There are No Diamonds Without Pressure: Making the Performance Journey

— September 17, 2019

There are No Diamonds Without Pressure: Making the Performance Journey

The Pressure to Prove Marketing Performance Persists

There is a lot of pressure when you delve 100 miles or so below the Earth’s surface. The weight of the overlying rock combined with the high temperature enables carbon atoms to bond and create diamonds. Some natural diamonds are as old as the Earth, having formed billions of years ago. These diamonds rise to the surface whenever volcanoes erupt. Only a few of the diamonds can survive the journey from the upper mantle to the surface, making them rare and valuable. Similarly, this is also true for Marketing organizations that survive the performance journey needed to prove Marketing’s worth and demonstrating excellence. These organizations are rare and valuable.

How Best-in-Class Organizations Survive the Makreting Performance Journey

Our research of nearly 2 decades continued to reveal the same piece of data again and again. Other Marketing accountability studies, have corroborated our findings, such as the one by the Forbes CMO Practice, which found that, “despite years of management, focus, and advances in marketing analytics most Chief Marketing Officers still struggle to communicate, quantify, and optimize the value marketing creates to their leadership, peers, and partners.”

Like the carbon atoms deep within the earth, Marketing executives remain under significant pressure to show how the rising investments in marketing assets, media, and technology are generating results in terms of growing sales, profits and value. Hence the focus on the performance journey.

While all diamonds are crystals, not all crystals are diamonds. This is also true of Marketing. While Marketing organizations may employ many of the same tactics and tools, some organizations excel while others don’t. In our study, the consistent range is 20%-25%, which is 1 in 4 or 5 Marketing organizations, that are transformed into “diamonds”. It’s not an easy journey but it is a doable one. Here’s what we know about this exceptional group. They understand that there is a direct connection between customer experience and market leadership. In their pursuit of excellence on their peformance journey, they employ these 5 Marketing accountability best practices:

  1. Business people first, marketers second. For this group, it’s not only about being exceptional Marketers it’s about knowing the business, its customers, the market and the competition.
  2. Connect the dots. These Marketing leaders and professionals know how to connect the dots between what they do and what the company is trying to achieve. There is clear line-of-sight between the work they perform and the results they produce.
  3. Measure what matters. With all the data and tools available today every company is rich in measures and metrics. You are probably familiar with the existence of Fool’s Gold or pyrite, which looks like real gold but has no value. Selecting the right measures and metrics takes more than clicking on dashboard buttons on your various tools. Selecting the right measures and metrics requires clearly understanding what success is for your organization and how Marketing helps achieve it. As a result, they know how to establish and achieve the right performance targets.
  4. Data is the means, not the end. This group of Marketers realizes that data is an essential ingredient. For them, data is the means, not the end. They have the analytical prowess necessary to effectively capture, manage, and transform data into customer, market, and business intelligence.
  5. Track and report on performance. These marketers do more than keep a scorecard on how brand and demand gen efforts are performing. They create dashboards that are actionable and meaningful and relevant to C-Suite. They leverage these to facilitate decisions both strategic and tactical, make course adjustments and mitigate risk, and to understand the underlying factors or drivers that need to be addressed to improve results.

If you’re willing to undergo the pressure and make the performance journey, your organization can be a diamond. And we’re here to help.

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Author: Laura Patterson

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