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  • Many organizations now have teams that produce reports bursting with numbers, charts, and graphs as if they were Model T automobiles – all in the same fashion, but with only the basic features. Often, these reports are referred to as dashboards. However, we, at VisionEdge Marketing, would like to be so bold as to say that you’re probably missing a few design capabilities when it comes to having an effective Marketing dashboard.
  • There are no lack of gizmos, gadgets, and tools when it comes to Marketing Technology (MarTech). It is one of the tricks of the Marketing trade that there is a suitable MarTech platform available to meet just about any company’s requirements and budget. Despite the proliferation of MarTech, many organizations are struggling with it, especially when it comes to employing it to improve marketing performance. Follow these steps to make sure the magic of your Martech results in more than an Illusion.
  • Peter Drucker is attributed with saying that ―Business has only two basic functions – marketing and innovation. Why is marketing so important? Perhaps the answer lies in Phil Kotler's point of view that: Marketing has the main responsibility for achieving profitable revenue growth derived from acquiring and retaining profitable customers.
  • The size or industry of a company doesn't matter. Every aspect of marketing performance management often requires cultural, process, and skill changes.
  • 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. So, what can you do to compete?
  • As a CEO, you know that a good strategy that is well executed has the ability to impact a market, competitive position or business model. Yet many companies lack the processes and leadership needed to ensure a strategy achieves the desired results. Failure is expensive and wastes precious resources, so what causes execution to go wrong?
  • Dashboards seem to be all the rage these days, the pressure to demonstrate value, be more accountable, and improve marketing return on investment is driving marketers to develop dashboards.
  • We’ve just come out of planning season for many organizations. To support our customers we’ve been reviewing their plans. When we conduct these reviews we’re evaluating a number of aspects, such as how well the plan is aligned to the business, the measurability and performance targets of the plan, and whether the plan is focused on creating value for the customers and the organization. One of the characteristics we examine is the analysis supporting the plan.
  • 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.
  • Customers are the most important part of any business; customers are the very purpose of business. Keeping your happy should be at the top of your list of priorities. If your organization is among those that have created customer experience maps, kudos to you and your team! If not, and this is an itch you want to scratch.
  • At a time when marketers are being asked to be more accountable, more is being measured. The challenge, however, is to find the right things to measure, i.e., the marketing metrics that improve and prove the value of your investments. Read on for a primer on how to do this successfully.
  • Various studies over the years have examined the relationship between content relevancy and behavior. Almost everyone would agree that content must be relevant. But what is relevance? According to Wikipedia: "Relevance describes how pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter." A thing is relevant if it serves as a means to a given purpose.
  • Customer Experience (CX) is one of the most highly discussed topics in organizations today. By definition, CX encompasses all interactions across the entire life cycle of the customer relationship. According to a survey by Oracle, of 1,300 senior executives in 18 countries, 97 percent believe CX is critical to their success. In addition, the study revealed a significant difference in perceptions between what executives think about the experience that they provide customers, versus what customers think about the experience that they receive. Only 49 percent of executives believe customers will switch brands due to a poor customer experience, yet 89 percent of customers say that they have switched because of a poor experience.
  • This article presents a case that illustrates the impact of an outcome-based marketing dashboard on communicating marketing's contribution to the business. Read the article to explore how creating this new marketing dashboard resulted in enabling the marketing team to serve in a more strategic role and engage in more meaningful dialogues with the sales and finance departments.
  • Performance management has been applied to various parts of a business for quite along time, particularly when it comes to manufacturing, logistics, and product development. Applying the concept to marketing is finally coming of age. Essentially, performance management is the process of measuring progress toward achieving key outcomes and objectives in order to optimize individual, group, or organizational performance. A performance-driven marketing organization is one that has a set of measurable performance standards, a pointed focus on outcomes, and clear lines of accountability, all of which are important if a marketing organization wants to prove its value.
  • As products become more commoditized, switching costs decrease, and differentiation based on product features becomes more difficult, companies are exploring how to use customer engagement as a competitive advantage. This article defines customer engagement, outlines three steps for creating engagement, and offers six elements that should comprise the foundation for measuring customer engagement.
  • Today's big challenge is to reduce the ever-increasing length of the sales cycle. As the length of the sales cycle increases, so does the demand for a larger pipeline. Marketing plays a critical role in contributing to the pipeline. This article outlines four steps marketing organizations can take to effectively and efficiently contribute to pipeline performance and the generation of revenue.
  • Companies have been conducting marketing activities forever. Why is metrics receiving so much attention and interest? Metrics drive and enable the organization to see what is working and helps them to adjust and bridge the gaps when needed. Measurement is at the center of improvement. Measurement can provide timely feedback, enable corrective action, provide focus, and give the organization the ability to design, map and monitor processes, and adopt best practices. Today's budgets and resource-constrained environments mandate organizations be able to discern which marketing efforts make a difference. Read on to find out why measuring matters.
  • Global competition, commoditization, market fragmentation, and the Sarbanes Oxley Act have all converged to create an environment requiring companies to create better processes, address controls, and assess risk. In addition, zero-based budgeting has become the norm. This convergence marks a new age for marketing in the 21st century; The Age of Accountability...
  • The year of the customer. That is what the authors of the third annual New York Stock Exchange CEO Report have dubbed 2008, based on research with 240 of the world’s top business leaders representing more than 20 industries in 24 countries. Those executives indicated that in the coming year they intend to have more focus on customers. This renewed effort comes on the heels of a Conference Board survey of CEOs, which found customer retention to be the No. 1 challenge facing companies...
  • Metrics provide a means to assess progress; they provide valuable data points against which the marketing organization can track its progress. Metrics demonstrate accountability and allow marketers better to know, act upon, align their efforts and reduce their market exposure. Metrics enable the marketing organization to truly serve as the “eyes and ears” of the company...
  • 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.
  • Agile companies want to be able to rapidly adjust on all fronts, including Marketing. Companies are interested in marketing that's agile because they believe it will help them deploy the right elements of the marketing mix at the right time to influence the specific outcome they want to achieve.
  • 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.
  • Agile marketing has become an everyday term; it even has its own manifesto. What is agile marketing? Workfront asserts that it “is a tactical marketing approach in which teams identify and focus their collective efforts on high value projects, complete those projects cooperatively, measure their impact, and then continuously and incrementally improve the results over time.” Seems obvious and what Marketing should be at its core.
  • 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.
  • Clearly, developing a customer journey map is beneficial to your business. So you do the work. You successfully complete your customer journey map. Congratulations! But how do you ensure that all of your work in mapping the customer journey will be properly implemented within your organization? You make the construct of your map's intangible attributes come to life through operationalization.
  • Good marketers desire to engage in long-term relationship with data. They develop a deep attachment for the abundant riches embedded with their data. These marketers recognize all the possibilities data makes available. Yet, the continuous onslaught of data, leaves many marketers feeling somewhat overwhelmed maybe even smothered. In this case, the love affair with data comes to a chilly halt.
