VisionEdge Marketing https://visionedgemarketing.com Improving and Proving Your Marketing Tue, 10 Dec 2019 01:37:25 -0600 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 What's Your Edge is a series of VisionEdge Marketing podcasts dedicated to helping you use data, analytics, process, and measurement to create an edge for you and your customers. VisionEdge Marketing, founded in 1999, helps our customers solve the most difficult problems when it comes to using data, analytics, process and measurement to accelerate growth, create customer value, and improve performance. We always welcome hearing from you. Laura Patterson-VisionEdge Marketing President clean Laura Patterson-VisionEdge Marketing President laurap@visionedgemarketing.com laurap@visionedgemarketing.com (Laura Patterson-VisionEdge Marketing President) ©VisionEdge Marketing Helping you use data, analytics, process, and measurement to create an edge for you and your customers. VisionEdge Marketing https://visionedgemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/What's_Your_Edge_Podcast.png https://visionedgemarketing.com TV-G Austin, Texas 72123593 How Do You Know It’s Time to Bring in a Marketing Expert | What’s Your Edge? https://visionedgemarketing.com/time-to-bring-on-external-marketing-expert/ https://visionedgemarketing.com/time-to-bring-on-external-marketing-expert/#respond Tue, 10 Dec 2019 13:30:53 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47249 Today there are many Marketing experts out there. It's important to know when it's time to contact one and how to pick the right person for the job. Follow this six step process.

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Bring in external Marketing expertsDo you know when it’s time to bring in an outside Marketing expert? Maybe this story helps illustrate the point.

Not very long ago, Mark, my husband, started limping. When I asked him what was wrong, he said his knees were bothering him.  For immediate relief, he applied some BenGay and took some Advil. The next day he said he felt better. A few days later, I found him sitting in his chair with a heating pad on his knees. “It looks like your knees are still bothering you,” I pointed out. He hadn’t had any knee problems before and claimed he hadn’t done anything to strain them, so we decided it wasn’t anything serious and would see how things would go.

A few days later, when Mark and I had planned to go on a hike, he said he didn’t think he would be able to go. His knees were in just too much pain. At this point, I’m thinking, “maybe it’s time to go to the doctor”.  Mark met with his primary care physician who prescribed him some oral corticosteroids. These seemed to work and he felt better. However, within a week or so of activity, the pain returned with a vengeance and we were off to the “doc in a box” who gave him an injection which eased the pain along with a referral for an orthopedic specialist.

This scenario reminds me of the performance management journey many Marketing organizations travel. Many of these marketers feel some pain. Maybe it’s a result of increased scrutiny by the Finance organization. Maybe it’s the increased requests from the leadership team for better information about the value of a program or investment. Or, maybe the Marketing team is developing their annual plan and trying to determine the best course of action. Regardless of the reason, a common response to the pain is like the above approach – try to fix it with some inexpensive over-the-counter remedies, such as free or inexpensive analytics tools or dashboard templates, or how-to articles/white papers. And, sometimes, that may be all that’s needed.

When DIY is not Enough – It May Be Time for an External Expert

When DIY isn’t working, bring in an expert.

What happens if that’s not enough?  Often the next step is to call an existing resource, such as an “agency.” Like a primary care physician, they may be able to give you some relief. Or maybe you decide to deploy a new technology. That too may be all you need.  However, when you’ve attempted to solve a problem and it persists, it may be time to call in an expert with a specific focus.

Yes, some general practitioners are trained to diagnose and treat ailments in any part of your body, but for a tricky condition you may need someone  who specializes in one area, such as knees. These specialists have additional training and experience that make them experts in their field. They are working on solving your type of problem every day: It’s what they do. They have more in-depth of knowledge in the area than their generalist colleagues.

There are many external Marketing experts out there – you may be using some for SEO or ABM. There are also specialists in Marketing Operations, Marketing accountability, and Marketing Performance Management (MPM) and related fields.

Follow This Six Step Process to Bring on an External Marketing Expert

When seeking an external Marketing expert, odds are you will follow a similar 6 step buying process used by your customers:

  1. Identify the problem and its causes. There’s nothing worse than treating a problem with the wrong solution because you’re unsure of, or misunderstand, what the problem is. It won’t work to treat arthritis as if it were a pulled muscle.
  2. Identify solutions and investigate the preferred solution options. Determine the best methods for treating the problem – would physical therapy or surgery be a better option.
    • In some instances, all you need is a tactician, additional arms and legs who can solve a specific short-term problem, such as managing event details, writing copy, or creating graphics. In other situations, you may need someone for a longer period to serve in a more strategic capacity, for example developing a new product launch strategy and all it entails.
    • For other situations, such as executing a multi-touch campaign, you may be able to rely on a generalist, that is, a marketer with a broad base of experience.  Your scenario may call for a specialist, such as the special expertise needed for designing and conducting market research, building marketing models, or developing a dashboard.
    • As you consider what kind of expert you need, you will want to decide whether they need industry expertise or what you really need is a skilled craftsman, such as a data scientist.
    • Ask colleagues, associations, and check publications to identify the best methods. Methods evolve. There may be newer treatments that are more effective than what was used in the past.
  3. Establish your criteria. Create and prioritize a list of criteria to help with choosing your external Marketing experts. Criteria might include background, years of experience, industry expertise, and so on. Here’s a starting point. When you have all of the necessary time, tools, and skills, you may be able to do it yourself with just a little coaching. When your team is in reactive mode, missing deadlines or important details, focused on the urgent at the sake of the important, or attempting a task without the necessary skills or tools, consider seeking outside expertise.   There three questions can help you decide whether to tackle the effort on your own or seek outside help.
    • Knowledge/Skills: Do I/we know what I’m/we’re doing and have the skills for the task? Time-sensitive and mission critical tasks are not ideal for trying to learn new skills. Benefit from a specialist or skilled craftsman as a way to both achieve the task and facilitate skills development.
    • Complexity: Will I/we achieve a better result with help? It is a good time to take advantage of external expertise, particularly a tactician or generalist, when a task become complicated and there are a large number of moving parts.
    • Time: Is doing this task the best use of my/our time? Time is a perishable resource. You cannot store or save it, making it far more valuable than money. Leverage outside help when the task will consume too much of yours and the company’s time at the expense of other efforts.
  4. Select the solution and identify potential solution providers. Once you’ve selected your treatment plan, you are ready to identify the specialists to work with. Different needs will require different levels of investment. Will a walk-in clinic suffice or is it time to bite the bullet for a more in-depth exam and solution?  These questions prior will help define the scope and type of expert you require.
    • What task(s) need to be completed, and why and how they fit into the big picture?
    • What are the top three benefits of using an external expert?
    • How quickly does the work need to be completed and why is the timing important?
    • Why do you need outside expertise and what if anything have you completed or attempted, and what were the results?
    • How will the success of the task and the project be measured?
    • What challenges do you anticipate, such as availability of people needed to support the work, working across multiple time zones or geographic facilities, etc.?
    • What internal requirements or processes are needed to bring someone in, how long will this take, and who within your organization and from other organizations need to be included in the selection process?
    • Who on your team will need to work with the person/firm and what is their level of expertise?
    • What is important to you about the person or firm you will hire? Does it matter where they are located, their existing projects, and/or their industry experience? Make a list of what is important in priority order and then using a 1-5 or other scale, rate how important each item is to your final hiring decision.
  5. Evaluate potential providers and create your shortlist. Vet your top candidates. Visit their website, read their content, talk with customers and other industry leaders.
  6. Engage with your shortlist. Once you have identified the potential experts, set an initial consultation appointment. Be clear about your problem, what you’ve tried, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and your ideal outcome. Just as you would bring your test results and updated list of your medications to a meeting with a medical specialist, for a performance management meeting, you should bring a list of your current systems, data, metrics, performance management processes, tracking, and reporting.

