In 2016, we first asked marketers: How do you run marketing?
And in asking that seemingly simple question, we inspired thousands of marketers worldwide to think about how they do marketing, versus how they run marketing.
It's sparked many great conversations with all types of marketers.
From CMOs to Marketing Operations leaders to marketers in the field, one thing you all have in common is that you have all begun to agree upon the importance of running marketing and not just doing marketing. The CEOs, finance professionals and industry analysts we speak to regularly all have equally passionate responses to what marketing performance management (MPM) means to them.
And we've seen inspiring examples of how the most successful marketers and organizations -- the ones that are driving the most business impact -- prioritize how they run marketing and do so with excellence.
And yet, even for these marketers who have said yes to the Run Marketing movement, the question arises: where do we go from here?
To the marketers who want to run marketing but don't know where to start...
And to the marketers who are already onboard, who have some resources and technologies dedicated to optimizing how you plan, invest and measure but are not sure what is the next step...
And to the marketers eagerly trying to stay ahead of the pack with the next best marketing approach, who are running marketing incredibly efficiently and effectively but still have questions when it comes to that all-important, all-encompassing ROI metric...
Better marketing performance is a journey.
To run marketing is not a one-time thing. Rather, to run marketing, or to engage in marketing performance management, is to be in continuous pursuit of a goal. In its purest sense, the goal is two-fold: alignment with corporate objectives and attainment of revenue targets. And like with all journeys, there are times when we travel at top speed and others when we pause to assess how far we've come and think about where we're going.
For this journey and as marketers, we plan, we invest and execute, and then we measure and re-allocate investment based on the outcomes. It's a cycle that repeats itself, and one that gets more and more efficient with each turn around the track. But to be at our best we can't just be stagnant - it is critical that we be improving, even if at times it's just in baby steps.
The destination is the same but no two paths are alike.
When it comes to marketing performance management, the starting blocks are different for each marketer and organization. And once you're on your way, the curves in the track are different for each marketer and organization too. No matter how we define ROI or the paths we choose to take, the fact is we are all striving to make the biggest impact with the resources available to us, and demonstrate that impact. In increasing marketers' control over impact, we increase not only our agility but our confidence. So it's part of our job to determine what that path will look like for our organizations and our marketers.
No matter where you are in your journey, there is always a next step.
Many times in pursuit of our goals, we hit brick walls that stop us from advancing. Often, we slow down because the next step ahead of us becomes less clear. And sometimes we don't set our sights on goals that are big enough; we sell ourselves short. But everyone can go from status quo to better. The questions to keep asking are: What's the next thing you can do to take to take your organization to the next level? What's the next step that will make you, as a marketer, feel more confident that your contributions count? What will you do next in your journey? The rest of us here on the same journey are here to support and guide you.
The key to running marketing better is knowing that there are many steps in our pursuit of optimized marketing performance. And the important thing is that we continue to move forward.
So today, we ask you to ask yourself:
How can I Run Marketing Better?
It's time to find your next step. Then take it.