  • Check out Laura's interview "Customer Journey Mapping: The Road to Relationships," featured in nine publications! Learn from expert insights!
  • 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.
  • After years of focusing on controlling costs, growth has moved to the top of the priority list for many companies and is now driving organizational transformations. While 93% of the 900 senior executives surveyed by KPMG say that their companies are “at some stage of undergoing or preparing to undergo a transformation,” few succeed. Organizational complexity is considered the biggest barrier to transformation success.
  • Should you attend more or fewer tradeshows? Should your booth be larger or smaller? Within any company you will get different answers from different people. According to the Center for Exhibition Research, events generally represent the lowest-cost method for generating new business. The firm says that it costs 56% less to close a lead generated from a trade show than from traditional sales methods. Read on for four proven processes to evaluate and measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of trade shows and events.
  • Not all metrics are good metrics. Merely because a brand is well "liked" on Facebook, or has many followers on Twitter, does not mean it is successfully being marketed. And collecting a fishbowl full of leads at a conference, or sending out a set quota of email blasts, is not the most productive way of measuring marketing's effectiveness. The trap many marketers fall into is focusing on output-based metrics, as opposed to outcome metrics, says Laura Patterson, president and co-founder of VisionEdge Marketing.
  • 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."
  • Some days it may seem like the weather forecast came from gazing into a crystal ball. In fact, being able to forecast the weather is the single most important reason for the existence of meteorology as a science. Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and analysis of trends. Despite being fraught with risk and uncertainty, forecasting is as important in business as it is in the weather. Business depends on forecasts for financial and staff planning and prioritizing investments and initiatives.
  • As marketing budgets and spending return to pre-recession levels... B2B marketers feel increasing pressure to justify their activities and results. Jack Loechner for Research Brief writes on several factors that make measuring marketing’s impact a constant struggle, and common metrics they shouldn't measure.
  • "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.
  • As the CEO, your perception of Marketing is critical for your Marketing team to secure the resources and funding it needs to help your business succeed. At VisionEdge Marketing, we noticed that some marketers do a better job than others of earning the C-Suite, specifically, the CEO, as their champion. We wanted to know what these marketers do to gain this recognition. Read our CEO Refresher article to find out!
  • Without a doubt, data and analytics have become central to every organization's business strategy. To be successful, a company needs to have strong analytics. Tom Davenport posits that those who are competitive in their analytics approach use data and analysis capabilities to discern what customers want, how much they're willing to pay, and what keeps them loyal. The challenge lies in how to implement his advice.
  • 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.
  • When you search under the term Customer Centricity, there are over 865,000 hits. When you look for the term customer experience, you find over 51 million items. Clearly, Forrester wasn’t kidding when they said we’ve entered the Age of the Customer. Today, with customers in the driver seat, the proliferation of marketing channels, and the equalizing forces of the Internet, it has become a challenging environment in which to be a customer-centric Marketer.
  • In anticipation of her presentation at eMetrics Summit in New York City, October 23-27, 2016, we asked Laura Patterson, President at VisionEdge Marketing, a few questions about digital marketing analytics. Check out Laura’s interview in relation to her eMetrics Summit presentation entitled, Moving Up the Leadership Ladder with Analytics.
  • Optimization means "the action of finding the best solution." Mathematical programming, or optimization modeling, is a branch of mathematical modeling that is concerned with finding the optimal solution to a problem. Initially, optimization was used as a way to mathematically determine the optimal allocation of scarce resources. The concept has been borrowed by businesspeople to aid decision-making. Marketing optimization addresses determining the optimal subset of combinations that will maximize profit. Marketing's primary responsibility to the organization is to generate profitable revenue growth. It would seem that maximizing profit is a relatively easy thing to do: just achieve the full profit potential for each and every customer. Easier said then done.
  • Performance management is about understanding where money is being spent, for what purpose, and how these activities are affecting the business. While many parts of an organization are already deploying performance management practices, marketing remains one of the final frontiers for performance management. This article discusses the four key processes to optimize your marketing organization's performance and why it's important.
  • With scenario analysis we focus on possible different future outcomes to design a strategy that is flexible enough to accommodate whatever outcome occurs. This article explores how to use scenarios as a creative way to segment the market. This is what is known as scenario marketing. The article suggests that different customer sets face different scenarios which trigger their response. By understanding the various scenarios different customers face marketers can take a unique marketing approach to each scenario. The article illustrates the concept and provides ten steps for creating scenarios for the purpose of segmentation.
  • A good marketing plan is in essence the "Cliff Notes" version of the company story explaining current status, how it got there, and what if anything needs to be addressed and if so, by whom, how, with what and when. A good marketing plan has all the elements of a well-told story.
  • Some of the most recent research conducted by CSO Insights and IDC suggests that marketing and sales alignment is more important than ever. The studies revealed these five worrisome tidbits: Today's sales cycles are 25% long than they were a year ago. In the B-B world, the sales process often involves seven decision makers from the prospective customers' side. Only about 43% of sales reps made their quota in 2006. Sales people can spend up to 40% of their time each week developing materials to support their sales efforts; this is approximately 2 days per week. Less than 25% of CMOs and 14% of Senior Sales Executives are satisfied with their ability to optimize sales efficiency and effectiveness. Marketing and Sales are really two sides of the same coin. They are both responsible for generating revenue for the company. Revenue is a result of relatively simple equation: Opportunities in the pipeline multiplied by the average deal size multiplied by the win rate and then this sum divided by the sales cycle time. This sum multiplied by all the sellers in your organization determines your revenue. Even a small increase in each of these can make a huge difference. The better marketing and sales are aligned, the more likely each of these components can be improved thereby improving the company's revenue.
  • Sales enablement is a process that focuses on empowering salespeople to perform their job more effectively. Because the sales organization relies on the marketing organization to create the tools that support both the sales enablement process and strategy, it is important that Marketing and Sales collaborate with each when creating, distributing, and utilizing tools. One such tool is the playbook which characterizes the roles and responsibilities for each member of the selling organization, lays out clear objectives for each member of the team to support the business plan, targets setting and performance measurement, and provides a common framework and approach for most effectively developing and closing opportunities. This article discusses both the importance of having a playbook and specific steps involved in making it a valuable. sales enablement tool.
  • Marketing and Sales are both responsible for generating revenue for the company. Regardless of various approaches taken by companies to address this issue, the lack of alignment and collaboration between marketing and sales persists. Both organizations need to change for the organization to succeed. This paper suggests how moving Marketing and Sales from a transactional approach to a customer-centric approach and using the customer buying process aligns the organizations and improves both organizations' effectiveness at growing the top line.