Make your selection and start to work. Problems rarely just “go away.” Some symptoms might dissipate even though the problem is getting worse. It is generally less expensive and more effective to start treatment before the problem worsens, causes complications, or spreads.

The field of Marketing is becoming more and more complex. As Marketing becomes more data-driven and metrics-oriented, specialties have emerged, across all the Marketing disciplines. Whether you’re in a large or small Marketing organization, external Marketing experts are becoming necessary.  External experts are an investment both in the result and the relationship.  Having a repeatable process for evaluating external experts and bringing them on-board helps ensure both a quality outcome and experience.

Budget for an external Marketing experts along with your programs. Rather than find yourself in an emergency where you may not have a choice about your help, take a strategic approach. This is especially true when it comes to the work associated with performance management and measurement. These are the people who have experience and expertise in using data, analytics, process, and metrics. We are not saying this is and easy job. If it were easy, we wouldn’t continue to see results from our research and studies such as the Kantar study claiming, “Marketers Struggle to Assess Their Marketing Performance.” Need more advice on when and how to choose a specialist? We’d love to chat with you.

Hope you found this episode of What’s Your Edge? Helpful. What’s Your Edge? Is the creation of VisionEdge Marketing.  VisionEdge Marketing, founded in 1999, helps our customers solve the most difficult problems when it comes to using data, analytics, process and measurement to accelerate growth, create customer value, and improve performance. We always welcome hearing from you.

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https://visionedgemarketing.com/time-to-bring-on-external-marketing-expert/feed/ 0 Today there are many Marketing experts out there. It's important to know when it's time to contact one and how to pick the right person for the job. Follow this six step process. Today there are many Marketing experts out there. It's important to know when it's time to contact one and how to pick the right person for the job. Follow this six step process. Laura Patterson-VisionEdge Marketing President clean 10:10 47249
Why You Need to Start with Why as You Develop Your Marketing Plan https://visionedgemarketing.com/your-marketing-plan-starts-with-why/ https://visionedgemarketing.com/your-marketing-plan-starts-with-why/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 14:45:21 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47887 When properly developed, the Marketing plan - that is, one that consists of more than a list of programs and tactics - serves as an exceptional alignment and accountability vehicle. To create a Marketing plan that passes muster, start with Why.

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Two challenges (alignment with the CEO and alignment with business priorities) remain constant for Marketing leaders. The recent Spencer Stuart CMO Tenure study suggests one of the primary reasons for the continued CMO shuffle is “poor alignment between the CEO and CMO on the mission (and the timeline) of the marketing organization’s output.” The second reason, captured in Gartner’s CMO Spend study, is that “CMOs struggle to align marketing metrics with business priorities.” Without alignment, selecting the right metrics is extraordinarily difficult. A tool exists within reach of every Marketing organization that addresses both of these challenges – the Marketing plan.

When properly developed, the Marketing plan – that is, one that consists of more than a list of programs and tactics – serves as an exceptional alignment and accountability vehicle. While we’ve been encouraging marketers to address planning differently, we’re not alone. Simon Sinek concurs that most companies “do their marketing backwards,” starting with “What?” instead of “Why?” His Golden Circle resembles the long-standing approach used in our patented Accelance® process. Here’s how to apply this approach to your Marketing plan.

Connect the HOW to the WHY to Achieve Alignment

To achieve alignment, Marketing must connect its work to WHY the business exists. Business outcomes answer the question “WHY?” They reflect the specific quantifiable initiatives and investments your organization must achieve to realize the business targets and declare success. Think of business outcomes as the “bets” your company is going to make. Once you know these, you can create programs and activities that will have direct impact on the outcomes. A well-crafted business outcome consists of three parts:

  1. Definitive customer-centric objectives that will affect specific business targets, such as revenue
  2. A clear and precise measure of success
  3. The time frame for accomplishment
Marketing Plans Connect the How with the Why

Marketing Plans connect the How to WHY.

We recommend that organizations identify the WHY with at least two outcomes: one for keeping existing customers and one for acquiring new customers. The more granular you can be about which customers, markets, and products you are targeting, the more clarity you will have about what constitutes success.

Here’s an example of the structure for a business outcome. How closely does it match the one in your Marketing plan?

N existing customers in each of our three primary segments adopt the new ABC solution by FYE, resulting in Y dollars in revenue and increasing share of wallet by Z percent.

Armed with the business outcomes, Marketing has insight and clarity into the organization’s priorities. The next critical step is to decide HOW Marketing is going to support the outcomes and positively impact the organization. There are two parts to HOW: your objectives and your strategy.

The objectives in your Marketing plan articulate the HOW. Ideally your objectives are framed in customer-centric behavioral terms, such as: Increase the referral rate of our tier 1 existing customers 30% by mid-year in order to help reduce the sales cycle by 20%.

The second part of HOW, strategy, is what enables you to accomplish the objective. Potential strategies range from customer-centric strategies, such as ambassadors and persona, to influencer strategies, to product strategies, such as bundling. When you’ve clarified HOW Marketing is going to contribute to the outcome and HOW Marketing’s success will be measured, you are one step closer to identifying the right measures and metrics.

