just a few years we’ve gone from a few key technologies and a hundred players to dozens of technology options and nearly a thousand players. It’s easy to get excited by all these sexy new tools. But it is a mistake to wait to address accountability until after you have addressed technology, even if it’s just the marketing automation piece. This article explains why accountability comes before automation and provides four steps of the marketing performance management leaders you can model.
  • As the CEO, or member of the leadership team, you know how important data, and the ability to draw actionable insights from the data, are to making fact-based strategic decisions. As your company attempts to deal with increasing market pressure and competition, it is imperative that you can depend on your marketing organization for relevant and timely data about the market, customers, competition, and about which marketing investments are, and are not, effective and efficient. Here are the three ingredients your marketers need to ensure analytics are a gateway to your organization’s revenue growth.
  • Imagine getting into the cockpit of an airplane and preparing for takeoff. You’re all strapped in, but you discover that all the indicators – and the entire dashboard itself – are missing. How would you know how fast you’re going, how much fuel you’re burning, and which way you’re headed? Yet that’s exactly what marketers without an effective dashboard do every day: they fly blindly. Read on to stop flying blind!
  • It’s completely reasonable that as the CEO you expect your marketers to demonstrate the value of the investment they are making on behalf of the company. Research confirms that it’s not the budget that holds marketing back from being able to prove its value. The real difference is alignment. This article outlines three areas the leadership team should invest in to help marketers improve their effectiveness and accountability.
  • a. With increased pressure on marketing to measure its value and contribution, marketing performance management is moving to the front burner. As a result many organizations are actively implementing a marketing operation function. The role of marketing operations is expanding, especially among Best-in-Class marketing organizations. Learn how BIC marketers use marketing operations to champion and orchestrate the six A’s (alignment, accountability, analytics, automation, alliances and assessment) of marketing performance management.
  • Marketing Technology enables marketers to thrive in today's hyper-competitive business environment. The ability to identify exactly which technologies are needed, in which order, and how to effectively implement and use the tools is key to return on investment and success. The right investment in people is also required in order to realize the full benefit of these tools. This article explores the four different categories of Marketing Technology tools, and provides the basis for creating a roadmap to implement them in your organization.
  • The consequences of not performing effective research, or “winging” research and using those results to make decisions can have a detrimental impact on your organization and ultimately result in reduced sales and market share. Fielded properly, effective research can help you identify potential new customers and answer questions such as who is going to use your product/service, how they buy, their supplier criteria and preferences, and so on. Research is also both critical and essential if you seek to better understand your existing customers, what they value, and their degree of loyalty or risk of defection. This article defines the benefits of research and will help you build the business case to get your company focused on doing the measureable market research you know is needed.
  • Would you like to be perceived by the C-Suite as an individual with strong business acumen? Do you want to be able seen as influential, credible, and relevant to business? Of course you do! Who wouldn’t? The 2015 Marketing Performance Management Study as well as other studies from Fournaise and Eloqua, have revealed that 80% of marketers use the word “brand” in their ever present vocabulary and that only half (51%) of marketing departments have been set any form of revenue targets, despite revenue growth being cited as the single most important metric for CEOs. This article outlines five things you can start doing today to effectively change your method of communication so the C-Suite sees you as a relevant, credible, and influential member of the business team.
  • Although many have embraced the collection of large amounts of data, many are still struggling with the synthesis of it. By firstly choosing the correct data sets, marketers can then follow this 5 step process to pull actionable, valuable insights from their collected data.
  • The convergence of data, analytics and technology is driving both the demand for marketing dashboards – and enabling their evolution. This article explores the various types of dashboards and their design. Learn about four essential design elements and the six categories you should include on your marketing dashboard.
  • Marketers today are creating more content than before and leveraging various channels to get their messages across. With the major investment of time and money, it is important that marketers understand the most effective methods for delivering content to consumers. In this article, learn how you can use optimization and attribution modeling, when to use them, how they differ, plus the various approaches for assigning and measuring attribution.
  • With the increased pressure on business leaders to be more personally accountable for the performance and conduct of their organizations, the emphasis on performance management has trickled down and across the organization, which of course includes marketing. A sound marketing performance management process is essential for enabling marketing professionals to demonstrate and communicate marketing’s impact on along with the contribution to the organization. This article explores three performance management terms often used interchangeably – marketing effectiveness, marketing accountability and marketing measurement – and the role these three complementary ideas serve in the performance management process.