  • It's always difficult for marketing to find quality leads. When marketing is not up to par, the lead-to-conversion ratio declines. These are critical metrics that must be monitored, measured, and managed. Read this article to find out how you can use a customer-buying pipeline to increase your quality leads and increase your lead-to-conversion ratio.
  • Creating customers is the purpose of any business so that being said, the role of marketing is to create and keep customers. It is Marketing's responsibility to develop a roadmap or plan for how to go about creating and keeping customers.In this article, you will discover what initial steps can help guide your organization's marketing planning and budgeting efforts, why you need to set clear business outcomes, what to do with the outcomes, and the importance of measurement.
  • Marketing shares finding new profitable customers with the sales organization. To attract new customer the sales and delivery teams must be able to articulate the business benefits. These groups often rely on marketing to create the tools to support the sales process.These sales enablement tools help the sales organization improve their effectiveness at generating revenue and earnings by giving salespeople the right information at the right time to increase their rate of success. One tool more and more organizations are leveraging is buyer personas. In this article you will discover why organization are using buyer personas, why they are creating them and why it benefits them.
  • Just like Sales, Marketing is responsible for managing a predictable, reliable demand generation pipeline with a plan that ultimately produces higher value opportunities and maximizes revenue. The traditional approach to the pipeline- Awareness, Interest, Demand, Action or the more modified version of this pipeline – Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Purchase - is outdated. The customer is no longer a passive recipient or a sidelined spectator. In today’s environment, customers are actively engaged in the buying process. Today we leverage a mix of vehicles from search engines to customer generated blogs and reviews, from online communities to social networks, and from broadcast to personalization designed to create engagement and enhance experience.Yet our language related to the customer buying pipeline hasn’t kept up. This article suggests an alternative of six key measurable stages into account when developing, implementing and measuring Marketing’s contribution to the opportunity pipeline.
  • Driving revenue for the business takes Marketing working the numbers, then tracking and reporting on the performance to the numbers. This articles explains how to take a customer-centric view rather than an internally oriented revenue-centric view and “doing the math” to facilitate creating a marketing organization that is relevant, can measure its value, and more importantly affect revenue.
  • The premise of VoC is to collect and analyze customer data to transform an organization into a truly customer-centric operation. This article explores how to use VoC research to acquire business insight about customers and what is important to them in order to enhance the customer experience and ultimately the bottom line. The article outlines the steps for conducting VoC and the business benefits.
  • Best-in-class marketers go beyond tracking and reporting on vanity metrics. They don’t waste time creating dashboards consisting of a smorgasbord of numbers that report on activity and outputs. These astute marketers identify and track metrics derived from aligning Marketing to the business outcomes. Marketers who make this connection make a stronger case for securing a greater share of resources.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Customer-centricity is more than a buzzword. It represents a shift in perspective, especially for B2B companies. B2B companies tend to be more product-centric. What does it mean to be customer-centric vs. product-centric? And what steps should your firm take to become more customer-centric? Research has found that customer-centric companies enjoy great customer satisfaction, outperform industry peers two-to-one in revenue growth, and generate margins 5%-10% above their competitors. The Internet has leveled the distribution playing field. Price is often perceived as the determinant of value. Therefore, companies are left with only two ways to really add value: through their brand and their relationships with customers and prospects. Switching to a customer-centric system positively influences both.
  • 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.
  • As a marketing leader, you know how important it is to win the support of your CEO. The C-suite’s positive perception of Marketing is critical if you are going to get the resources and funding you need to succeed. Fifteen years of research suggests Value Creators, the best-in-class marketers, do four things consistently better and differently to achieve these business results and CEO support.
  • Firms that put customers at the center of their business will outgrow those who serve stockholders.
  • 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.
  • Marketing Operations (MarketingOps) helps run the Marketing function as a fully accountable business by building the processes and managing the systems. It is the vital backbone function within Marketing that develops and deploys the processes, systems, tools and skills necessary to link Marketing to business outcomes in order to improve and prove marketing’s value. In the most recent Marketing Performance Management Benchmark study, we were curious as to how much progress each group of marketers Best-in-Class (BIC), Middle-of-the-Pack and Laggards was making in employing MarketingOps to support their MPM and Center of Excellence efforts. What’s the key takeaway? The MarketingOps of the BIC is more about Doing the Right Things than Doing Things Right. This article offers six MarketingOps capabilities to help fine tune your MPM efforts.
  • A good dashboard guides your actions and helps you mitigate risks. Most of us rely on an automobile dashboard every day to help us determine when to fuel up or when to slow down. If your marketing dashboard doesn’t guide your strategic and investment decisions, it’s time to return to the drawing board.
  • 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.
  • As a member of your organization’s leadership team, you know that driving and deliver growth hinges keeping the customer front and center in regards to your workflow, data, analytics, metrics, and accountable action. Learn how to employ S.W.E.A.T -Strategy, Workflow, Engines, Accountable Actions, and Talent – to keep marketing, sales, product and service operating on all cylinders.
  • With the convergence of online and offline marketing, the constantly increasing accessibility of data, and substantial improvements in analytical capabilities, marketers can now measure far more than they could just a few years ago. Choosing the right measures is far more important than the quantity of data measured. Measuring the right data, and acting upon the results found in the measurements, is an essential requirement for operating Marketing as a Center of Excellence. This article provides guidance for how to create a measurement playbook to select and measure the right marketing metrics.
  • Although most marketers create marketing plans, all too often these plans end up “sitting on a shelf collecting dust.” Your marketing plan should be guiding you and your team’s daily activity. It should be a go-to resource you revise, adapt and refer to often for the long haul. This article offers two steps to set you on the path toward transforming your marketing plan from a disconnected set of slides to an action-oriented blueprint. In this way, your marketing plan has the opportunity to remain evergreen.
  • As the CEO, or member of the leadership team, you know how important data, and the ability to draw actionable insights from the data, are to making fact-based strategic decisions. As your company attempts to deal with increasing market pressure and competition, it is imperative that you can depend on your marketing organization for relevant and timely data about the market, customers, competition, and about which marketing investments are, and are not, effective and efficient. Here are the three ingredients your marketers need to ensure analytics are a gateway to your organization’s revenue growth.
  • Marketers who consistently demonstrate business acumen are more likely to be considered among the “A” marketers, the marketers who regularly get high marks from their leadership team. If you’re looking to rise up through the ranks, business acumen is an essential skill that you can improve. This article outlines four steps every marketer can take to enhance business acumen.
  • Even though CFOs believe improvements in both top line and bottom line growth in 2016 will require sales and marketing, marketing budgets are already on the chopping block. One of the underlining causes of budget reductions is that despite improvements in technology and processes as well as increased focus on measurement, only a few marketers can actually prove their value. This same group of CFOs also believe that business agility is critical. Organizations that achieve agility excel at fostering and leveraging best practices. A few elite marketing organizations are making headway on both fronts. How? By transforming marketing into a center of excellence. This article recommends five steps your marketing organization can take to embark on a Marketing CoE initiative.