Coming up with the strategy is one step; bringing that strategy to life is another. And that’s when the WHAT in comes into play. For most marketers, the WHAT comes naturally. These are the campaigns, programs, tactics, and activities that Marketing excels at producing and delivering. The key is to make sure the WHAT is directly linked to the WHY. When you create that linkage, it is easier for your line-of-business leaders and financial people to understand Marketing’s value, impact, and contribution.

How to Use Targets and Metrics in Your Marketing Plan to Achieve Accountability 

Now that your plan answers the questions WHY, HOW, and WHAT, you are well on your way to achieving alignment. To complete your plan and address accountability, you need to make it measurable. Outcome-based performance targets and metrics chains are the two ingredients that will help you address accountability.

  • Performance targets are your stakes in the ground. The outcomes, objectives, programs, and tactics all need performance targets. Performance targets provide the context when you report results. They enable you to ascertain whether you achieved success, what is working, and what isn’t working.

Setting performance targets can be difficult if you’re not used to doing it. Many organizations avoid this step, arguing that they don’t have the data. But there are benchmarks and other data points you can use to set a performance target.

Your Measures Should Form Metrics Chains

Do the measures and metrics in your Marketing plan form chains?

This is too important a step to overlook. Targets help you drive performance improvement and initiate a discussion about priorities. They help you define an agreed-upon direction, bring focus, and facilitate adjustments. Having outcome-based vs. activity-based performance targets is a key differentiator between best-in-class marketers and the rest of the pack.

  • A metrics chain is the sequence of metrics that form the links between activity, output, operational, and outcome metrics. These links and their associated data are what enable you to connect the work of Marketing to business results. Metrics chains, when properly designed, serve as the foundation for your Marketing Dashboard.

At the top of your chain are the performance target and metric associated with the business outcome (WHY) and at the bottom of your chain are the measures and/or metrics associated with the activities you will implement (WHAT).

For example, let’s say your company needs to acquire a certain number of new customers in a segment to achieve revenue and market share targets. Your company needs Marketing to generate qualified prospects from that segment who will participate in a trial. To support the objective, your marketing team develops a four-touch (e.g., direct messages, whitepaper, presentation, newsletter), multichannel (email, website, social, webinar, slide share, syndication, etc.) campaign based on the customer buying process and key personas. Each of those touches and channels has a performance target designed to produce trial inquiries.

Start with Why

We recommend that organizations identify the WHY with at least two outcomes.

In this example, you will form your chain with measures that connect Marketing programs, product inquiries, trials with customers, acquired customers, and market share. If you’ve crafted your Marketing plan starting with WHY and then moved to HOW and WHAT, you’ve created a clearer line of sight between tactics, investments, and outcomes. This will make teasing out the metrics chain and corresponding data easier. You might find that it will also make it much easier to secure and defend your budget.

If alignment and accountability are top of mind for your organization, use an already existing process and deliverable, the Marketing Plan. For this approach to work, you must start with WHY. By doing so, you will operate as a more strategic performance-based organization. We’d love to help you employ this approach.

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How to Use Alignment to Calibrate Your Marketing https://visionedgemarketing.com/marketing-alignment-calibrates-your-performance/ Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:45:30 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47069 Alignment is what enables Marketing to quantify its value to the business, select the right metrics, and improve performance.

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As you know your car runs smoother and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your Marketing is in alignment with the business. Why? Because when Marketing is in alignment with the business, they are both more likely to travel in the same direction.

Alignment and accountability are the first steps every aspiring Marketing organization must take to improve its performance management and measurement (MPM). The Deloitte CMO study echoes our MPM benchmark studies conducted since 2001, demonstrating and communicating the impact of Marketing on and to the business remains the number one challenge.  Marketing’s Alignment and accountability are inextricably linked. They are the primary ingredients for addressing this challenge. They form the cornerstones for transforming Marketing into a center of excellence. Without alignment, it’s impossible to quantify Marketing’s value to the business, and to select the right metrics – metrics that measure whether you are doing the right things to generate value for the organization.

Let’s Be Sure We’re In Sync on Alignment

Just as your car can become undriveable if your alignment is too far out of whack, the most sophisticated data collection and analysis can be completely undermined by the lack of proper alignment. Best-in-class Marketing organizations create a direct line of sight between their Marketing investments, activities and the business outcomes. Alignment enables Marketing to clarify the strategic intent of all the investments it makes, and to measure and communicate the degree to which Marketing delivers on its commitments.

First, let’s make sure we’re aligned on what alignment means.

Defining Alignment

You perform better when your Marketing is in alignment with the business.

Finding the right path to proper alignment can seem pretty confusing at first. Marketing groups often take a bottom-up approach to planning and focus on developing marketing programs that usually include some combination of what’s always been done and what they know best. Programs may not seem tightly connected to the business. The metrics typically used at the program level do not always demonstrate the connection between the broader business initiatives. Consequently, quantifying Marketing’s contribution to the business is difficult; the picture is hazy. This jeopardizes continued investments in Marketing and can obscure the steps Marketing should, and shouldn’t, be taking.

An outcome-based approach to alignment flips this problem on its head, creating a top-down perspective, starting with the business’ success factors and working “down the ladder” to reveal what Marketing can do to support the business. This means the Marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) will be more related to what the business is trying to accomplish, such as product adoption rate, customer lifetime value, than KPIs around Marketing activities, such as social engagement.

This approach to alignment provides greater clarity for how Marketing is expected to make a difference and provides you with that essential roadmap.

How do you know if Marketing is aligned to the business? Nearly two decades of research has provided insight into what sets Marketing organizations who’ve achieved alignment apart from their peers. Check to see how your organization stacks up.

The Chain that Connects Alignment with Accountability

Metrics more about doing things right, efficiency, typically signal an alignment alert. If that’s your situation, give some thought as to how you will address improving alignment. There are many ways to address alignment. The most important consideration is to choose a method that will visually convey the connection and value between the work of Marketing and business results. Select an alignment approach that helps you build a chain of measures and metrics between your work and your contribution to the business. It is this chain that enables you to connect alignment with accountability.

By connecting alignment and accountability, you can focus on measuring and managing Marketing’s performance in a way that truly demonstrates Marketing’s ability to generate value and its contribution to the organization.

Value-Impact Metrics Chains visually connect the work of Marketing to results. Source: VisionEdge Marketing. Derived from the patented Accelance(r) methodology.

Let’s talk about how to craft your metrics chains.

