Assessment and Benchmarking

Are Key to Lasting Improvement

How do Marketing teams create value? By finding, keeping, and growing the value of customers. In fact, research finds that best-in-class (BIC) marketers who can demonstrate and measure their impact, value and contribution either join the C-Suite, or gain them as their champion. The research goes on to show that this elite group of value creators do four things consistently better and differently to achieve business results and C-suite support: alignment, accountability, assessment, analytics and activation. They are relentless in their pursuit of marketing excellence and regularly assess and benchmark their capabilities.

Becoming a BIC marketer on the performance management front, achieving marketing excellence, and serving as a value creator takes aspiration, perspiration, and commitment. But isn’t your credibility in the organization, your ability to influence “the big decisions,” and less resistance to securing the needed resources — worth it?

Improve and prove the value of your marketing initiatives with the countless practical resources in this learning center. To access many of these resources, you will need to join and use your log in.

Marketing Assessment

Companies use the strategic planning process to identify what the business should become and how to best achieve their vision. Part of this process entails appraising, then improving, the company’s capabilities and processes. Benchmarking and assessments serve as vehicles to collect quantitative and qualitative information needed to identify gaps and pinpoint ways to improve performance.

Assessments and benchmarking are essential to achieving Marketing excellence.

Assessment and Benchmarking Create Pathways for Excellence

Assessments and benchmarking are instrumental methods for improving competitiveness and increasing value from your customers’ perspective. Through benchmarking and assessment your marketing organization can making dramatic improvements to marketing processes that will contribute to the bottom-line.

Through marketing assessments and benchmarking, you’ll be able to identify and implement best practices within your organization. As you establish these best practices you will create pathways for improvement and platforms to achieve market leadership. As these mature, you will be able to build models for what Robert Camp refers to as the “best of the best.” These models are what serve as your path to Marketing excellence.

Explore our resources below to learn how business leaders like you conduct assessments and establish benchmarks for their Marketing Excellence initiative. Give us a call when you’re ready to deploy.

Marketing Assessment & Acceleration Case Studies

Marketing Assessment & Acceleration White Papers

  • This joint study conducted by VisionEdge Marketing and Demand Metric, compares and contrasts best-in-class marketing organizations with those in the middle of the pack and the laggards. Nearly 50% of Marketing organizations earn a "C" or worse from the C-Suite. The study idenfies how marketing organizations can achieve best-in-class performance measurement and management and become recognized as a Center of Excellence and experience the benefits that come with that.
  • This 14 page guide that provides an overview of the MPM Maturity Model and an method for users to determine their level of maturity.
  • The 2009 study revealed that only 17% of CEOs would give Marketing an 'A'. Almost half would give a 'C' or lower. Only 60% of Marketing organizations support performance measurement capabilities. While 80% of the Marketing organizaitons have Marketing Ops capabilities and departments, the study found that the Marketing Operations function is under utilized. The bottom line from this study. The link between Marketing and the business remains weak. Too few Marketing organizations track the link between executive and operation metrics, even though it is expected.
  • Over 400 organizations participated in the 16th Annual Marketing Performance Management (MPM) Benchmarking Study. This year we wanted to tease out the subtle nuances that separate the Best-in-Class Marketing organizations from the rest of the pack when it comes to being able to prove Marketing’s value, contribution and impact. Turns out this elite group of marketers are significantly better in 5 key areas of performance management and leverage Marketing Ops differently. Find out how to join their ranks.
  • This report shares the highlights from the 15th Annual Marketing Performance Management (MPM) Benchmarking Study. The study identifies how the BIC marketers leverage their Marketing Ops and employ three key approaches to marketing measurement and data management. These three capabilities are indicators of an organization’s level of MPM maturity and are the building blocking for assuring that Marketing’s metrics development process is sound.
  • Marketing is under pressure to deliver results and drive business outcomes. But how are they doing? Research shows that measuring Marketing’s performance is an area of major frustration for the C-Suite a significant challenge for most marketers. In fact, according to the ITSMA/Forrester/VisionEdge Marketing (VEM) study, most marketers are dissatisfied with their MPM capabilities. With more than a decade of industry “talk” on the topic of marketing accountability, this research shows that only a few exceptional marketers have cracked the code. Download the 2013 MPM Survey Executive Summary to learn more about how marketing can use data to not just prove the value of marketing metrics, but to improve its relevance to the business.
  • Delivering maximum impact from your Marketing takes enablement and execution. This second installment to a three-part ebook explore how to position your marketing team to achieve your corporate outcomes, implement effective team processes, maintain accuracy and flexibility with your budget, and select and integrate smart technologies that will help you achieve your goals. If you’re focused on building a high performing team that drives business results this series is valuable addition to your library.
  • Performance management, understanding and proving Marketing’s impact takes measurement and monitoring. This third and final installment to a three-part eBook provides guidance collecting and interpreting data, creating a measurement framework, and developing dashboards and benchmarking your performance. These are essential capabilities for any Marketing organization focused on serving as a value creating, propelling growth and operating as a center of excellence.
  • A key finding from the 2014 Annual MPM Study remains consistent with the findings of previous studies regarding the number of marketers earning an "A" grade from the C-Suite for their ability to measure and report their value to the business. Once again, the findings revealed only a quarter of the marketers earned an "A". The study identifies the capabilities that separate the "A" marketers, the Best-in-Class, from the rest of the pack.

