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Three in four marketers can't prove their value

By Peter Clark, Marketing Factbook


Despite recent advances in data, analytics and technology, only 26% of marketers are capable of determining their impact on their business, according to VisionEdge Marketing and ITSMA's 2014 Marketing Performance Management (MPM) survey.

A key component of the annual study was the number of marketers earning an 'A grade' from the C-Suite for their ability to measure and report their value to the business. There are a number of things that separate the 'A' marketers from the rest of the pack - in particular:

  • 'A' marketers make performance management a priority;
  • 'A' marketers have a well-defined and documented roadmap for continuous performance improvement;
  • 'A' marketers choose metrics that measure business outcomes rather than effort and activity;
  • 'A' marketers build dashboards that effectively communicate business outcomes and marketing results.

The study also found that those marketers earning A grades tend to have aligned their marketing objectives with business priorities, enabling them to select the right metrics in the first place. These best-in-class marketers are leaders who make the market and offering decisions that create value for both customers and shareholders.

Marketers in the middle of the pack (earning B grades) tend to focus exclusively on enabling sales. The B marketers emphasize mapping the buyer journey and producing a steady stream of leads. Albeit important, there is more to marketing than feeding the sales pipeline.

And finally, the laggards - those marketers receiving poorer grades - are more likely to be perceived to be good at producing marketing campaigns, rather than producing business results.

"The data revealed a good correlation between business performance and MPM excellence," noted Laura Patterson, president for VisionEdge Marketing. "It's not the act of measurement itself - all marketers measure things - but it's the alignment and holistic approach to performance management that sets the best-in-class apart from the rest."

Most importantly, companies with A grade marketers tend to outperform their peers. Specifically, 63% of companies with A marketers reported increased customer share of wallet compared to 48% with marketers in the middle of the pack and only 38% with laggards.

As for new business growth, 54% of the companies with A marketers confirmed improvements in their win rates compared to 39% and 25% with the middle of the pack and laggard marketers respectively.

"Interestingly, 'A' marketers are twice as likely to be working directly with the CEO and CFO, and 50% more likely to understand what these senior executives care about," concluded Julie Schwartz, senior vice president of research for ITSMA. "Of course, to get face time with the C-Suite, marketers need business acumen and gravitas: they have to be business people first and marketers second."

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Sources: ITSMA; VisionEdge Marketing
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