What is Marketing Performance?

May 9, 2016 Sam Melnick

What is Marketing Performance? - Allocadia Marketing Performance ManagementYou’ve heard this story before: the pressure on marketing to prove its value is at an all-time high, and it’s not getting any easier.

The CEO, CFO, and board want to know “what have you done for me lately”. Within the industry new technologies and needed skills pop up on a seemingly monthly basis.

The reality: Being a marketer today is hard.

This where marketing performance comes in: all marketers want to be high performing. Who doesn’t want that gold star of success? But the challenge is, what exactly is marketing performance and what does success look like? 

Defining Marketing Performance

At Allocadia we want to help. Our report, The Essential Framework for Optimizing Marketing Performanceprovides guidance on how organizations can optimize their organization’s Marketing Performance. It also provides a specific definition of Marketing Performance:

Marketing Performance is marketing’s results or output compared against the set objectives.

This seems easy enough, right? Most marketers would say they are already measuring and managing Marketing Performance – and they would be correct (sort of).

Marketing organizations must focus on driving the discussion and setting the criteria for Marketing Performance for their companies. At times, marketers do a poor job of taking ownership and fail to understand the different layers and inputs that go into optimizing their team’s performance. Instead, they take shortcuts or allow other people to define success. This common scenario leads to an underperforming marketing organization.

To effectively define success and then beat expectations marketers must understand that Marketing Performance has two main drivers: Marketing Execution and Marketing Performance Management (see below):

  1. Marketing Execution is all market-facing activities; ranging from over-arching global campaigns to individual field events. Execution is the muscle behind everything the marketing organization does.
  2. Marketing Performance Management (or MPM) s the processes, technologies and actions used by marketing organizations to plan marketing activities, evaluate marketing’s results against established goals, and make more impactful decisions.

The strategy and execution (or tactics) within marketing are each important, but should not stand alone. Organizations often struggle when too much time and resources are spent on execution. Without cognizant, constant efforts towards MPM, marketing becomes decentralized and disjointed, which makes it ineffective.

Finally, at the most successful organizations, MPM is a strategic role that falls on Marketing Operations and with the Marketing Executives. In order to take control of Marketing Performance, marketers must spend the proper amount of energy on the strategy and plans.

Making Marketing Performance Work For you

When thinking about Marketing Performance and how it can drive your organization towards success, we have 3 suggested takeaways:

  1. Take control and define the targets or objectives marketing should be measured against. Don’t settle for vanity metrics, go deep and challenge your team to create impact.
  2. Remember there are two parts to Marketing Performance: Marketing Performance Management (MPM) and Execution. They are equally important — treat them that way, or you may struggle.
  3. Don’t expect instant perfection, look to make progress rather than solving all the marketing problems in one cycle.

Read The Essential Framework for Optimizing Marketing Performance 

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