New focus on marketing performance management

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on May 6, 2010

New focus on marketing performance management

Marketing organisations are focused more on managing metrics than  managing performance, according to the ninth annual 'Marketing Performance Management and Measurement (MPM)  Survey' from VisionEdge Marketing.

Despite this, the firm's online survey of more than 400 business and marketing professionals found that marketing professionals are already making great strides in moving from talking about MPM to actually putting it into practice.

According to VisionEdge, the survey's results suggest four key conclusions:

  1. Marketing organisations have yet to leverage insights from metrics and dashboards;  
  2. Marketing remains challenged to develop and execute a systematic approach to MPM;  
  3. A lack of proper infrastructure to support MPM is significantly impacting the average marketing department's ability to measure what is right and move toward a more performance-based organisation;  
  4. Marketing continues to strive to link activities to business results - specifically revenue - and this effort has paid off, with 80% of CEOs awarding high marks to their marketing teams and recognising their contribution to the business.

"This year we wanted to learn the answers to two key questions," explained Laura Patterson, president for VisionEdge Marketing. "First, did the 2010 results reveal that marketing professionals rose to the challenge and made significant improvements in these areas? And second, has marketing made the transformation to a performance-driven organisation? Many of the key findings echo results of past studies and continue to show that even after a decade along the performance measurement and management journey, marketers still need to leverage insights from metrics and dashboards to steer their ship."

The study assessed how companies measure their marketing function's performance, which metrics and processes the marketing department tends to use to measure its performance, effectiveness, efficiency and financial contribution to the business, as well as how proficient marketers have become at MPM.

Findings from the latest study suggest that the perception of marketing's contribution to the business improved, and that many marketing organisations now understand what it takes to manage marketing performance, and also have mechanisms into place to do so.

Other key findings of the survey included:

  • While Marketing Operations became a more integral part of the marketing organisation, the role needs to expand beyond budget management, market research and data management to include performance targeting skills, process and technology optimisation, and strategic capabilities to drive change.  
  • Even though marketing professionals know what it needs to do and has established mechanisms for MPM, many organisations remain challenged by the lack of systems and issues associated with data collection. The lack of data and systems negatively affects the ability to make real-time course adjustments which potentially derails long-term success.

"The survey suggests that MPM is currently more about managing measurement than managing performance. Tracking metrics appears relegated merely to monitoring programmes rather than using metrics to affect change," added Patterson. "But because MPM execution relies heavily on processes, clear metrics, and the ability to track performance, the marketing team is going to need to address process gaps, better define its metrics, and address reporting systems."

The results also showed that comparatively few companies are demonstrating an ability to use what they are monitoring to create action plans for improvement. As a result, Patterson feels, marketing organisations still need to establish the processes, metrics and definitions, and adopt the tools necessary to report marketing outcomes effectively.

"Two key steps that companies can immediately take is to audit their performance management metrics and measurement processes to ensure continued alignment with the business and market and benchmark their capabilities," concluded Patterson.

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