  • Many marketers think that they can approach their marketing plan like a televised home makover-a few days and a few dollars and “voila” a new marketing plan! Well, the truth and myths of real-time television apply to the creation of a marketing plan. Here are three lessons we can learn from HGTV.
  • Two of the most valuable purposes of a marketing dashboard are to help our leadership team understand how Marketing is moving the needle in terms of top line revenue, market share, customer value, category ownership, etc. as well as to provide strategic guidance. However, one of more perplexing findings from the recently completed marketing performance research conducted jointly by Forrester, ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing is that while marketers have access to more data, leverage more analytics, and have invested in more tools and systems than ever before, they continue to struggle to prove marketing's contribution to the business. This despite the fact that the majority of the marketers in the study indicated they regularly produce and share dashboards. These dashboards are primarily generated by marketing automation platforms and CRM systems. This article clarifies the difference between an activity tracking report and a dashboard that helps you improve and prove the value of marketing.
  • One of the key differences about the stellar performers is that these marketers view and present themselves as businesspeople first. This elite group is customer-centric above all else, and they are driven to transforming or establishing Marketing as a center of excellence within the organization. These marketers work at ensuring that Marketing focuses on producing results that matter to the business, particularly in customer acquisition, retention, and value, and they are able to communicate those contributions in ways that are relevant to the C-Suite. This article identifies the best practices they employ to give their marketing both a turbo charge and additional torque.
  • One of the key differences about the stellar performers is that these marketers view and present themselves as businesspeople first. This elite group is customer-centric above all else, and they are driven to transforming or establishing Marketing as a center of excellence within the organization. These marketers work at ensuring that Marketing focuses on producing results that matter to the business, particularly in customer acquisition, retention, and value, and they are able to communicate those contributions in ways that are relevant to the C-Suite. This article identifies the best practices they employ to give their marketing both a turbo charge and additional torque.
  • As a member of your organization’s leadership team, you know that driving and deliver growth hinges keeping the customer front and center in regards to your workflow, data, analytics, metrics, and accountable action. Learn how to employ S.W.E.A.T -Strategy, Workflow, Engines, Accountable Actions, and Talent – to keep marketing, sales, product and service operating on all cylinders.
  • Finance continues to gain greater influence and authority over the business as a whole, including marketing. CFO’s are becoming responsible for activities such as prioritizing company resources, developing and communicating the company strategy, making IT decisions, and implementing performance programs. As a result marketers need to better quantify and measure the value of marketing programs. In this new world, marketers need to “speak business” to win over the CFO. This article outlines five ways to save your budget from the chopping block.
  • The sales team loves you – because you are always responsive to their ad hoc requests for a presentation, brochure, case study, or email campaign NOW. The CEO may love you too – because you are filling the pipeline as requested to meet quarterly revenue objectives. But, despite the love you are uneasy. You know that because you are so busy with tactical marketing initiatives you don’t have the time or budget to fulfill marketing’s strategic role (generating value) and significantly improve organizational results. And that feels bad. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. This is the classic marketing catch 22. To help you escape the catch-22, this article describes the characteristics of a service organization to sales and a value creation organization. Then, for those you who believe that you are too far on the service organization end of the continuum, we provide five steps to help you transition your organization to a more value creation orientation.
  • Culture – the socially transmitted behavior patterns that reflect how a group of people operate. With the explosion of data, companies are moving to more analytically-oriented evidence-based decisions. With so much of today’s data related to customer and market behavior, marketing organizations are in an excellent position to lead the charge for creating data-driven culture. In this article, learn how to nurture and create a data-driven marketing culture.
  • CEOs, your marketing leader is an integral member of your team. Skimping on your marketing talent puts you and your company at risk for longer sales cycles, few or poor quality opportunities, failed product launches, and customer defection. Don’t expect, or settle for, a marketing leader that you won’t have sit at your strategy table. To avoid short circuiting your success, this article recommends three criteria for CEOs to apply to the selection process.
