Much has been written on the topic of data, especially the amount of it, the ability to analyze it, and the use of it.  In the world of data, more is not necessarily better.  In the words of Patrick Kehoe, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Coalfire, “the sea of data available daily can be daunting and distracting, so it’s critical to focus on the data that matters.” Confident business decisions take more than experience and your gut. Making smart decisions requires insights derived from analyzing data. In 2018, a CMO survey, found that only 30% of B2B marketers rely on analytics to make data-driven decisions.  This lack of understanding of the importance of, and how to read and use, data makes it challenging for Marketing leaders to fulfill Marketing’s fundamental mission – create customer-centric profitable growth.

Some Marketing organizations are more proficient at using data and analytics than others.  In this post, we’ll explore:

  1. The data usage capabilities of Best-in-Class (BIC) Marketing organizations.
  2. Where Marketing organizations continue to struggle.
  3. Steps every marketer can take to move their data-insights-action efforts forward.

With this knowledge and effective implementation, Marketing organizations can become the growth engine it is meant to be.

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Yes, I Want My Growth Idea

Before we examine each of these, let’s provide context for the source of our data
 

About the Data for the Insights into Marketing’s Analytics Mastery

Since 2001, we’ve been conducting research to learn what differentiates BIC Marketing organizations within the content of proving Marketing’s value.  As a result of our surveys, we have gained considerable insights into the characteristics of BIC Marketing organizations.  Over the years, three Marketing organization personas emerged:

Value Creators, the BIC organizations, while committed to achieving revenue and profit targets, are also strategically focused on growth, and creating value for customers and their organizations. In addition to their focus on growth and value creation, two primary factors, alignment and accountability, surfaced consistently as statistically significant characteristics of organizations comprised of Value Creators.

These BIC marketers can derive insights from data, improve Marketing performance, and impact business results better than their middle of pack, Sales Enablers, and their laggard Campaign Producer colleagues. Value Creators also excel at measuring their contribution to business results and linking Marketing measures and metrics to business outcomes.

Middle of the Pack Marketing organizations are referred to as the Sales Enablers are in service to the sales function and primarily focus on delivering opportunities to the early stages of the pipeline.

Laggards are referred to as the Campaign Producers because they operate more like internal agencies focused solely on developing and producing content, events, and other deliverables to support demand generation efforts.

We recently released the findings from the 2021-2022 study, Marketing Organization Value and Performance Management (MPM) Benchmark Study As we go through some of the results, seven pieces of information provide helpful context.

  1. The study was fielded from September 19 through November 8, 2021.
  2. Qualifying questions were used to screen participants.
  3. Over 75 percent of the 283 qualified study participants came from among the leadership ranks. More than half (61%) of the participants were from the ranks of the C-Suite. CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers were separated from the C-suite roles. CMOs and VPs among the Marketing functions, VP of Marketing, VP of Digital Marketing, VP of Demand Generation, VP of Marketing Ops, etc. represented 15% of the study participants. The remaining participants were among the ranks of Marketing leaders and professionals.
  4. Over half of the participants are primarily B2B companies and equally represented by global, multi-regional, and single geography companies.
  5. The majority of the participants have company annual revenue of <$50 million or $50 million to $499 million, 40% and 38% respectively. 67% of the participants are in companies with 100 employees or more.
  6. All personas were evenly represented.
  7. Neither size, industry, geography, or budget were found to be statistically significant in terms of the emergence or success of BIC Marketing organizations, the Value Creators, versus the other personas, Sales Enablers and Campaign Producers.

A high performing Marketing function adds tremendous value toward achieving business goals and enabling critical, strategic, smart decisions. The Best-in-Class group, the Value Creators, earn higher marks for being able to prove their value, impact, and contribution.

Since 2001 we’ve asked the C-Suite to “grade” their Marketing organization using a 100-point scale for their ability to demonstrate its value to the organization.  Marketing organizations receiving 90-100 are placed in the BIC group, known as the Value Creators.  Those receiving 80-89 are placed in the middle of the pack group, known as the Sales Enablers. Those receiving 79 or less, are placed in the laggard group, known as the Campaign Producers.

In 2021, the ranks of the BIC Marketers grew, the sales enablers declined, and the campaign producers remained stable.

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Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

 

The 4 Benefits of Data Analytics Mastery

There are three statistically significant characteristics of the Value Creators compared to other personas: a) Use of Data, b) Performance Management, and c) Customer-Centricity.

