In our MarketingProfs article, Marketing Activity Metrics Mean Little: Here’s How to Really Prove Marketing’s Value, we asserted that “marketers need to be smarter about the performance metrics they select.” We also found ourselves concurring with David Dodd’s claim that “many senior leaders are no longer satisfied with the tactical performance indicators (campaign response rates, content downloads, etc.) that marketers have traditionally used to describe marketing performance.” From these two sentiments (and a lot of other research) we have concluded that far too many Marketing metrics are tied to activities and efficiency rather than Marketing effectiveness.

A Forrester study, Winning In The Connected World: How Aligning Finance And Marketing Will Drive Business Success, found that CFOs want Marketing to “measure the effectiveness of Marketing” related to the overall organization’s financial goals. The traditional metrics of measuring ROI and reducing spend, on the other hand, were at the bottom of the CFOs short list.

Marketers making headway on measuring their effectiveness to the business are taking an outcome-based approach to their metrics. Operating in this fashion allows Marketers to tether their measurement data to key business outcomes and drive the organization’s financial goals.

It is also those same Marketers who are focused on being effective and are able to work the numbers to most accurately track and report on their performance.

Marketing Accountability is about Impact and Effectiveness More than ROI

The Journey from ROI to Effectiveness

How To Take Your First 5 Steps Towards Marketing Effectiveness

  1. Own your company’s positioning

Creating customer value is directly tied to your company’s bottom line. Customer value is a financial calculation and it is increasingly seen as a key source of competitive advantage and a basic ingredient for the company’s positioning. Effective Marketing organizations know how to create a value proposition that is superior to and more profitable than those of their competitors. In fact, Trout and Ries introduced us to the idea that a company positioned as the leader gets about 50% of the market, No. 2 gets 25%, No. 3 gets 12.5%, and the rest of the competitors split the remaining 12.5%.

  1. Focus Marketing on real value creation activities

Establish and own a sustainable process of value creation. Take the lead on keeping conversations and investments focused on developing a continuous stream of products and services that offer unique and compelling benefits to your customers. Some of your first efforts might include, but shouldn’t be limited to, product and process efforts, gaining insight into the needs of well-defined segments, harnessing data and analytics to accelerate efforts within existing markets or creating new markets, and reconfiguring company and/or industry value chains.

If your current work doesn’t meet the above criteria, discuss where it fits among the priorities for Marketing and readjust.

  1. Serve as an integral member of the business team

As marketers, we talk a lot about demand generation, marketing channels and attribution, marketing activities (such as content, social, email, brand, search marketing, etc.) and customer engagement. However, marketers who want to be effective have realized that it takes more. Marketing must also be an integral part of the business.

Effective marketers speak the language of business and talk about how Marketing can facilitate business growth by acquiring and demonstrating business acumen.

  1. Develop a deep understanding of strategy

Effective Marketing organizations guide strategy. Strategy selection provides focus and enables an organization to concentrate limited resources on building core competencies that create a sustainable competitive advantage to support pursuing and securing the best value creation opportunities. It provides the guidance and direction for channeling the organization’s precious, and often limited, Marketing resources to generate market traction, penetration, and dominance.

  1. Define measures of success tied to effectiveness, value, and impact

We started this post by saying that marketers need to be smarter about metrics. Hopefully we’ve made it clear that choosing the right measures is far more important than the quantity of data measured. While there are many ways to approach this task, one way to make sure you keep your focus on the right measurements is to have a Marketing measurement playbook.

Your marketing measurement playbook should provide you with a strategic approach for building your measurement processes, selecting metrics that emphasize effectiveness, reporting those metrics in a way that delivers real business value, and executing the right activities to continue to improve over time. To ensure that you are on the right path, contact us to help you develop a Marketing measurement playbook that tells your team not only what to do but how to make it happen.

It’s not about ROI in the traditional sense. It’s about Marketing’s ability to impact the BOTTOM line by delivering customer experience, building a world-class Marketing and data analytics team, and producing continuous improvements.

This means Marketing leaders need to be thinking beyond campaigns and move upstream. How?

  1. Stay focused on the customer. While customer experience is affected by numerous functions within an organization, because Marketing plays a primary role in customer retention and growth, the CMO should actively work to “own” customer experience.  The first step any CMO can take is to map the entire customer experience and all the associated touch points.
  2. Act like a scientist. Add data and analytics capabilities. Data and analytics have become key skill sets for marketers.  Many marketing organizations have yet to build this know-how into their organization.  Others have made some headway but without constant investment it doesn’t take long to fall behind.  The first step is assess and benchmark the data and skills capabilities within your organization – this includes the people capabilities as well as the systems, processes and tools.  Second you need to determine your data and analytics requirements.  With this information you can identify the gaps and develop a roadmap.  This roadmap may need to include change management, recruiting and developing talent, and a tactical plan for harnessing and managing the vast amounts of data.
  3. Make the Marketing dashboard relevant to the C-Suite.

Address these steps, inspire your team and build skills with these working sessions.

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