Is It Time For a Tune-Up?

Remember, just like a car – when Marketing is aligned to business it too will run smoother and take less energy. The following checklist provides five clues as to where to start if you need to improve alignment.

  1. Create a direct line of sight between investments (money and people), objectives, program strategy and tactics.
  2. Use your Marketing plan as an alignment tool.
  3. Prioritize Marketing projects based on their value and impact to broader organizational outcomes; not on what has the most political capital, is easiest to do, or the furthest behind schedule.
  4. Clarify how each member of the Marketing team directly affects achieving the business outcomes.
  5. Focus your measures and metrics on doing the right things vs. doing things right.

Important instruments need calibration every now and then to maintain accuracy. You take your vehicle in for tune-up to ensure top performance. It’s the same with Marketing. In both cases, you’re going to want to enlist the help of an expert to make sure everything gets examined thoroughly. Give us a call when you’re ready to have our Marketing mechanics take a look at your alignment.

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What Your Peers Think is Critical for Future Growth – What’s Your Edge? https://visionedgemarketing.com/how-your-peers-create-future-growth/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 14:40:46 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47910 This episode captures highlights from the conversations with customer during the anniversary events. The highlights share their perspectives on the most important shifts in buisness over the past 2 decades, why the future must focus on growth and Marketing's role. Check out the 3 steps you can take now to leverage Flash Foresight to help create the future.

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In this episode of What’s Your Edge we captured the highlights from our 20th anniversary conversations with customers from around the world and from all five of the industries we serve holding C-level and VP positions.  We held a series of 20-minute virtual gatherings where we addressed two topics.  As they looked back 20 years what did they see were the major changes and shifts in business?  And as they look to the future what do they see will be their priorities and challenges.  As you can image key shifts ranged around the topics of how customers are engaged, the channels of engagement, the role and volume of data, and the importance of selecting the right metrics.  In looking forward, the conversation turned to the need to focus on growth and how Marketing must step up and serve as a more strategic partner. Listen in to hear what their perspective.

How to Predict a Future That Delivers on Growth

What Your Peers Think the Future HOld

A conversation with members of the C-Suite looking back and looking forward.

We didn’t have time in the conversations to talk about how to address growth and prepare for the future. Predicting the future is always a gamble. There is however an interesting area known as flash foresight that provides an approach to help your organization successfully navigate the future and potentially even create it. Daniel Burrus, author of Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible, says it “is about looking into the future and transforming it into a new paradigm for solving “impossible” problems, unearthing “invisible” opportunities, and running extraordinarily successful businesses”. Here are 3 steps you can take now to leverage this approach and identify growth opportunities.

  1. Start with the hard trends that are shaping our future. You might be able to identify a hard trend by answering the question “What are the problems our customers are facing in the next few weeks, months, years?” A customer advisory board and voice of customer research may help reveal the answer to this type of question.
  2. Use these hard trends to anticipate your future challenges and opportunities. Then apply your learnings to redefine your product or service and/or enter new markets. Ask this type of question, “Using these hard trends, how do we expect our industry or business to transform in the next few years?” You may need to conduct market research to acquire the insights you need to answer this question.
  3. Look beyond what seems like a current problem. Take the problem your company is facing and look at it from different angles to reveal what may be the real problem. This may require you to look differently at your data and explores the patterns that emerge.

The purpose of this approach is to help you “look where no one else is looking to see what no one else is seeing and do what no one else is doing.” While it’s impossible to predict the future with certainty, good market and customer research, a commitment to deliver solutions to that solve real business problems, and the willingness to invest in Marketing will go a long way toward enabling the future you want to create.

Use your insights to develop a strategy to outpace and outsmart the competition. To create the future, be willing to redefine and reinvent your business. Let’s talk about how we can work together to create a future of profitable growth for your organization.

Hope you found this episode of What’s Your Edge? Helpful. What’s Your Edge? Is the creation of VisionEdge Marketing.  VisionEdge Marketing, founded in 1999, helps our customers solve the most difficult problems when it comes to using data, analytics, process and measurement to accelerate growth, create customer value, and improve performance. We always welcome hearing from you.

 

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This episode captures highlights from the conversations with customer during the anniversary events. The highlights share their perspectives on the most important shifts in buisness over the past 2 decades, This episode captures highlights from the conversations with customer during the anniversary events. The highlights share their perspectives on the most important shifts in buisness over the past 2 decades, why the future must focus on growth and Marketing's role. Check out the 3 steps you can take now to leverage Flash Foresight to help create the future. Laura Patterson-VisionEdge Marketing President clean 18:07 47910
The Differences Between and Benefits of Scorecards and Dashboards https://visionedgemarketing.com/differences-benefits-between-scorecards-dashboards/ Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:45:42 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47214 Scorecards and dashboards are two vital tools Marketing needs to effectively execute any performance management initiative. Understand the differences and when to use each.

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Scorecards and dashboards are two vital tools you will need to effectively execute your performance management initiative.

Marketing organizations that focus on demonstrating and communicating their value, impact, and contributions invest in Marketing Performance Management (MPM) processes. The definition of performance management has remained relatively constant for over 20 years. In their 1998 article and subsequent book, Michael Armstrong and Angela Baron defined performance management as a “strategic and integrated approach to increase the effectiveness of companies by improving the performance of the people who work in them and by developing the capabilities of teams and individual contributors.”

To excel at performance management, organizations need to develop and implement methods and tools that ensure the feedback, accountability, and documentation necessary for the organization to achieve the desired outcomes. Scorecards and dashboards are two vital tools you will need to effectively execute your performance management initiative.

Scorecards Keep a Tally of Your Results 

Scorecards keep score.  If you’ve ever played regular or miniature golf, you are probably familiar with the golf scorecard. Each player is issued a card on which the performance target for each hole is identified. The goal of the player is to achieve or beat the performance target.  A player’s strokes for each hole are tallied to a total score for the round, and each player competes against the course and the other players.

Scorecards keep a tally of your score against a desired performance target.

When Marketing tracks qualified leads against the performance target set for a marketing program or programs, they are also keeping score.  A scorecard reports on qualified leads generated by each program for a set time period.  As golfers score their play over multiple rounds, they earn a handicap, which is a numerical measure of a golfer’s potential ability.  Conversion rate and win rate reflect similar measures for Marketing.

Scorecards keep a tally of your score against a desired performance target, providing a snapshot of performance, but they will not tell you why your efforts resulted in the final score.  This is the purpose of a dashboard.

