The pressure on marketing to measure its value, impact and contribution is growing, according two-thirds of respondents to the 2017 Marketing Performance Management (MPM) Benchmark study conducted by VisionEdge Marketing in partnership with Hive9 and Valid USA. The study’s participants – a mix of C-suite execs, CMOs, marketers and salespeople – feel that marketing could stand to better understand the businesses they serve.
That brings to mind recent research in which senior finance professionals found it challenging that marketing lacked a fundamental understanding of finance’s processes, tasks, and objectives. These professionals primarily want marketers to be able to better measure the effectiveness of marketing in achieving financially-driven goals.
The pressure on marketing has been ratcheting up for some time as ROI concerns figure prominently. Consider that 3-4 years ago, research was finding that:
- 7 in 10 enterprise CEOs believe their company wastes money on marketing initiatives (2014); and
- 2 in 3 CMOs feel pressure from the board to prove marketing’s value (2013).
Marketing’s ability to improve is also under scrutiny. In the MPM benchmark study:
- Just one-third of respondents reported being satisfied (top-3 box on a 10-point scale) with marketing’s ability to improve marketing performance, while 29% are dissatisfied (score of 5 or less); while
- Only 4 in 10 are satisfied with marketing’s ability to improve business performance.
Deriving insights from data – one of the few art forms in data-driven decision-making – is also proving to be a challenge for marketers. In fact, respondents were more likely to be dissatisfied (36%) than satisfied (34%) with marketers’ ability to do so.
As marketing becomes more data-driven, executives are tasked with the challenge not of collecting data, but of translating it into insights.
Currently, the MPM study finds that marketing is doing best at using data in order to improve its effectiveness, but is having less success in using data to make course adjustments and improve operational efficiency.
The study’s authors recommendations include, among others, that marketers invest in business acumen; performance target setting; actionable dashboards; and marketing operations.
The full study – which includes several comparisons of best-in-class organizations to others – can be found here.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey that garnered 418 qualified responses. Roughly one-third of the participants are C-suite members, while another 16% are CMOs. The largest share are marketers (46%), with sales representing 6%. B2B (42%) organizations outweighed B2C companies (19%), with 39% marketing to both B2B and B2C. The majority of respondents came from companies with at least $500 million in revenues.