  • A Forbes Insight Study revealed that 7 out 10 CEOs believe their company wastes money on marketing initiatives. What do CEO’s expect of marketing and the investments marketing is making? They need marketing to be a real partner to the C-suite and provide a system of steady and dependable revenue growth. Organizing for growth requires marketing to go beyond producing demand generation campaigns and equipping the sales team. It requires them to operate as a Center of Excellence (CoE). Every CEO should expect their marketing leadership to be committed to transforming their organizations into a CoE. This article explore how the C-Suite can guide the formation of a Marketing Leadership Council (MLC) to steer and sustain marketing as a Center of Excellence and five steps to help prioritize the initiative.
  • Abstract: An article in Forbes revealed that 70% of the companies that were on the Fortune 1000 list a mere ten years ago have now vanished – unable to adapt to change. The article reinforces the importance of agility. Organizations in pursuit of agility and excellence create and deploy the concept of a Center of Excellence (CoE). A Marketing CoE is characterized by its ability to improve internal business processes, customer-centricity, market leadership, and market innovation. Read this article to learn how to make process and technology the cornerstone of your Marketing Center of Excellence.
  • Whether to hire a marketing consulting company is a question every CMO and marketing leader addresses at some time or another. As marketer, it is important to know when to buck it up and tackle an initiative internally versus when is it time to secure an outside expert, ideally before the situation becomes critical or spirals into something more challenging. This articles suggests three questions to help you decide whether to tackle the effort on your own or seek outside help. And if you decide to engage outside expertise, what kind of expert might be best suited to the task and the key information you need to bring to the conversation.
  • CEOs, your marketing leader is an integral member of your team. Skimping on your marketing talent puts you and your company at risk for longer sales cycles, few or poor quality opportunities, failed product launches, and customer defection. Don’t expect, or settle for, a marketing leader that you won’t have sit at your strategy table. To avoid short circuiting your success, this article recommends three criteria for CEOs to apply to the selection process.
  • The more you understand your customer’s journey the better you can address opportunities to improve key business results such as product/service adoption, and loyalty. What tools you use to create your visual map isn’t as important as how you create your map. This article outlines the five primary steps for creating your customer journey map.
  • Even though marketers continue to plug away at measurement, marketing leaders still struggle with how to demonstrate the impact of marketing on business. Numerous studies over nearly two decades on the topic have been conducted. Is there anything new left to learn? There is, and as a result, this article shares the insights from the 14th annual marketing performance measurement and management (MPM) study conducted with over 360 business executives and marketing professionals from around the world across all industries. Specifically this article explores: How much progress if any have marketers made in being able to measure contribution, value and impact. Which marketers are making progress. What the marketers who are excelling at MPM are doing better and differently.
  • Let’s face it, it’s never been more challenging to achieve market leadership. The “mores” also make it extremely challenging to lead the marketing function. There is more data to crunch, more silos to tear down, more marketing disciplines to manage and more marketing technology to evaluate and implement. And certainly there is more pressure from the C-Suite to prove and improve the value of marketing. Given these challenges, you and every member of your marketing team needs to bring more skills and more experience to the business of marketing than ever before. This article explores steps and processes you can take and use to convince the C-Suite to invest in top quality marketing talent and development.
  • 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.
  • Best-in-Class marketers focus on delivering the “RITE” content (Relevant, Informative, Timely, and Entertaining) in the right channel. An essential part of the RITE equation is to match your marketing content with the customer buying journey and lifecycle. This means your first step is to map your customer’s buying journey, move from profiles to personas, and clearly understand your customer’s lifecycle. Read this article to learn more about how to tackle this effort.
  • The sales team loves you – because you are always responsive to their ad hoc requests for a presentation, brochure, case study, or email campaign NOW. The CEO may love you too – because you are filling the pipeline as requested to meet quarterly revenue objectives. But, despite the love you are uneasy. You know that because you are so busy with tactical marketing initiatives you don’t have the time or budget to fulfill marketing’s strategic role (generating value) and significantly improve organizational results. And that feels bad. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. This is the classic marketing catch 22. To help you escape the catch-22, this article describes the characteristics of a service organization to sales and a value creation organization. Then, for those you who believe that you are too far on the service organization end of the continuum, we provide five steps to help you transition your organization to a more value creation orientation.
  • Charts and color-coded reports that convey marketing activities and reveal tactical, channel-specific information such as number of opens and click-through rates for email campaigns resemble what we call Dashboard 1.0. It’s a good start, but it doesn’t really help improve marketing performance or effectively communicate marketing’s impact on, and value to, the business. Best-In-Class marketers are upgrading to what we call Dashboard 2.0. This article presents the five design principles behind Dashboard 2.0. Follow these principles to ensure your new, more advanced dashboard clearly shows the connection between marketing investments, activities, and outputs and helps you quantify and justify resource requirements at budget time.
  • Best-In-Class marketers excel at alignment and accountability. The Golden Circle helps marketers determine what to align to and what to measure. By focusing on Why, How, and What rather than What, How, and Why, marketers are able to focus more on business outcomes and the steps they need to take to achieve those outcomes rather than focusing wholly on the steps to take. This strategy of focusing on the Why enables marketing to follow a more strategic performance-based of growth and measurement. In this article, learn how to apply the Golden Circle concept to your marketing planning and performance management.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 'Relevance' is a term that describes how pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter. However, marketers often measure the wrong thing when looking to measure relevance. There are a number of best-practice approaches for measuring relevance, many of them are complex and require modeling. There is an intuitive relationship between relevance and intended behavior. By tracking relevance, you will be able to set benchmarks and performance targets for your content and model content relevance for intended behavior.
  • Customers are more fickle and relationships are more brittle than ever. Even the world's largest companies don't have as many resources as they need to reach all markets and drive ever increasing quarterly revenue. That makes it imperative to implement and maintain marketing initiatives to track and communicate the right dimensions, attributes, and metrics to reduce customer relationship brittleness and improve customer satisfaction.
  • It’s completely reasonable that as the CEO you expect your marketers to demonstrate the value of the investment they are making on behalf of the company. Research confirms that it’s not the budget that holds marketing back from being able to prove its value. The real difference is alignment. This article outlines three areas the leadership team should invest in to help marketers improve their effectiveness and accountability.
  • Your marketing organization like any team is a system. And for it operate at its full potential everyone on the team needs to be in the right position at the right time. This takes exceptional communication and synchronization. Sometimes teams have an overly strong player which can actually be harmful to a team’s performance. Consider the example of “outkicking your coverage.” This article explores how “outkicking your coverage” applies to business and marketing and steps to manage it.
  • Best-in-Class (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.