Marketing Assessment & Acceleration Recordings

Marketing Assessment & Acceleration Presentations

  • Marketers are increasingly being held responsible for growth and revenue. Today, data analytics provide the foundation for finding, keeping, and growing the value of customers - your growth engine. Join this webinar to learn about the skills and analysis needed to intelligently understand your customers, allowing you to reach them with the right content, at the right time, and in the right channel.
  • The presentation focuses on what Best-in-Class B2B marketers do better and differently to improve and prove the value of marketing. Participants learn the Six Best Practices implemented by the BIC. Learn how Alignment and Accountability serve as the cornerstones of success.
  • Here’s a quick self-test to see whether you’re marketing plan is ready for prime time: 1. When your leadership team receives your marketing plan do they have direct line-of-sight from the marketing activities and investments to business results? 2. Does your plan clearly tie back to business results so that you can prove the value of your marketing efforts and justify the budget you have requested? 3. Can you build the metric chains that enable you to show how the measures for your activities connect to business outcomes? 4. Can you use your metrics chains to develop an actionable marketing dashboard? If you answered No to any of these questions, learn how your B2B marketing team can construct a measurable marketing plan and actionable dashboards that communicate marketing’s value, impact and contribution.
  • Today, many marketers are feeling increasing pressure from the C-Suite to prove marketing's contribution to the business. Members of the executive leadership team want to know exactly how marketing initiatives are connected to business results, so marketers must understand how to measure their value. While many marketers continue to struggle with this, a few have cracked the code. Download this presentation to see how the Best-in-Class marketers have mastered the six best practices for connecting marketing to business results.
  • The U.S., as well as much of the world economy, is dominated by services. In the U.S., approximately 75% of the labor force, 70% of the GNP, 45% of an average family’s budget, and 32% of exports are accounted for by services. This program explores some of the differences between marketing services vs. goods, how to and differentiate services for a competitive advantage. A framework for marketing services and some new Ps of marketing from a services perspective will be presented.
  • All marketers are digital marketers but to be effective and valuable you need to make your analytics relevant to your business leaders. Analytics can be the key to becoming a corporate change agent provided you understand the bigger picture In this session, Laura sheds light on what it means to live an Analytics Life, how to make your boss look better with numbers and how to live and grow as a marketing analyst in any organization.