How to Use Dashboards to Guide Decision-Making 

Dashboards provide insight into why.

If you want to understand the why behind your outcomes and to facilitate decisions, you need a dashboard.  Dashboards provide an operational view and comprise multiple measures that are related to each other.  Continuing with the golf example, we can craft a dashboard of the information a golfer might employ, such as driving distance, fairways hit off the tee, and putts per hole, to gain insight into their performance compared to the competition.

Using measures that are in the context of industry standards or performance targets, a dashboard helps Marketing organizations understand where they are performing well and what improvements need to be made to achieve the desired outcomes.  Determining which measures are on your dashboard depends on how the success of these outcomes will be measured. For example, to understand how to increase market share or grow category ownership, you need a dashboard that provides insight into win rate, new product adoption, and referral rates.

Scorecards and dashboards function together to play an essential part in performance measurement and management, and Marketing accountability, and both should be integral to the Marketing plan. Scorecards provide a view of your performance against the plan, but a scorecard alone will not shed light on what to correct, improve, or avoid. This is the benefit of a dashboard and why every Marketing organization should create one.

Take a minute to review the means by which your organization approaches performance management and ask yourself whether you are using a scorecard or a report of various scorecards, a dashboard, or something else entirely.  If you’re not sure, please reach out and let us help you optimize your performance management plan to reach your target goals.

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Why It’s Better to Run Marketing like a Pit Crew- What’s Your Edge? https://visionedgemarketing.com/run-marketing-ops-achieves-effective-efficient-marketing-performance/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:45:58 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47243 Marketing Operations enables you to push the Marketing engine to be more agile, faster, effective, and efficient. Use these 10 questions to create your framework.

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It’s been almost a decade since the Circuit of the Americas Formula 1 racetrack came on the scene in Austin.  While the facility has hosted many of the biggest names in music and sports, it’s the Formula 1 race that unleashed tremendous excitement and added a new dimension to our city. Before this, I wasn’t familiar with car racing and all that it entails.  One of the many things I found fascinating was the pit crew and the role it plays in enabling the car to push its limits.

In automotive racing, pit strategy is critical to success.  When a car is running at over 100 miles per hour, it travels approximately 150 feet per second.  That means, during a ten-second pit stop, a car’s competitors will gain approximately one-quarter mile over the stopped car.  A good pit crew and pit strategy make all the difference in the time performance of the car and the racer.  As I think about the concept of the pit crew, I realize Marketing organizations can benefit from establishing a role that enables it to operating similarly.

Balance Efficiency and Effectiveness to Run Faster and Be More Agile

Consider how the speed at which Marketing must operate in today’s environment.  We need to run faster and be more agile than ever.  Marketing Operations (Marketing Ops) is the key function that enables Marketing to be more agile, keeps the machine running, and enables the organization to successfully compete.  Marketing Ops can serve as the Marketing team’s pit crew carefully orchestrating the pit strategy to balance out efficiency (time lost in the pit) with effectiveness (ground gained on the track).

When running like a pit crew, a Marketing Ops function helps the entire Marketing organization realize the expected Return on Investment (ROI) from investments in data, analytics, technology, processes, and talent resources.  As the pit crew for the organization, it transforms and maintains Marketing as a center of excellence.  Organizations invest in Marketing Ops to primarily achieve 3 things:

  • Ensure Marketing strategies are executed seamlessly
  • Create, manage and track Marketing processes
  • Analyze and develop metrics to improve effectiveness and reduce inefficiencies and the associated performance reporting

Push the Limits of Your Marketing Engine

The vision, scope, and charter of a Marketing Ops function can vary.  For some organizations, the Marketing Ops function is responsible for strategic planning and alignment, financial management and reporting, workflow definition and management, performance measurement and management, change management and innovation adoption, and marketing technology.  In other organizations, the role may be different, in some cases primarily serving tactically, for example supporting campaign automation and tracking, or budget tracking.  And finally, in some organizations Marketing Ops is a dump station – the place where things are done that no one else wants to do.

If you choose to the pit crew approach for your Marketing Ops, then this team must plan the strategy before the race.  Pit crews consider important metrics, such as the rate of fuel consumption, fuel weight, cornering speed, rate of tire wear, the effect of tire wear on cornering speed, the pit road length, and road speed limit, and even unexpected changes in weather conditions.  Marketing Ops enables Marketing to use metrics in the same way, for example, which levers deliver the greatest results in terms of qualified opportunities, accelerated product adoption, increased share of wallet, and improvements in customer lifetime value.

Pit crews work offensively and defensively.  And a Marketing Ops resembling a pit crew, would proactively manage data, analytics, processes, planning, and tools that help identify customer wants and needs, decide on which markets and customers to pursue, what messages and channels to use and when these will occur, what service and adjustments are needed throughout program execution or how to modify the strategy due to unexpected changes in market and competitive conditions.  Just as the pit crew needs to be prepared and equipped to perform any service from the simple to complex on the car during the race, Marketing Ops needs to be prepared and equipped to perform any service or adjustment to support the Marketing team and its internal stakeholders in product, sales, service, and delivery. Marketing Ops functions that operate like a pit crew need strength, agility, and speed.

This is a very different view than the Marketing Ops that run more like a service station crew.  As a service center, the emphasis is on the word service.  In addition to pumping gas (refueling), the service station attendant performs basic care services such as washing the customer’s windows and checking the oil and water levels. In some instances, these centers might provide oil changes, tire repair services, engine repair, and parts service and replacement.  A service station typically has little visibility into which customers and cars they will serve that day or what kind of services they will be asked to perform. Marketing Ops organizations behaving as a service station work on-demand supporting whatever requests come their way with little opportunity to strategize or plan.  As a result, an Ops organization that operates like service stations are better served with skills and tools that provide basic turn-key services on demand.  Successful service stations and like-minded Marketing Ops organizations need exceptional customer service, supply/inventory management, financial management, and general maintenance skills- very different skills from the pit crew. In general, the service station is reacting – reacting to problems and specific requests made by the customer as they arise.  The service station team rarely can be proactive.