  • Content is everywhere! Marketers in all industries are spending countless hours creating content to improve their SEO Rankings, gain credibility as thought leaders, but more importantly, to drive prospects and customers to their organization. However, some of the content being created is not proving effective and sometimes ends up being a wasted touch point. Why? Because it is not being delivered at the right time. In this article learn how to use the customer buying process and lifecycle to time your content to effectively engage and motivate your prospects and customers.
  • A good dashboard guides your actions and helps you mitigate risks. Most of us rely on an automobile dashboard every day to help us determine when to fuel up or when to slow down. If your marketing dashboard doesn’t guide your strategic and investment decisions, it’s time to return to the drawing board.
  • Customer Segmentation is not as easy as it once was. Each category and segment reflects a customer and by understanding the customers’ needs, wants, and buying process in a category you can make better strategy, product, positioning, messaging, channel, and content decisions.
  • Marketers in organizations of all sizes and working in all industries are clambering to develop content and utilize the proper channels to reach and connect with customers and prospects. However, if we produce content without taking the customer buying process into consideration, all of this effort could end up being a waste. This article outlines how to synchronize mix and content with the customer buying journey and lifecycle, why this is important, and how your organization will benefit.
  • a. Marketing Technology enables marketers to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive business environment. The ability to identify exactly which technologies are needed, in which order, and how to effectively implement and then use the tools is key to return on investment and success. The right investment in people is also required in order to realize the full benefit of these tools. This article explores the four different categories of Marketing Technology tools and recommends key steps to help you pave the way to developing a successful technology roadmap.
  • Most marketers today are responsible for planning, directing, and controlling something -- at the very least a program or project. Part of our job is to enable our companies to make better, more informed decisions.Yet today’s marketers need to approach running the marketing organization as if they were managing a strategic business unit.
  • Marketers everywhere know they need to increase their analytical and accountability prowess. However, this effort is only worth the investment of time, people and money if you can use these capabilities to drive strategic decisions, actionable recommendations, and improve and prove marketing effectiveness. In fact, we believe the line between marketing analyst and marketing strategist will increasingly blur. Strategists need the analytics to stay ahead of emerging opportunities, respond quickly to unexpected threats, and make timely decisions.
  • Marketers everywhere know they need to increase their analytical and accountability prowess. However, this effort is only worth the investment of time, people and money if you can use these capabilities to drive strategic decisions, actionable recommendations, and improve and prove marketing effectiveness. In fact, we believe the line between marketing analyst and marketing strategist will increasingly blur. Strategists need the analytics to stay ahead of emerging opportunities, respond quickly to unexpected threats, and make timely decisions.
  • As the CEO, perhaps your marketing folks have told you that they need more marketing automation tools before they can address marketing measurement. But it is a mistake to wait to address accountability until after you have addressed technology, even if it’s just the marketing automation piece. This article explains offers four steps every CEO should consider addressing with their marketing team to improve accountability.
  • With the myriad of choices and options for nearly every purchase, it is essential that marketers court, engage, and build a relationship with customers. When you can genuinely use empathy you are more likely to engage the target audience with your content, your message, and your story. This article discusses how to take a customer-centric approach and use empathy to craft stories that will resonate with your customers.
  • One of our associates is preparing to send her child, Evan, off to 3-week overnight summer camp for the first time. Over the past few months she’s shared how the family went about selecting the right camp for them, and then the amazing job the camp did managing the experience after the selection and before the start of camp. It struck as a familiar buying process for a considered and consultative sell, followed by an impressive customer onboarding process. So, as you read this article think about how this model could be adapted by your organization to improve your customers’ experience.
  • One of the key challenges marketers face when it comes to measuring marketing value, impact, and contribution is selecting the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). If you want to influence success, determining the right marketing KPI’s for your business is critical. Selecting the right marketing KPI’s is a bit like making a fine sauce, it takes the right ingredients, tools, time and a bit of trial and error. This article presents a 4 step recipe to assist you on the process.
  • You may have heard the quote: it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. In the business world, however, wins and losses mean everything, and understanding why you won or lost, in a timely manner, is vital to increasing revenue and improving your competitive advantage. Successful win/loss programs are institutionalized so that every aspect of the buyer’s journey is analyzed (not just the sales team touch points), to capture unbiased, in-depth information with all the key decision makers and influencers. Just as importantly, this key initiative is not done internally, it is outsourced to third parties who can provide interviewing expertise, and deliver an unbiased report that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your competition (beyond their product), and surfaces patterns that you can use for setting and adjusting strategic and tactical direction.