  • The sheer number of marketing technology options demonstrates that marketing is evolving and has become a technology-powered discipline. This explosion of marketing technology makes it hard to know which tools are required and which are “nice-to-have’s”. When the CMO owns and defines the marketing technology strategy the organizations achieves more targeted, relevant, and efficient customer engagement and greater revenue contribution. A framework and roadmap for investment is critical for developing this strategy and to ensure your strategy and investments truly help your organization thrive, you need to consider how they create an effective and efficient sustainable “ technology ecosystem”. Whether you are just starting out or are well on your way to building your marketing technology ecosystem, use this article to help you create and sustain your marketing technology ecosystem.
  • 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.
  • As CEO’s and other members of the leadership team focus on and invest in growth, Marketing rises to the top of list for helping the organization “get it done.” Understanding the degree of impact your Marketing has on your business starts with measurement. Measurement and analysis are the essential ingredients for optimizing your marketing. But your marketing organization needs input from the leadership team to make headway. This article outlines five fundamental steps every CEO can take to support marketing’s performance optimization efforts.
  • It is important to understand the differences and connection between account-based marketing and mapping the customer buying journey in order to create successful marketing strategies and plans. This article describes the connection, processes and differences and provides links to additional resources to help you put this knowledge into practice.
  • Would you like to be perceived by the C-Suite as an individual with strong business acumen? Do you want to be able seen as influential, credible, and relevant to business? Of course you do! Who wouldn’t? The 2015 Marketing Performance Management Study as well as other studies from Fournaise and Eloqua, have revealed that 80% of marketers use the word “brand” in their ever present vocabulary and that only half (51%) of marketing departments have been set any form of revenue targets, despite revenue growth being cited as the single most important metric for CEOs. This article outlines five things you can start doing today to effectively change your method of communication so the C-Suite sees you as a relevant, credible, and influential member of the business team.
  • Because of explosive increase in the data available, the real challenge for marketers is to transform marketing data from a collection of charts and graphs into something much more engaging and appealing. This work requires marketers and data scientists to tease out the story hidden within the data to help facilitate decisions. Creating an engaging story is not an easy task. Many marketers which whom we have worked with have asked us for ideas to help them develop this skill. This article outlines 5 tips to do just that.
  • Culture – the socially transmitted behavior patterns that reflect how a group of people operate. With the explosion of data, companies are moving to more analytically-oriented evidence-based decisions. With so much of today’s data related to customer and market behavior, marketing organizations are in an excellent position to lead the charge for creating data-driven culture. In this article, learn how to nurture and create a data-driven marketing culture.
  • 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.
  • One of the key challenges marketers face when it comes to measuring marketing value, impact, and contribution is selecting the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). If you want to influence success, determining the right marketing KPI’s for your business is critical. Selecting the right marketing KPI’s is a bit like making a fine sauce, it takes the right ingredients, tools, time and a bit of trial and error. This article presents a 4 step recipe to assist you on the process.
  • Finding, keeping and growing the value of customers is the job of marketing. The emphasis on demand generation among marketers these days often shines the light on finding customers. Yet the keeping and growing are just as essential. Having a clear understanding of what business needle you expect customer loyalty to move is critical. Measuring the movement of the business needle will indicate you whether or not your initiatives are working. Therefore, if you plan on implementing a customer loyalty initiative, this article recommends five steps to ensure your customer loyalty efforts connect to business results.
  • Many marketers prefer to do as much internally as possible and before leveraging external experts. We begin to see some organizations considering change. Why? Because the value of speed is a big concern for many organizations and we are talking about strategic speed not operational speed. Does that really matter? Yes it really does. Studies show that increasing your strategic speed will increase your sales and higher operating profits. In this article you will learn how to foster strategic speed through two key marketing areas: Alignment and Analytics.
  • As the CEO, perhaps your marketing folks have told you that they need more marketing automation tools before they can address marketing measurement. But it is a mistake to wait to address accountability until after you have addressed technology, even if it’s just the marketing automation piece. This article explains offers four steps every CEO should consider addressing with their marketing team to improve accountability.
  • 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.
  • The consequences of not performing effective research, or “winging” research and using those results to make decisions can have a detrimental impact on your organization and ultimately result in reduced sales and market share. Fielded properly, effective research can help you identify potential new customers and answer questions such as who is going to use your product/service, how they buy, their supplier criteria and preferences, and so on. Research is also both critical and essential if you seek to better understand your existing customers, what they value, and their degree of loyalty or risk of defection. This article defines the benefits of research and will help you build the business case to get your company focused on doing the measureable market research you know is needed.
  • 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.
  • One of our associates is preparing to send her child, Evan, off to 3-week overnight summer camp for the first time. Over the past few months she’s shared how the family went about selecting the right camp for them, and then the amazing job the camp did managing the experience after the selection and before the start of camp. It struck as a familiar buying process for a considered and consultative sell, followed by an impressive customer onboarding process. So, as you read this article think about how this model could be adapted by your organization to improve your customers’ experience.
  • Three key metrics categories applied in the "sports" arena work just as well for marketing: outcome, performance, and process. As the CEO you may want to motivate your marketing team to integrate these key performance indicator categories into their performance management. This article explains each category and how to apply it to your business and marketing.
  • Are marketing metrics and marketing analytics the same thing? Definitely not. Metrics and Analytics go hand in hand and are used by marketers to prove and improve the value of marketing, however, they have different purposes and are used to achieve different objectives. This article distinguishes the differences between these two capabilities and outlines the purpose of each. Use the checklist in this article to help you assess what you need to address to improve your marketing metrics and analytics.
  • Today’s marketers are swimming in a sea of metrics. Using accountability as the foundation for your performance management will help bring your metrics into focus. Your marketing accountability efforts are about more than merely reporting on your performance. This articles suggests five common traits among the Best-in-Class (BIC) marketers who are doing a great job tackling marketing accountability.
  • A small group of marketers have cracked the code for demonstrating their value, impact and contribution to the C-Suite. These marketers focus alignment and accountability in their pursuit to serve as value creators. This paper discusses how they address the challenges of collecting, managing and analysing data, using data to link marketing activity to business outcomes and selecting the right metrics.
  • Growth, measured in terms of increased revenue, profit, and/or assets is a key initiative for most companies. The recent merger, acquisition and takeover frenzy of the past few years reflects what is known as inorganic growth. Organic growth, now back in vogue is the rate a business expands through its own business activity. Organic growth requires a company to create competitive advantages, differentiate and innovate its product/service offerings, and to hone in on viable existing and new customer opportunities.
  • CEO's are urging their companies to focus their efforts on organic growth methods to increase and accelerate revenue. These CEO's understand that with an effective organic growth strategy, their organizations will continue to grow by engaging new customers and expand the business with existing customers. So how does one achieve that? In this article, you will learn what Customer Engagement is and why you should use it as well as the different metrics that you can put in place to measure how successful or not your organic growth strategy is.
