Consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
In my previous blog post on How Leading Marketers Outperform, I discussed how Leading Marketers develop a system of engagement that drives customer value at every touch. Today, I’m going to focus on the other side of that equation and dig a bit deeper into what prevents many marketing organizations from becoming Leading Marketers.
The first question you might ask is “why doesn’t everybody just establish a system of engagement?” The short answer is because it’s not easy. A look at the barriers both Leading Marketers and others face in implementing marketing technology is very telling.
To begin with there are a set of barriers we found that are common to virtually any technology decision: cost, ROI, and organizational structure. If we continue looking, the additional barriers for leading marketers are ease of use and lack of appropriate user skills. Alternatively, we found that some others are more concerned with alignment/collaboration within the organization – particularly with IT. In many cases, marketers may not even have ownership of marketing technology decisions.
In short leading marketers are collaborating with IT to implement the technology framework that supports a system of engagement and are focused on issues that enable them to improve the effectiveness and scale of their activities. The others are struggling to coordinate effectively with IT and other functional areas within the enterprise. They aren't at a point yet where ease of use or a lack of user skills could be a barrier.
This leads to the second question, “okay, how do you collaborate more effectively with other functional areas (especially IT)?” This is complicated, but our data suggests that Leading Marketers are able to collaborate effectively at least in part because they’ve established credibility within the organization.
There are lots of ways to establish credibility, but a part of it is being able to demonstrate the value that you bring to the table. To that end, our study found that 88% of leading marketers attribute business results to marketing activities. They use a variety of different systems, ranging from spreadsheets to complex software suites, but the common thread is that they attribute results regardless of methodology.
And of that 88%, 93% of those leading marketers have a set process in place for determining which marketing activity receives credit for the business results. Again, the specific methodology varies – first touch, last touch, results distributed across multiple touches – but they have a set process in place.