You’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? There are opinions out there – but try googling, “What is Marketing Performance?”
There is a confusing wikipedia definition on marketing performance…not helpful.
Several high ranking SEO blog posts on Marketing Performance metrics…not quite right.
And some irrelevant google ads…definitely not clicking those.
The struggle is real, yet, there is no concrete definition or path to improve; leaving marketing in a precarious situation.
Defining Marketing Performance
At Allocadia we want to help. We recently published our new maturity model report The Essential Framework for Optimizing Marketing Performance. The report provides 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).
To bridge the gap marketing organizations must focus on driving the discussion and setting the criteria for Marketing Performance for their company. 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 defer to 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):
- 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.
- Marketing Performance Management (or MPM) is what goes on behind the scenes; planning, marketing investments, the measurement of results, and output of insights. MPM should be looked at as the strategic arm, guiding the organization towards success. (see below)
The strategy and tactics within marketing are both important, but should not stand alone. Organizations often struggle when too much time and resources are spent on execution. Without cognizant, constant efforts in 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 a significant 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:
- 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.
- Remember there are two parts that go into Marketing Performance: MPM and Execution. They are equally important, treat them that way or you may struggle.
- 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 now. Follow the link to download the PDF.