Marketing Assessment & Acceleration Articles

  • All of us, at one time or another, are confronted with a low-cost or low-price competitor, the solution isn't to lower your prices and engage in a price war, because the result is lowered profitability for everyone involved.
  • 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.
  • 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. This year’s MPM study reveals that progress over the past year was both real and illusory. The C-Suite message is loud and clear; marketers need to be more driven to produce real, actionable insights from their data. Marketing organizations wanting to earn or keep their seat at the corporate leadership table must focus on both sides of the analytics coin: data and metrics. Failure to do so creates the appearance of progress without producing real results.
  • This joint study conducted by VisionEdge Marketing and Demand Metric compares and contrasts best-in-class marketing organizations with those in the middle of the pack and with the laggards. Check out the infographic to see what best-in-class marketers continue to do better and differently in their pursuit of marketing excellence. Use the study findings to reach the next peak in your journey.
  • Measuring marketing’s value remains a hot topic and challenge for many organizations. You may think measuring marketing’s value is a “no brainer”, but if you can’t prove your value you won’t secure the money. And while the money is important, there really is much more at stake. When you can connect your work to business results you have influence, relevance, and credibility. When you can’t, well, you don’t and you suffer the consequences.
  • This best-practice paper details the benefits for companies who benchmark marketing activity against their peers, the process for choosing and establishing benchmarks and a five-stage program for measuring performance against them and analyzing the results.
  • 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.
  • An internal audit is a good way to begin to review your competitiveness. Internal assessments or audits help uncover and highlight asset and people relationships key to positively impacting customers' results.
  • 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.
  • A compelling, meaningful and relevant value proposition enables you to increase the quantity and quality of prospective opportunities, gain market share in your targeted segments, and charge a premium price. Conversely, poor positioning contributes to long sales cycles, low close rates, customer confusion, channel indifference, and sales organization discord. It's nearly impossible to survive or thrive without a unique, pertinent value proposition. So, no wonder over 80% of the companies who participated in a recent survey said that their teams needed to adjust or re-think their company's positioning strategy.
  • Companies currently focus on business transformation to help improve innovation, achieve agility, and better deal with disruption. Tackling and excelling at business transformation is easier said than done. As a result, companies are establishing Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for a variety of purposes. This article explores when to you should create a Center of Excellence and how to use one to spur growth.
  • The concept of Marketing serving as a Center of Excellence (CoE) within an organization is beginning to see traction. Marketing organizations must operate as CoEs to eliminate the inefficiencies of being a siloed organization. Recently, the American Marketing Associate declared that “to keep up with marketing’s continuous evolution, companies could get a jump on their competitors by creating a “center of excellence.” We concur. Marketing CoEs are more than an exercise, they positively impact the bottom line, which is why, back in 2012, we began offering practical advice on how to create a Marketing CoE. Learn How to Drive Repeatable and Predictable Marketing Performance.
  • Effective leaders recognize that change is part of continuous improvement. Change is often essential for your organization’s vitality, prosperity and growth. You know that to be more customer-centric, more competitive, and more effective you need to update your processes, send your team to training, and implement new systems and tools. You are also aware that sometimes you need to add personnel to support the operationalization. At the same time, you recognize your employees find change unsettling. Why? One reason is that change is hard. It can be grueling. However, there are actions you can take to make change manageable and palatable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As marketers we need to take the macro-environment into consideration when we’re creating any plan. With the election looming, there is a constant barrage of headlines suggesting that the U.S. economy is faltering and that the future could be bleak. Many of the themes emerging from opposing sides are designed to emphasize differences and polarize.
  • Marketing jointly and equally shares the responsibility for generating revenue with our very important partners in the sales organization. That being said, I must confess I am confused by the recent emphasis on Marketing being focused on revenue.
  • Because of the potential impact of MPM on the business, it makes sense to have MPM as the first focus of your Marketing CoE. In our experience establishing centers of excellence for marketing organizations, we've learned over the past five years that there are four essential success factors:
  • 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.
  • Perhaps you, like many of our customers, are somewhere in the midst of your planning cycle. Hopefully, you are crafting an evergreen Marketing plan. Even the most basic outcome-based Marketing plan should in some way address Marketing’s fundamental mission to find, keep and grow the value of your customers. When the buying decision entails a complex consultative collaborative buying process, it’s imperative to understand your customers’ buying journey and synch your content and channels accordingly.
  • As we focus on the customer journey and take a more customer-centric approach to Marketing, all customer-facing functions within an organization need to be more unified, that is, integrated. Integration is the only way to overcome fragmentation. The success of Integrated Marketing depends on having a good strategy. Integrated Marketing isn’t so much about doing more as it is about doing the right activities in the right channel, at the right time. This article presents five (5) Integrated Marketing best-practices.