  • More and more of the buying process is occurring without any direct human-to-human interaction. Customers are self-educating themselves about products and services long before engaging with your company. Hence the role of content marketing – a means to communicate with your customers and prospects without selling. Therefore, you need to align your marketing to the new way customers are buying and take the customer buying process into consideration when creating your content. This article takes you through the steps you need to understand what touches and channels your customers prefer along each point in their buying journey.
  • CEOs, CFOs, and COOs understand the value of operations management for supporting the development, production, and delivery of products and/or services. It is just as important to establish a marketing operations function to support the development, production and delivery of your marketing. Why? Because with the proliferation of marketing automation tools and increased pressure to prove the value of marketing, it makes good business sense for all but the smallest organizations to employ Marketing Ops management.
  • 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.
  • More and more of the buying process is occurring without any direct human-to-human interaction. Customers are self-educating themselves about products and services long before engaging with your company. Hence the role of content marketing – a means to communicate with your customers and prospects without selling. Therefore, you need to align your marketing to the new way customers are buying and take the customer buying process into consideration when creating your content. This article takes you through the mapping the buyer journey.
  • CMO’s are under increased pressure to demonstrate and create value. In response, Best-in-Class marketers have mastered six fundamental marketing areas: Alignment, Accountability, Analytics, Automation, Alliances and Assessments. Our research has discovered that at present only a quarter of marketers are value creators. If you are in this elite group, in this article you will learn why having the title of CVO instead of CMO can make a difference and how to go about seeking that title change.
  • More and more of the buying process is occurring without any direct human-to-human interaction. Customers are self-educating themselves about products and services long before engaging with your company. Hence the role of content marketing – a means to communicate with your customers and prospects without selling. Therefore, you need to align your marketing to the new way customers are buying and take the customer buying process into consideration when creating your content. This article takes you through the steps you need to understand what touches and channels your customers prefer along each point in their buying journey.
  • Companies face more obstacles than ever- from a challenging business environment, to an explosion of channels, to a heightened focus on using data and analytics. For the C-Suite to invest in marketing, Marketers need to generate measurable value and demonstrate Marketing’s impact on the bottom line. In the era of measurement, it’s likely your marketing organization is measuring something. Marketing’s metrics however need to answer the C-Suite’s question as to how Marketing is impacting and contributing to the business, what is and isn’t working, and provides course adjustment recommendations, then you may need to return to the drawing board. This article outlines three steps every CEO can ask their Marketing organization to employ to ensure their metrics answer your “So What” questions.
  • Many marketing organizations are playing a strategic role in helping to transform their companies from being operations- or product-centric to becoming more customer-centric. To have an impact on acquisition, retention, and growth, marketers are articulating, developing, and implementing customer-centric marketing strategies that have an impact on the customer buying journey and experience.
  • In today’s world, financial rigor and strategic insight are becoming tightly linked. Increasingly, CFOs are playing a primary role in developing and implementing strategy within their company, serving as a key advisor to the CEO for developing growth opportunities for the future. With finance gaining greater influence and authority over the business as a whole, including marketing, marketers wanting to invest the company’s money in strategies and programs that enable the organization to acquire, keep and grow the value of customers need the CFO’s buy-in. Securing the CFO’s support takes credibility. This article outlines five steps that will help Marketing gain greater credibility with the CFO.
  • Is there a difference between value and valuable? In today’s world, organizations seek people who are valuable and can make a difference. It is no longer good enough to just work hard and fulfill your job duties. If your work product is valued but not essential to the business, you are not being indispensable to the organization. In this article you will learn the difference between value and valuable, and what it is you can do to be someone that is valuable to an organization.
  • With the myriad of choices and options for nearly every purchase, it is essential that marketers court, engage, and build a relationship with customers. When you can genuinely use empathy you are more likely to engage the target audience with your content, your message, and your story. This article discusses how to take a customer-centric approach and use empathy to craft stories that will resonate with your customers.
  • 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.
  • As the pace of marketing transformation accelerates, marketers are tackling the hardest task of all: seizing the role of value creator. This article explores the four capabilities best-in-class marketers do better and differently in terms of alignment, accountability, analytics, automation, alliances and assessment to serve as value creators.
  • More new channels, competition, and distinct segments to manage, as well as shorter product lifecycles, greater price transparency, and higher customer experience expectations, are creating an exponential increase in the amount of available marketing data. Unless all that data can be effectively collected, analyzed, and transformed into meaningful and actionable insights—and then used to tell a compelling, actionable story it is useless. Many marketing organizations are employing data scientists to capture, manipulate, and transform data into meaning. The ultimate challenge for data scientists is to use the data to create stories. This article offers five coaching tips to help data scientists go beyond the data to become compelling storytellers.
  • 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.
  • Finance continues to gain greater influence and authority over the business as a whole, including marketing. CFO’s are becoming responsible for activities such as prioritizing company resources, developing and communicating the company strategy, making IT decisions, and implementing performance programs. As a result marketers need to better quantify and measure the value of marketing programs. In this new world, marketers need to “speak business” to win over the CFO. This article outlines five ways to save your budget from the chopping block.
  • A recent study by Forrester and Harvard Business Review found that ONLY 8 percent of customers feel GREAT about their experience despite the fact that 80 percent of businesses state they offer a GREAT customer experience. So, unless you work in one of the rare organizations with customers who rate their experience as great, improving customer experience truly is an opportunity to increase your competitive advantage. This article identifies the best practices value creators employ in their quest to understand the customer experience as a means of achieving market leadership.
  • The convergence of data, analytics and technology is driving both the demand for marketing dashboards – and enabling their evolution. This article explores the various types of dashboards and their design. Learn about four essential design elements and the six categories you should include on your marketing dashboard.
  • In just a few years we’ve gone from a few key technologies and a hundred players to dozens of technology options and nearly a thousand players. It’s easy to get excited by all these sexy new tools. But it is a mistake to wait to address accountability until after you have addressed technology, even if it’s just the marketing automation piece. This article explains why accountability comes before automation and provides four steps of the marketing performance management leaders you can model.
  • Imagine getting into the cockpit of an airplane and preparing for takeoff. You’re all strapped in, but you discover that all the indicators – and the entire dashboard itself – are missing. How would you know how fast you’re going, how much fuel you’re burning, and which way you’re headed?Yet that’s exactly what marketers without an effective dashboard do every day: they fly blindly. Read on to stop flying blind!
  • Many companies are focused on intensifying and amplifying their message by producing more content and leveraging more channels. But this approach doesn’t necessarily translate into better marketing. Today’s marketer must understand the mental process that their potential customer goes through in solving their problem and making a purchasing decision. By fully mapping and understanding the customer buying process, marketers can effectively produce business results. This article provides specific steps for mapping the customer buying journey and lifestyle and how to match content and channels to the buying journey.