Data-analytics-insights proficiency takes discipline and intelligent investment.  Before we delve into how the Value Creators use data, the first thing to understand is how this capability benefits them and their organization. Armed with insights derived from data, the Value Creators:

  1. Exhibit more business acumen
  2. Achieve more influence business decisions
  3. Facilitate better decisions
  4. Are better able to prove relevancy and improve their credibility

data, analytics, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

How do they achieve this level of data mastery?  They invest in analytics mastery within their own organization or leverage expertise outside their organization.  Either way, they recognize the journey to insight success begins with analytics.data, analytics, marketing, value, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

Action Step: Tools alone are will not suffice to analyze data. Today every businessperson needs to have basic data and analytics skills. Whether its segmentation data, customer journey data, customer acquisition and retention data, win/loss data, website traffic data, email data, social media data, CTA conversion data, etc. there’s no marketing role today that does not in some way require data. If you don’t have sufficient data analytics skill within your team, work on adding more of this capability through training or new hires. Leverage external experts in the meantime.
 

Why Value Creators Earn the Highest Marks

The Value Creators earn the highest marks and realize the greatest benefits.  They are significantly superior in how they manage and analyze data. As a result of developing analytics proficiency, Value Creators are the only persona whose scores increased for using data to improve business performance. data, analytics, marketing, value, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

Value Creators transform data into actionable insights that fuel business decisions and results. This group knows what the C-Suite expects from their Marketing function:

  1. Generating net new opportunities
  2. Acquiring net new customers
  3. Increasing business with existing customers
  4. Growing revenue

Value Creators outperform their counterparts in producing results in all of these areas.

On average, Value Creators are nearly 1.6X better than the other personas on their ability to generate new business.

data, analytics, value, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

Action Step: Value Creators know what they need to know before they delve into data. They begin with the business outcomes for their organization. They ensure their team, and their plan are aligned to the outcomes.  Before you develop your plan, before you implement any programs, be sure you and your team understand expected outcomes and how Marketing is expected to impact and contribute to these.
 

Build Data Analysis Mastery in These 4 Key Areas

The sheer amount of data makes it impossible for most organizations to master the analytics process in one fell swoop and address every aspect of Marketing.  The good news is you don’t have to. There are four key areas where Value Creators excel at, and invest in, gaining insights from analyzing data.

  1. Making Strategic Recommendations
  2. Improving Effectiveness
  3. Making Course Adjustments
  4. Improving Operational Efficiency

Note, even the Value Creators need to improve their ability to determine customers at risk of defecting. More about that later.

data, value, analytics, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

Being smart with data means you need to know and manage your data.  The BIC Marketing organizations take the time to regularly inventory their data. They know what data they have, where it is stored, who owns it, how often it is updated, and how and when it is used to improve performance.

 

data, value, analytics, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

Action Step:  Value Creators serve in a strategic role in the organization and understand that effectiveness comes before efficiency.  They recognize that while near-term ROI is important, they must make the decision to focus on the long game. They work from a baseline, look for patterns and build models to support making recommendations, course adjustments or performance improvements. These are key attributes if you want to create a Marketing organization that reflects the BIC.
 

Seize 4 Opportunities to Use Data Better

Value Creators stand out from their peers in many areas. While Value Creators are considerably better at using data compared to their counterparts, the C-suite believes all three personas need to improve their use of data especially in 4 areas:

  1. Achieving objectives
  2. Making strategic decisions
  3. Supporting course adjustments
  4. Improving performance

This is despite the emphasis and increased availability of analytics tools.

data, analytics, value, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

 

data, analytics, value, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

 

data, analytics, value, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

 

data, analytics, value, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

Action Step: To increase satisfaction from the C-Suite, all Marketing organizations, including Value Creators need to improve their ability to track and measure performance, prove overall value, derive insights, and make predictions from data. For the C-Suite, it isn’t all about campaign and channel performance.  The C-Suite expects the Marketing organization to identify growth opportunities.  While the Value Creators have room for improvement, we can take a page out of their playbook to pursue three growth initiatives:

  1. Identifying market and customer segments to pursue
  2. Defining products/services to offer
  3. Improving customer engagement/experience

data, analytics, smart, marketing, data science, performance management, business, marketing management, marketing effectiveness, data management, performance measurement, marketing measurement, metrics, measurement

Source: Cultivating BIC Marketing Orgs:2021-22 MPM Report, The Jindal School and VEM.

In EY’s 2022 CEO Imperative Series, which is based on a survey of 2,000 global CEOs, the participating CEOs want market-leading growth in the year ahead. A McKinsey study found that “building new businesses has emerged as the top priority for organic growth, and the pace of this activity is quickening.” Market-leading growth and building new business fall squarely in the domain of Marketing and takes solid if not stellar data-insights-action skills.  There’s no time like NOW for Marketing organizations to identify the data that matters and make the decision to expand their data analytics abilities whether within its ranks or through external experts.

In the words of Bonnie Hammer, vice-chairman, NBCUniversal, “The ground beneath you is shifting, and either you get sucked in by holding on to old ways, or you take a giant step forward by taking some risks and seeing what happens.”

The content in this post is an excerpt from the Marketing Organization Value and Performance Management (MPM) Benchmark Study. Download the complete report and learn additional and important information, including the impact of culture and leadership styles on Marketing success as your growth engine.

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