Ten Questions to Outline Your Framework

As you and your team consider your Marketing Ops function, deciding whether you are a pit crew, or a service station may provide some guidance.  Once you make this fundamental decision, you can build your framework accordingly. The framework should include the function’s mission, scope, charter, role, and milestones. These ten questions will help you outline the framework:

  1. What is the purpose of the Marketing Ops function in our organization? Why do we need one?
  2. What will be better or different because of this function?
  3. What is the umbrella philosophy of the function?
  4. What areas/processes will be covered/delivered by the function? (i.e. planning, financial management and oversight, marketing technology, workflow management, data and analytics, performance management and reporting, talent development, marketing culture)
  5. Which of these areas/processes will the function own? Drive? Support?
  6. Who are the stakeholders and/or customers: Internal to Marketing? External to Marketing (IT, Finance, Sales)? External to the organization (suppliers, customers, and partners.)?
  7. What will the specific measurable objectives for the organization be?
  8. What essential skills, characteristics, capabilities, and resources are required to achieve these?
  9. What are the tasks and associated milestones that will enable the organization to achieve its purpose?
  10. How will the success of the function be measured?

Once you have a framework for your Marketing Ops function, develop a plan for communicating this information to the rest of the Marketing team and other stakeholders. This step will help the organization understand where and how the function fits.  I need to declare our bias.  We far prefer Marketing Ops run like a pit crew and we hope you do too.

Hope you found this episode of What’s Your Edge? Helpful. What’s Your Edge? is the creation of VisionEdge Marketing.  VisionEdge Marketing, founded in 1999, helps our customers solve the most difficult problems when it comes to using data, analytics, process and measurement to accelerate growth, create customer value, and improve performance. We always welcome hearing from you.

 

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Marketing Operations enables you to push the Marketing engine to be more agile, faster, effective, and efficient. Use these 10 questions to create your framework. Marketing Operations enables you to push the Marketing engine to be more agile, faster, effective, and efficient. Use these 10 questions to create your framework. Laura Patterson-VisionEdge Marketing President clean 8:10 47243
Why You Want to Keep Your Data Models Fresh https://visionedgemarketing.com/update-data-models-improve-agility/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 13:45:22 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47208 Data models enable us to organize variables of information. Here's what you need to create your data model and keep it fresh.

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We’ve come to understand the importance of models, whether these are data, process, business or capabilities models. One of the most important models is a data model. Dr. Robin Bloor, who resides here in Texas and is the chief analyst and founder of the Bloor Group, says “the more complex the data universe becomes, the more you need to model it.” If your organization has different departments working with differing aspects of the same set of data, for example when multiple organizations are using the same data from a CRM or ERP system, then a data model can be very valuable and ultimately improve decision making.

Data models provide and communicate the definition and format for your core data. They enable us to organize variables of information in a way that helps us relate the variables to each other and reflect occurrences or applications in the real world. They facilitate and support the idea of a single source of truth.

Keep Your Data Models Fresh

Data models provide and communicate the definition and format for your core data and should describe your business in some way.

These models are composed of entities – something found in the real world, such as a purchase order or service agreement. The connections between entities in a data model are called relationships. These relationships reflect business rules, or the rules you use to operate your business, such as “a salesperson can have more than one strategic account.”

Data models should in some way describe your business. They help answer questions such as:

  • What is the definition of a customer? Of a prospect? A deal? Something more mundane, such as address, etc.?
  • Where is the data stored?
  • How is the data structured?
  • Who owns the data?
  • Who uses the data?

What You Need to Create Your Data Model

Bill Kent in his book, Data and Reality: A Timeless Perspective on Perceiving and Managing Information in Our Imprecise World, compares data models to road maps. However, he emphasized the differences between the real world and the world of symbols when he wrote, “Highways are not painted red, rivers don’t have county lines running down the middle, and you can’t see contour lines on a mountain.” The use of data models is the process of understanding what the data means and how the data elements relate together.

With this information, you can begin to understand what creating a data model entails: acquire the business requirements and purpose of the model; identify/create the entities, their definitions, and attributes; determine the relationship between the entities; develop your naming conventions, normalize the data; and validate the model.

As you can imagine, updating data models can be difficult and time consuming. There is also an underlying assumption that the database schema will be defined early in the model development and then left alone. In a world where the concept of agile reigns supreme, that is being nimble enough to respond quickly to changes that may happen to your customers or in your market, having data models can appear to be incongruent. However, agile has important implications to data models.

How to Apply an Agile Approach

Adopting an agile approach to data modeling enables you to keep your models fresh.

Rather than creating “perfect” models, applying an agile method to data models permits us to take an iterative approach, create models that are good enough, and focus on what’s most important to business success.

Adopting an agile approach to data modeling enables you to keep your models fresh, incorporate new information as it emerges, manage organizational changes that result from mergers and acquisitions and new technologies, and facilitate more collaboration between data scientists, analytics, and members within the various business functions.

Developing or maintaining a competitive advantage and making better decisions takes accurate data. Therefore, it’s an easy step to see that being able to model the data supports and improves decision-making. Michael Blaha and Bill Inmon in their 2007 article, “Data Modeling Made Simple,” Technics Publications, LLC, declared that the benefits of data models are to facilitate communication and precision. While these benefits remain consistent, Keith Muller reminds us that the goal of modeling always changes.

Models, all models, decay over time. Customer, market and business requirements change over time, and as a result your data sources and business priorities evolve. Therefore, develop a method to document where each model is in its life cycle, how old it is, who developed it, how it is used and who is using it, and what triggers when a model needs to be evaluated and retired or revised. This will help ensure that none of your models go stagnate. However, sometimes it takes someone outside of the organization to look at your data models with fresh eyes and determine which are out of date. If you’re running into roadblocks while trying to evaluate your models, send us an email.

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How to Single Out the Signal from the Noise on Your Dashboard https://visionedgemarketing.com/single-out-signal-from-noise-dashboard/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 13:45:55 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47202 The trick in building and leveraging a Marketing dashboard for decision making, risk management, and course adjustments is to be able to separate the signals from the noise.

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Nearly every Marketing technology platform today, from email to social media to website analytics tools to more sophisticated marketing automation and customer relationship management systems, has some type of one-click-away performance management report or dashboard. While this can provide some data into how your work associated with the system is performing, this is only a view into whatever data is being captured by the tool.

To understand how Marketing is contributing to the overall business outcomes such as category ownership or growth rate versus the competition, you must gather and integrate multiple sources of data. The best dashboards focus on the most salient, information that facilitates strategic decisions and demonstrates Marketing’s contribution to the business.

The trick in building and leveraging this type of dashboard for decision-making, risk management, and course adjustment is to be able to separate the signals from the noise. When the signal-to-noise ratio is poor, your signal (in this case your salient information) gets lost in the noise (all the background data).

Why is it Important to Focus on Reducing Signal-to-Noise?