  • It’s never been more challenging to lead the marketing function. To be successful, marketers now need a special mix of skills and experience, because businesses increasingly need people who can create “brilliant customer experiences through a fusion of technology, creativity and commercial acumen.” But many businesses have not recognized the increased importance of the science side of marketing. They still expect to achieve market leadership even though they are not recruiting top notch personnel and not investing in upgrading and expanding their skills. Only constant communication and demonstration of the required technical skills, marketing discipline experience, and marketing principles understanding by the marketing team will help business recognize and embrace this shift and achieve competitive advantage.
  • a. Marketing Technology enables marketers to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive business environment. The ability to identify exactly which technologies are needed, in which order, and how to effectively implement and then use the tools is key to return on investment and success. The right investment in people is also required in order to realize the full benefit of these tools. This article explores the four different categories of Marketing Technology tools and recommends key steps to help you pave the way to developing a successful technology roadmap.
  • a. With increased pressure on marketing to measure its value and contribution, marketing performance management is moving to the front burner. As a result many organizations are actively implementing a marketing operation function. The role of marketing operations is expanding, especially among Best-in-Class marketing organizations. Learn how BIC marketers use marketing operations to champion and orchestrate the six A’s (alignment, accountability, analytics, automation, alliances and assessment) of marketing performance management.
  • Marketers today have no shortage of things they can measure. However, we must keep in mind that the purpose of measuring is to tie marketing metrics to business contribution and impact. Rather than simply measuring for measurement's sake, marketers need to think of measuring so that we know what marketing brings to the business. In this article, learn what our role as marketers is, as well as how we can successfully measure value.
  • Marketers in organizations of all sizes and working in all industries are clambering to develop content and utilize the proper channels to reach and connect with customers and prospects. However, if we produce content without taking the customer buying process into consideration, all of this effort could end up being a waste. This article outlines how to synchronize mix and content with the customer buying journey and lifecycle, why this is important, and how your organization will benefit.
  • Marketers today are creating more content than before and leveraging various channels to get their messages across. With the major investment of time and money, it is important that marketers understand the most effective methods for delivering content to consumers. In this article, learn how you can use optimization and attribution modeling, when to use them, how they differ, plus the various approaches for assigning and measuring attribution.
  • With the availability of more data collection and analysis tools today, marketers are better able to understand what content, channels, and touchpoints are most effective in communicating with prospective customers. However, many marketers are still struggling and find themselves in a hit-or-miss situation. If this is the case for you, it might be time for your organization to create personas. In this article, find out the what, why, and how of personas, and get started on creating and implement this valuable asset.
  • 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.
  • The world of Marketing is becoming more and more complex, and as the field becomes more data-driven and measurement-oriented, specialties have emerged. Whether you are a marketer in a small business or a major corporation, marketing specialists have become a necessity. In this article, learn how you can determine when you need a specialist and how to go about finding the right one.
  • 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.
  • During the last weekend of February, Laura had the honor of serving as a speaker at the 6th Annual Intelligent Content Conference in California. The event was sold-out, but surprisingly, while she was there, she did not run into a single CMO, Marketing VP, or Marketing Director. The people she did have the pleasure of meeting had titles such as content managers, technical writers, content operations managers, and several more. Managing marketing content is a vital part of a marketer’s job, so why were the marketing executives missing?
  • Customers are at the heart of every business, and that concept was reinforced over this past Valentine’s Day. While on a getaway over the holiday weekend, a hotel in San Antonio provided the best customer experience, almost guaranteeing that visitors will become repeat guests. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to share insight on one of the tools we think best enables organizations to provide this type of excellent customer experience—the customer experience map.
  • In order for a business to function effectively, we all need to be solid and dependable team players. However, you must also remember that there is a difference between collaborating and abdicating. Marketing leaders often times find themselves in situations where their power has been diminished, especially when it comes to authority over budgets and programs. This article provides some ideas on how marketers can "take back the reins" and re-gain their power in their organization.
  • Marketing Technology enables marketers to thrive in today's hyper-competitive business environment. The ability to identify exactly which technologies are needed, in which order, and how to effectively implement and use the tools is key to return on investment and success. The right investment in people is also required in order to realize the full benefit of these tools. This article explores the four different categories of Marketing Technology tools, and provides the basis for creating a roadmap to implement them in your organization.
  • The beginning of a New Year signifies a new start, and with that comes resolutions for the year ahead. We all have New Year's resolutions, and hopefully you made a few for your marketing, with at least one devoted to Marketing Performance Management. Making resolutions is the easy part, but keeping them is where it can get difficult. If you have yet to make a marketing resolution, this article provides four performance resolutions to choose from, along with a few tips for bringing them to fruition.
  • 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.
  • With the millions of bits and pieces of data available for us to collect, marketers must be capable of applying a discerning eye to identify the important patterns that lie within. This article addresses five data pattern detection approaches that all marketers should know, explaining their differences and when it is best to use each one. The marketers that are able to identify data patterns and distill them into something meaningful and actionable will be the ones to succeed in today's data-driven business environment.
  • An effective sales playbook characterizes the roles and responsibilities for you (and your sales team), lays out clear objectives, identifies metrics for measurement, and provides a common framework and approach for closing sales. Having a “killer” playbook, which incorporates Marketing & Sales Alignment, enables you to sell more effectively, handle different selling situations, position against a particular competitor, and/or communicate the value proposition in the buying process. This article outlines exactly what your playbook needs to include, and how to create it, so that you have constructed the best strategy required to accomplish your, and your company’s, goals.
  • Some marketing questions require robust analytics. For example understanding what mix of channels are driving sales for a particular product or in a particular customer set or what sequence of channels is most effective. These types of questions often require large sets of data, or what is being referred to as Big Data. Study after study shows that marketers are struggling with mining and analyzing data in order to derive valuable insights, actionable intelligence and managing performance. This article explains Big Data, why it is important, and suggests six steps for using it.
  • As we create more content, marketers are trying to understand the role this content plays in the buying process and which components have the greatest impact on generating conversation, consideration and ultimately consumption. So it’s no surprise that marketers are trying to understand how to leverage both marketing mix attribution and optimization models. Both attribution and optimization modeling are about improving mix and understanding the impact of marketing investments on customer behavior. This articles what these models are, when to use them, how they are different, and outlines various approaches for measuring attribution: first/last touch, equal, and fractional.
  • Does your dashboard: 1)Inform the leadership team of the contribution and impact marketing is making on acquiring, keeping, and growing the value of customers? 2)Provide a direct link between your marketing programs and investments and business results? 3)Enable you to make strategic decisions?If your dashboard is not helping you with these three questions then it may be time to do some fine-tuning. Here are 3 things we look for when evaluating a marketing dashboard’s ability to facilitate decisions, improve marketing, and prove marketing’s contribution.