  • Although most markets are fiercely competitive, with so much focus on demand generation, many marketers cannot allocate sufficient resources to anticipating competitors’ moves.
  • Last summer, SpencerStuart reported their latest findings for the 8th annual CMO tenure study. They found that the tenure for CMOs is now nearly 4 years compared to just 2 years back in 2006. While CMO tenure varies across industries, there are several attributes long-tenured CMOs share.
  • To survive in an environment where the rate of change is rapidly increasing, organizations must master change management. However, as we all know, sometimes handling change can be very difficult—from the initiation stage all the way through reinforcement. If you want to successfully make changes in your organization, you need three elements: vision, method, and will. In this article, learn how you can use these elements to ensure that your organization has the skills necessary to carry out successful change.
  • Three key metrics categories applied in the "sports" arena work just as well for marketing: outcome, performance, and process. As the CEO you may want to motivate your marketing team to integrate these key performance indicator categories into their performance management. This article explains each category and how to apply it to your business and marketing.
  • Last summer, SpencerStuart reported their latest findings for the 8th annual CMO tenure study. They found that the tenure for CMOs is now nearly 4 years compared to just 2 years back in 2006. While CMO tenure varies across industries, there are several attributes long-tenured CMOs share.
  • Companies face more obstacles than ever- from a challenging business environment, to an explosion of channels, to a heightened focus on using data and analytics. For the C-Suite to invest in marketing, Marketers need to generate measurable value and demonstrate Marketing’s impact on the bottom line. In the era of measurement, it’s likely your marketing organization is measuring something. Marketing’s metrics however need to answer the C-Suite’s question as to how Marketing is impacting and contributing to the business, what is and isn’t working, and provides course adjustment recommendations, then you may need to return to the drawing board. This article outlines three steps every CEO can ask their Marketing organization to employ to ensure their metrics answer your “So What” questions.
  • 'Relevance' is a term that describes how pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter. However, marketers often measure the wrong thing when looking to measure relevance. There are a number of best-practice approaches for measuring relevance, many of them are complex and require modeling. There is an intuitive relationship between relevance and intended behavior. By tracking relevance, you will be able to set benchmarks and performance targets for your content and model content relevance for intended behavior.
  • Laura Patterson was interviewed for the upcoming 2012 Bridge Conference and was asked to offer tips for marketing pros attending the conference. Read this article to see what advice she had for marketers.
  • As we create more content, marketers are trying to understand the role this content plays in the buying process and which components have the greatest impact on generating conversation, consideration and ultimately consumption. So it’s no surprise that marketers are trying to understand how to leverage both marketing mix attribution and optimization models. Both attribution and optimization modeling are about improving mix and understanding the impact of marketing investments on customer behavior. This articles what these models are, when to use them, how they are different, and outlines various approaches for measuring attribution: first/last touch, equal, and fractional.
  • Some marketing questions require robust analytics. For example understanding what mix of channels are driving sales for a particular product or in a particular customer set or what sequence of channels is most effective. These types of questions often require large sets of data, or what is being referred to as Big Data. Study after study shows that marketers are struggling with mining and analyzing data in order to derive valuable insights, actionable intelligence and managing performance. This article explains Big Data, why it is important, and suggests six steps for using it.
  • Growth, measured in terms of increased revenue, profit, and/or assets is a key initiative for most companies. The recent merger, acquisition and takeover frenzy of the past few years reflects what is known as inorganic growth. Organic growth, now back in vogue is the rate a business expands through its own business activity. Organic growth requires a company to create competitive advantages, differentiate and innovate its product/service offerings, and to hone in on viable existing and new customer opportunities.
  • Marketing Operations (MarketingOps) helps run the Marketing function as a fully accountable business by building the processes and managing the systems. It is the vital backbone function within Marketing that develops and deploys the processes, systems, tools and skills necessary to link Marketing to business outcomes in order to improve and prove marketing’s value. In the most recent Marketing Performance Management Benchmark study, we were curious as to how much progress each group of marketers Best-in-Class (BIC), Middle-of-the-Pack and Laggards was making in employing MarketingOps to support their MPM and Center of Excellence efforts. What’s the key takeaway? The MarketingOps of the BIC is more about Doing the Right Things than Doing Things Right. This article offers six MarketingOps capabilities to help fine tune your MPM efforts.
