Is Your Marketing Plan Where It Needs to Be?

Written by: Johnny Anderson on 12/17/15 10:56 AM


68% of marketers report that demonstrating ROI on marketing spend is one of their top challenges. In fact, in that same Adobe survey looking at top marketing challenges, it took the #1 spot.

You know you’re putting the work in and you trust it’s paying off, but that only counts for so much if you can’t figure out how to show it.

VisionEdge recently gained a clearer picture of how marketers are measuring campaign performance and what seems to be working for them. They came up with some useful insights into how marketing organizations can more successfully understand the ROI of specific marketing activities and demonstrate their value to the C-suite.

The Three Levels of Marketing Performance Management

The study found that marketers all fall into three categories when it comes to marketing performance management:

Laggards – Campaign Producers

Almost half of all marketers are producing marketing campaigns, but haven’t achieved a level of measurement that allows them to connect those campaigns to results. Their focus is stuck in the phase of producing marketing outputs, rather than analyzing how those outputs perform in order to understand how to improve.

Middle of the Pack – Sales Enablers

31% of marketers have made it out of the laggards stage by beginning to better measure and recognize the relationship between their activities and the leads they bring in. While a clear step up, the middle-of-the-pack marketers mostly see their role as achieving demand generation to help out the sales team. They pass off the leads without managing or measuring any of the follow through from lead creation to revenue.

The A’s – Business Value Creators

Only 21% of marketers make it into the top category of the survey, that of marketers who are actively creating value and can prove it. These professionals practice data-driven marketing. They measure the success of all their marketing campaigns, activities, and tactics and shape their marketing plan around what their analytics tell them is working.

The study found a number of key factors that really set the A’s apart from their peers:

  • 63% of them say they’re confident that the leadership in their organizations knows the value they provide. Only 23% of the middle of the pack felt that way, and only 7% of the laggards did.
  • They can show how their activities help the company achieve revenue growth, customer acquisition, and customer retention.
  • As a result, they’re trusted with a greater share of the budget.
  • They know how important marketing performance management is. When asked to rate its importance, they gave it a 9/10.

How You Can Become a Value Creator

No marketer should be content to simply create campaigns. You want to be the marketing department that can confidently proclaim your role in generating revenue and providing value on the levels your leadership deems most important. If you’re a laggard now, there’s no reason you have to stay stuck there. Here’s how to start moving up the marketing performance management ladder.

1. Build your marketing plan around your business goals.

Start with your business goals. Everything in your marketing plan should be based on those goals, so you can’t figure anything else out until you have a clear idea of what they are. Pro tip here: make sure you’re focusing on the same business goals that your C-suite cares about. If they’re not looking at how much your content gets shared on Twitter, that shouldn’t be a primary driver in how you shape your marketing campaigns.

2. Pay attention to the relationship between those goals and your marketing activities.

The marketing analytics you track and measure should all help you draw the line between your marketing activities and the results you aim to achieve. Most marketing organizations now have the ability to track a lot of different metrics, which can make it hard to know which ones to focus on and give the most weight. When you approach your campaign performance data with your business goals top of mind, the answer should become clear.

Build a metrics hierarchy. Different marketing analytics should be assessed at different levels of priority based on the role they play in helping you achieve your business goals. When you know what analytics to pay the most attention to, you and your team will have an easier time tracking which activities most consistently lead to the results that matter.

3. Utilize a comprehensive marketing analytics dashboard to track your progress as you go.  

This means not just a dashboard, but actionable insights via a dashboard. You don’t just need to be recording these analytics; you need to be able to clearly see them in a format that helps you use them effectively. Once you have insights into what’s working and what’s not based on the goals that matter most, you have the power to tweak your marketing plan as you go for improved results.

This is where the A’s are. They’re not creating marketing output in order to show that they’re doing something. Every activity in their marketing plan is carefully designed to produce the best results for their organization. And it works. They have the data to prove it to the leadership in their company.

Technology makes all this possible, but recognizing what what you want your marketing to achieve and knowing how make it happen has to be accomplished by the human element. You can learn more about what’s working for marketers at the top of the pack from our recent webinar with VisionEdge Marketing: 5 Proven Steps to Building and Executing High Performance Marketing in 2016.  If you could use more information on the technology that enables that high performance marketing, get in touch for a demo.

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Topics: Marketing Planning, Hive9, Marketing Stream