  • 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.
  • You’re full swing into the year and are cranking out marketing campaign after marketing campaign.... Great! Now the question is, how’s your batting average? Are you mostly producing better than expected results? Just the expected results? Are you having less than you hoped for? While we all wish that every marketing tactical effort was a home run, unfortunately, that is not the case.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Business 2 Community picks up Laura's interview with Blank Ink ROI - Read Laura Patterson and Jeff Winsper's Q&A on how VisionEdge Marketing was founded and how it helps its customers reach their Marketing goals. For any C-suite and marketing practitioner who desires to improve and prove marketing, it is a must read.
  • With the emphasis on demand generation, attribution, and account-based marketing, it may feel as if brand has taken a back seat. In today’s world of deteriorating product brand power, rising perceptions of parity products, reduced employee and customer loyalty, and increasing competition, it may be worthwhile to renew your focus on brand.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The economy we have at the moment brings to mind the story of Goldilocks: “just right.” For many businesses this means less worry on generating demand and more focus on scaling on all fronts to accommodate demand. So, what does a Marketing organization focused on demand generation do when times are THIS good? This article identifies three areas Marketing should tune up when the economy is roaring: data and analytics, innovation and messaging, and customer-facing processes
  • Jeff Winsper, President of Black Ink ROI, interviews Laura Patterson. "For any C-suite and marketing practitioner who desires to improve and prove marketing, it is a must read. A real go-getter, she has truly helped many notable companies." She speaks on how VisionEdge Marketing was founded, its mission, its experience in Marketing Performance Management (MPM), and some of the findings of its 15th Annual MPM Benchmark Study.
  • : For today's marketers, the challenge really isn't measurement; there is an abundance of metrics. The challenge is measuring Marketing's value and performance. Notice we won't suggest that common three-letter term "ROI" as a way to demonstrate value. Although ROI is important, ultimately the goals of Marketing measurement should be to facilitate decisions and determine Marketing's contribution to the business. To that end, you need a way to measure the value Marketing creates.
  • Professional golfer Jimmy Walker's interview after the PGA Championship about what it takes to be good at golf caught my attention. Walker expressed the importance of being proficient with every club in the bag. That idea strikes me as being particularly relevant to marketers. Marketers, too, need to be proficient with all the marketing "clubs in our bag."
  • 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.
  • Many companies who provide considered and consultative offerings, don’t realize that what happens before you deliver the service is equally as important as what you deliver. We call this phase of the relationship “onboarding.” Onboarding provides beneficial information and engagement to ensure the customer derives the most success from their purchase. This article recommends an onboarding process to insure a positive customer experience.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you look at the world of marketing today, it is a dizzying merry-go-round of trillions of gigabytes of data and millions of dollars and customers. When facing this wall of numbers, individual meaning gets blurred, and the question becomes: How do you extract yourself from this loop and gain a clearer perspective on the true drivers of marketing? Simple. You step back and focus only on what brings value to the business.
  • As one of the leading authorities on marketing and performance management, marketing operations, and marketing data and analytics, our president - Laura Patterson - was asked for an interview on her hiring techniques for VisionEdge, as well as what it takes to maximize your success in your own organization.
  • When something is important to the C-Suite, it’s important to the rest of the organization. If measuring Marketing’s value and contribution is important to you, it will be important to your marketers. Making something important won’t necessarily mean you achieve it. If you feel your marketing performance is good enough, congratulations. Stop reading. If you’d like to see Marketing improve its ability to measure impact on key business metrics, this article offers six concrete capabilities to incorporate into your marketing performance management roadmap.
  • We categorize Marketing processes into two groups: processes designed to drive revenue by acquiring, keeping and growing the value of customers (externally oriented) and processes designed to improve profit and margin by reducing costs and increasing efficiencies (internally oriented). These process categories are not two sides of the same coin. They are distinct and impact performance differently.
  • Many organizations are opting for listening as a way to gain insights rather than trying to secure dollars for research. There are some very important differences, so you need both. We hate to break it to you, while listening is good it is NOT research. Social media listening, although an important tool, won’t give you the insights into customer behavior you need to innovate and gain competitive advantage.
  • "Anyone working in the startup world knows intuitively that women are not well represented in technical or founder roles-and that quantifying the issue is difficult because data is so scarce." In this article, writer Steve Guengerich aims to shed light on this issue. Laura and her article "The Price of Chasing the Next New Toy" are both featured.



“I love your articles and advice – I feel like everything you write is thought-provoking and actionable.” – Marcie, Marketing Director, Technology industry.

Join our community to gain insights into creating growth strategies and execution; and employing growth enablers, including accountability, alignment, analytics, and operational excellence.

Customer Quotes

Loading Quotes...