  • Marketers today have no shortage of things they can measure. However, we must keep in mind that the purpose of measuring is to tie marketing metrics to business contribution and impact. Rather than simply measuring for measurement's sake, marketers need to think of measuring so that we know what marketing brings to the business. In this article, learn what our role as marketers is, as well as how we can successfully measure value.
  • CMO’s are under increased pressure to demonstrate and create value. In response, Best-in-Class marketers have mastered six fundamental marketing areas: Alignment, Accountability, Analytics, Automation, Alliances and Assessments. Our research has discovered that at present only a quarter of marketers are value creators. If you are in this elite group, in this article you will learn why having the title of CVO instead of CMO can make a difference and how to go about seeking that title change.
  • The world of Marketing is becoming more and more complex, and as the field becomes more data-driven and measurement-oriented, specialties have emerged. Whether you are a marketer in a small business or a major corporation, marketing specialists have become a necessity. In this article, learn how you can determine when you need a specialist and how to go about finding the right one.
  • Marketers who consistently demonstrate business acumen are more likely to be considered among the “A” marketers, the marketers who regularly get high marks from their leadership team. If you’re looking to rise up through the ranks, business acumen is an essential skill that you can improve. This article outlines four steps every marketer can take to enhance business acumen.
  • It’s never been more challenging to lead the marketing function. To be successful, marketers now need a special mix of skills and experience, because businesses increasingly need people who can create “brilliant customer experiences through a fusion of technology, creativity and commercial acumen.” But many businesses have not recognized the increased importance of the science side of marketing. They still expect to achieve market leadership even though they are not recruiting top notch personnel and not investing in upgrading and expanding their skills. Only constant communication and demonstration of the required technical skills, marketing discipline experience, and marketing principles understanding by the marketing team will help business recognize and embrace this shift and achieve competitive advantage.
  • CEO's are urging their companies to focus their efforts on organic growth methods to increase and accelerate revenue. These CEO's understand that with an effective organic growth strategy, their organizations will continue to grow by engaging new customers and expand the business with existing customers. So how does one achieve that? In this article, you will learn what Customer Engagement is and why you should use it as well as the different metrics that you can put in place to measure how successful or not your organic growth strategy is.
  • More new channels, competition, and distinct segments to manage, as well as shorter product lifecycles, greater price transparency, and higher customer experience expectations, are creating an exponential increase in the amount of available marketing data. Unless all that data can be effectively collected, analyzed, and transformed into meaningful and actionable insights—and then used to tell a compelling, actionable story it is useless. Many marketing organizations are employing data scientists to capture, manipulate, and transform data into meaning. The ultimate challenge for data scientists is to use the data to create stories. This article offers five coaching tips to help data scientists go beyond the data to become compelling storytellers.
  • CEOs, CFOs, and COOs understand the value of operations management for supporting the development, production, and delivery of products and/or services. It is just as important to establish a marketing operations function to support the development, production and delivery of your marketing. Why? Because with the proliferation of marketing automation tools and increased pressure to prove the value of marketing, it makes good business sense for all but the smallest organizations to employ Marketing Ops management.
  • An effective sales playbook characterizes the roles and responsibilities for you (and your sales team), lays out clear objectives, identifies metrics for measurement, and provides a common framework and approach for closing sales. Having a “killer” playbook, which incorporates Marketing & Sales Alignment, enables you to sell more effectively, handle different selling situations, position against a particular competitor, and/or communicate the value proposition in the buying process. This article outlines exactly what your playbook needs to include, and how to create it, so that you have constructed the best strategy required to accomplish your, and your company’s, goals.
  • Although most marketers create marketing plans, all too often these plans end up “sitting on a shelf collecting dust.” Your marketing plan should be guiding you and your team’s daily activity. It should be a go-to resource you revise, adapt and refer to often for the long haul. This article offers two steps to set you on the path toward transforming your marketing plan from a disconnected set of slides to an action-oriented blueprint. In this way, your marketing plan has the opportunity to remain evergreen.

Quote Rotator

Loading Quotes...