  • Last summer, SpencerStuart reported their latest findings for the 8th annual CMO tenure study. They found that the tenure for CMOs is now nearly 4 years compared to just 2 years back in 2006. While CMO tenure varies across industries, there are several attributes long-tenured CMOs share.
  • Most marketers today are responsible for planning, directing, and controlling something -- at the very least a program or project. Part of our job is to enable our companies to make better, more informed decisions.Yet today’s marketers need to approach running the marketing organization as if they were managing a strategic business unit.
  • 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.
  • Two of the most valuable purposes of a marketing dashboard are to help our leadership team understand how Marketing is moving the needle in terms of top line revenue, market share, customer value, category ownership, etc. as well as to provide strategic guidance. However, one of more perplexing findings from the recently completed marketing performance research conducted jointly by Forrester, ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing is that while marketers have access to more data, leverage more analytics, and have invested in more tools and systems than ever before, they continue to struggle to prove marketing's contribution to the business. This despite the fact that the majority of the marketers in the study indicated they regularly produce and share dashboards. These dashboards are primarily generated by marketing automation platforms and CRM systems. This article clarifies the difference between an activity tracking report and a dashboard that helps you improve and prove the value of marketing.
  • Many marketers think that they can approach their marketing plan like a televised home makover-a few days and a few dollars and “voila” a new marketing plan! Well, the truth and myths of real-time television apply to the creation of a marketing plan. Here are three lessons we can learn from HGTV.
  • With the increased pressure on business leaders to be more personally accountable for the performance and conduct of their organizations, the emphasis on performance management has trickled down and across the organization, which of course includes marketing. A sound marketing performance management process is essential for enabling marketing professionals to demonstrate and communicate marketing’s impact on along with the contribution to the organization. This article explores three performance management terms often used interchangeably – marketing effectiveness, marketing accountability and marketing measurement – and the role these three complementary ideas serve in the performance management process.
  • When the time comes to begin creating the next year's marketing budget, many marketers submit their budget before even creating their Marketing Plan. If you don't have a plan for the initiatives you and your organization plan to employ for next year, how can you expect your colleagues in Finance to approve your budget? This is why marketing budgets are oftentimes returned from Finance with major monetary slashes and cutbacks. This article explores a new way to tackle the creation of a Marketing Budget that will greatly enhance your organization's ability to get its budget approved.
  • Although many have embraced the collection of large amounts of data, many are still struggling with the synthesis of it. By firstly choosing the correct data sets, marketers can then follow this 5 step process to pull actionable, valuable insights from their collected data.
  • Marketing cannot be successful unless they forge a viable partnership with Finance. Unfortunately, in too many organizations, a disconnect exists between these two departments, making it more difficult than it should be to gain approval for marketing budgets--without significant cuts. While it's tempting to point the finger at someone else or circumstances, the major reason for this disconnect is that marketers do not speak the language of Finance. This article recommends an alternative approach for developing a Marketing budget and a dialogue for obtaining approval for a budget that will enable both Marketing and overall business success.
  • Imagine you have two new customer acquisition programs in play: Program Excalibur produces 100 qualified leads and Program Camelot produces 50 qualified leads. At first glance, it might appear that based on volume, or the quantity of qualified leads, that Excalibur is the better program. What other metrics should organizations use to evaluate opportunities generated by Marketing? This article explores six additional pipeline metrics every organization should consider.
  • Creating a successful marketing plan is not fast, easy, or free. This article debunks the three most common myths that prevent marketers from developing a plan that improves and proves the value of marketing, and provides tips on how to approach this important project.
  • Challenging and highly competitive business environments. Channel proliferation. The need to prove and improve marketing ROI. Budgets on the chopping block. Perceived primarily as an expense, Marketing executives face many obstacles. One of the only ways to avoid being “sliced and diced” is to generate measurable value and demonstrate Marketing’s impact on the bottom line.
  • Selecting the right performance metrics and developing an actionable marketing dashboard is something many organizations are tackling. However, if the link between marketing activities and business results isn’t clear, you may find yourself wallowing in data.
  • 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.
  • By monitoring experience, convenience, and differentiation, you will start to craft a much more comprehensive view of your impact on the customer's buying behavior and thus the effectiveness of your marketing programs. The closer you can link customer behavior to business outcomes, the better.
  • Finance departments often criticize marketing’s inability to present a tangible ROI and use financial measures.Marketing and finance both have well-developed ideas about what value is and how it should be measured. Unfortunately, their ideas are very different.
  • Marketers everywhere know they need to increase their analytical and accountability prowess. However, this effort is only worth the investment of time, people and money if you can use these capabilities to drive strategic decisions, actionable recommendations, and improve and prove marketing effectiveness. In fact, we believe the line between marketing analyst and marketing strategist will increasingly blur. Strategists need the analytics to stay ahead of emerging opportunities, respond quickly to unexpected threats, and make timely decisions.
  • Although having a “loud megaphone” is beneficial to many companies, it is only one of many tactics that a marketer has at their disposal. The modern marketer must understand the mental process that their potential customer goes through in solving their problem at hand. By fully mapping and understanding this, the company can strategically place themselves in the customer’s buying journey.
  • 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.
  • Seth Godin, and lesser known folks, suggest that anyone can be a marketer. And you know it appears to be true. We have biology, art history, anthropology, and various other degreed folk practicing marketing. Maybe that’s why the marketing profession isn’t as well thought of as we would like by the C-Suite.
  • In today’s data-driven environment it’s important not to confuse marketing analytics with business acumen. Analytics may help facilitate or enhance business acumen or astuteness, but it certainly doesn’t replace it. This article outlines four tips for ensuring your Marketing Analytics are being put to work and not to waste.
  • Various studies over the years have examined the relationship between content relevancy and behavior. Almost everyone would agree with the statement that "content must be relevant." So, what is the best way to measure relevancy? There are a number of best-practice approaches for measuring relevancy, many of them are complex and require modeling. This article outlines three steps any marketer can use to link interaction (behavior) with content and a method for measuring relevancy.
  • 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.
  • The relationship between Marketing and Sales is at the core of how well a company attracts buyers and sells to them. This relationship is more than just a simple handoff at the point an opportunity is generated; it is the foundation for profitable revenue growth. This article outlines six best practices to facilitate alignment between sales and marketing.
  • As it has been shown in a variety of ways over the past decade or so, the days of math-less, mindless, off-the-hip marketing have long set sail. So how do the once gun-slinging marketers of the past begin to tackle the voluminous unstructured data that is collected from nontraditional sources to harness the power of analytics? Big Data, derived from blogs, social media, email, sensors, photographs, video footage, etc. is and has always been the answer. Although Big Data isn’t new, most marketers are still wrapping their heads around the transformation of raw data into action.
  • Many marketers have gotten so caught up in the creation of content, however, that they have forgotten how important it is to match marketing content with the customer buying journey and lifecycle.

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