We can apply the signal-to-noise ratio idea to Marketing dashboards.

From spending a great deal of my career among engineers, I learned the importance of being able to separate relevant from irrelevant data. The concept of signal-to-noise comes from this domain (read more about about SNR). It’s a ratio (SNR) that measures the strength of a signal to the noise in the background.

We can apply the signal-to-noise ratio idea to Marketing dashboards. When your dashboard is overloaded with data, the signal can become diluted by the random noise generated by superfluous or irrelevant data. Learning how to distinguish which is important to marketers committed to using measures to make or help the organization make critical, relevant and actionable decisions.

Before we explore how to construct your Marketing dashboard, let’s explore how to reduce the SNR.

Why Quality Data Results in Terrific Dashboards

Relevant Data Signal

It’s critical to be able to separate the signal from the noise in your data.

Too much data is one of the primary culprits of noise. This is why it is important to remember that any dashboard, whether for Marketing or another function, needs to answer the proverbial question: So what? If it does not facilitate an action or a decision, what then is its purpose? Think about the dashboard of your car – there is a lot of data, but it all serves a specific purpose. The speedometer lets you know what your speed is so you can decide whether to stay within the speed limit. Your fuel gauge lets you know how much fuel you have so you can decide if you need to refuel now, or later. Your average-miles-per-gallon data gives you information so you can decide whether you’re receiving enough value for your money.

You will not necessarily produce a higher-quality dashboard by simply reducing the amount of data (lowering the noise level). You need to make sure you have the right data.

The best Marketing dashboard will, at a minimum, include data that helps the leadership team know:

  • Which business outcomes Marketing impacts, and to what degree.
  • Whether Marketing meets its performance targets.
  • What is and isn’t working, and what tactical course adjustments, if any, need to be made.
  • What strategic decisions related to customers, products, and competitors need to be made.
  • Where the risk is, and how big it is.

To improve your signal-to-noise ratio, you must understand what decisions and actions are needed and then select ONLY the data for your dashboard that are relevant to these.

How to Improve the Data on Your Dashboard

Whether it’s website traffic, social media engagements, email opens, and click-through rates, etc., there’s a real-time dashboard for any platform you are using to support and automate this activity. It’s easy to be sucked in by this data and invest tremendous time monitoring website traffic and social media activity as it occurs. These real-time dashboards can be harmful, increasing the noise level and causing knee-jerk reactions.

Tracking and reporting your data over longer periods can help you identify the most salient data and help you clear out the noise. It can also help you identify acceptable parameters and define alerts, like how your fuel gauge alerts you that it’s time to refill the tank once the tank senses you’re running low on fuel.

Signals Help You Take Action

Focus only on relevant data to ensure you produce an actionable Marketing dashboard.

But first, you will need to smooth out your data. While there are a variety of sophisticated statistical techniques you can use to smooth out data, a simple moving average that weights past as well as current numbers offer a relatively easy way to assess trends. Trending your data enables you to contextualize and begin to understand the underlying drivers you can impact.

For example, growth in terms of customer numbers and purchases can be examined in the context of a defined window, like the 12-month trailing moving average. Your growth trend provides a more accurate picture when you are in a market that experiences frequent peaks and valleys. Reducing the noise by averaging data over time helps when you have a high frequency of data, such as win/loss, net new opportunities, and other pipeline measures and metrics that can bounce around with huge swings in both directions.

Another way to reduce noise is to combine multiple indicators, even when they measure somewhat different concepts. For instance, look at the measures of spend and costs per, such as cost/new customer, the cost to serve, and so on. There are conceptual differences among these, so even if they were measured perfectly, they would still track differently. However, by combining these measures, you can build a better picture of the underlying trend related to value for money. Combining measures of the same concept to improve an estimate is also helpful.

Focusing only on relevant data will ensure that you get the most value out of your Marketing dashboard. Want to revamp your dashboard to decrease the signal-to-noise ratio, but day-to-day operations keep you busy? Request a dashboard assessment.

 

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If You Aspire to Excellence Focus on Process https://visionedgemarketing.com/aspire-excellence-create-process-maps/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 13:45:21 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47175 Operational excellence takes solid processes. Process maps enable you to achieve measurable return on investments, increased efficiencies, maintain quality, and increase the value of the corporation. 3 steps to determine processes that need your immediate attention.

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We understand that often Marketing is under the gun to get things done. Everyone from the CEO down wants everything NOW. To “get things done”, Marketing like all functions in the organization runs on processes. Planning, reporting, model development, research, customer journey mapping, content creation, event management, campaigns, opportunity management, etc., are all examples of Marketing processes!

Here’s the good news: technology exists today that can automate many of these.  Here’s the bad news: technology and related projects often fail.  Here are some sobering statistics:

  • Scott Edinger in an HBR article claimed “18% to 69% of Marketing Technology implementations fail.”
  • A Gartner study in 2019 declared that 54% of analytics insights will not deliver business outcomes thru 2022.
  • Another Gartner study forecasts that 85% of Big Data projects fail.

The failures are certainly not due to lack of investment. The CMOSurvey.org found that as much as 60% of the Marketing budget goes to analytics and automation. We believe there are three primary reasons underlying these failures: lack of a plan, lack of skills/expertise and very importantly the lack of processes. The importance of process is not to be glossed over. Process is a critical aspect of operational excellence and high performance.

Paul Light in his book The Four Pillars of High Performance counts process among the four pillars of high performing organizations. Work by him and others found that when an average performing company moves to the top quartile of performance profits increase by 3-4% of revenue. Nothing to sneeze at for sure!

It is our contention that if your current Marketing processes are not effective or efficient, then automation will mean being faster at following a bad process. It does matter how you get things done. Process is your glue between your people, tools and business results. Process captures the “set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs into outputs.” Activities themselves have no value. They attract a cost. It is the output – the deliverable – that adds the value.

To Improve a Process, Map It

Process map illustration

Process mapping is a fundamental component for operational excellence.

This work to improve your processes starts with process maps. Process maps visually represent the relationship between the steps and inputs to produce an end product or service. Process maps capture ALL the interrelated activities in the order in which they occur. They detail every step of the individual processes. It’s hard to identify what to change and achieve operational excellence if you don’t have the entire process documented.

This is one of the unfortunate reasons many organizations forgo creating process maps – it takes both time and skill. At a minimum good process maps are detailed and include who, when, dependencies and decision/action points. It’s easy to skip doing the as-is and jump straight to how you want the process to work. This is a mistake. You cannot know what to fix or optimize if you don’t know how the current process works.

Let’s explore the process of making a process map. This is where process and analysis intersect. You need a process for how you perform analytics. You need analytics to evaluate your processes and improve them. And you will need analytics to inform your process. There are five key steps to the process of mapping and automating processes:

  1. Identify the process you’re going to map.
  2. Gather the information on how the process is performed. Process steps are often “inside the minds” of people who perform them. It’s essential to include everyone associated with the process in the mapping.
  3. Develop the process map. Hold a working session to construct the map. Be aware of your assumptions! This is a good opportunity to leverage an external facilitator. Someone with process mapping expertise who can ask the right questions and move the work forward but who doesn’t come with any skin in the game or predisposed ideas about the process.
  4. Analyze the map. Where are the white spaces and bottlenecks? What activities produce or don’t produce value? Ask why and why again for each activity and step. This will lead to being able to develop new and better steps. Validate your map.
  5. Revise the process to be more effective AND more efficient. This will require some change management capabilities. People are comfortable with how they “get things done.” Everyone associated with the process needs to agree on the revision and bring the new process to fruition.
  6. Now you can begin to determine whether the process should be automated and if so, how.

How to Select and Prioritize Your Processes for Mapping

Which processes should you map first? We turn to research conducted by Rust, Moorman, & Dickson for the answer. In their work, they grouped processes into revenue-creating processes and cost-reducing processes. They found that improving revenue-oriented processes is statistically significant in positively impacting both financial and customer relationship performance. On the other hand, addressing cost reducing processes or trying to do both had insignificant impact on financial and customer relationship performance.

Create a process map

Process mapping helps you improve efficiencies while maintaining quality and increasing value.

Therefore, start with revenue-creating processes. If you’re not sure whether the process is revenue-driving or cost-reducing, ask this question, “What does this activity produce?” For Marketing revenue-driving processes emphasize acquiring, keeping and growing the value of customers. Processes such as segmentation, journey mapping, and innovation fall into this category. Take these three steps to determine which processes deserve your immediate attention:

  1. Group your processes based on their effect on your customer.
  2. Prioritize revenue and value creating processes that are key to managing the business.
  3. Select and focus the revenue processes most relevant to achieving your company’s strategy.

Itemize the data and analytics you will need for each of these and the role analytics plays in each. Address processes where issues/gaps exist. Employ analytics to help you determine which gaps to address first.

Process is what enables you to achieve measurable return on investments and increased efficiencies, while maintaining quality and increasing the value of the corporation. Therefore, defining, documenting, managing and optimizing your processes should be a primary focus for every Marketing leader and professional. This will start you down the path to operational excellence.

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There are No Diamonds Without Pressure- Making the Performance Journey https://visionedgemarketing.com/marketing-performance-journey-diamonds-pressure/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 13:45:11 +0000 https://visionedgemarketing.com/?p=47239 The Marketing performance journey isn't easy but it is a doable one.  Here's the 5 Marketing accountability best practices employed by BIC orgs.

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The Pressure to Prove Marketing Performance Persists

There is a lot of pressure when you delve 100 miles or so below the Earth’s surface. The weight of the overlying rock combined with the high temperature enables carbon atoms to bond and create diamonds. Some natural diamonds are as old as the Earth, having formed billions of years ago. These diamonds rise to the surface whenever volcanoes erupt. Only a few of the diamonds can survive the journey from the upper mantle to the surface, making them rare and valuable.  Similarly, this is also true for Marketing organizations that survive the performance journey needed to prove Marketing’s worth and demonstrating excellence. These organizations are rare and valuable.

How Best-in-Class Organizations Survive the Marketing Performance Journey

Our research of nearly 2 decades continued to reveal the same piece of data again and again. Other Marketing accountability studies, have corroborated our findings, such as the one by the Forbes CMO Practice, which found that, “despite years of management, focus, and advances in marketing analytics most Chief Marketing Officers still struggle to communicate, quantify, and optimize the value marketing creates to their leadership, peers, and partners.”

Like the carbon atoms deep within the earth, Marketing executives remain under significant pressure to show how the rising investments in marketing assets, media, and technology are generating results in terms of growing sales, profits and value. Hence the focus on the performance journey.

While all diamonds are crystals, not all crystals are diamonds. This is also true of Marketing. While Marketing organizations may employ many of the same tactics and tools, some organizations excel while others don’t. In our study, the consistent range is 20%-25%, which is 1 in 4 or 5 Marketing organizations, that are transformed into “diamonds”.  It’s not an easy journey but it is a doable one.  Here’s what we know about this exceptional group. They understand that there is a direct connection between customer experience and market leadership.  In their pursuit of excellence on their peformance journey, they employ these 5 Marketing accountability best practices:

  1. Business people first, marketers second. For this group, it’s not only about being exceptional Marketers it’s about knowing the business, its customers, the market and the competition.
  2. Connect the dots. These Marketing leaders and professionals know how to connect the dots between what they do and what the company is trying to achieve.  There is clear line-of-sight between the work they perform and the results they produce.
  3. Measure what matters. With all the data and tools available today every company is rich in measures and metrics.  You are probably familiar with the existence of Fool’s Gold or pyrite, which looks like real gold but has no value. Selecting the right measures and metrics takes more than clicking on dashboard buttons on your various tools. Selecting the right measures and metrics requires clearly understanding what success is for your organization and how Marketing helps achieve it. As a result, they know how to establish and achieve the right performance targets.
  4. Data is the means, not the end. This group of Marketers realizes that data is an essential ingredient. For them, data is the means, not the end. They have the analytical prowess necessary to effectively capture, manage, and transform data into customer, market, and business intelligence.
  5. Track and report on performance. These marketers do more than keep a scorecard on how brand and demand gen efforts are performing.  They create dashboards that are actionable and meaningful and relevant to C-Suite. They leverage these to facilitate decisions both strategic and tactical, make course adjustments and mitigate risk, and to understand the underlying factors or drivers that need to be addressed to improve results.

If you’re willing to undergo the pressure and make the performance journey, your organization can be a diamond.   And we’re here to help.

 

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The Marketing performance journey isn't easy but it is a doable one.  Here's the 5 Marketing accountability best practices employed by BIC orgs. The Marketing performance journey isn't easy but it is a doable one.  Here's the 5 Marketing accountability best practices employed by BIC orgs. Laura Patterson-VisionEdge Marketing President clean 4:44 47239