B2B Marketing blog

4 habits that make ‘top marketers’ stand out from the rest

Although many marketers have taken steps to monitor  marketing performance in their organizations, not all of them manage to create value with this initiative yet. So what is the difference between those who succeed in this pursuit (‘top marketers’) and those who don’t (‘the rest’)?

ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing published the results of their latest marketing performance management survey (May, 2014), in which they present four characteristics of marketers who succeed in this pursuit and those who don’t.

The 4 habits of top marketers

ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing differentiate top marketers from the ‘middle-of-the-road’ the marketers and from the so-called ‘laggards’

1. They prioritize measuring marketing performance

When asked to prioritize marketing performance measurement, top marketers ranked this as extremely important (9.2 on a scale of 1-10), while marketers on a mediocre level ranked this a 7.9, and laggards ranked it only as a 7.

2. Their aim is to continuously improve marketing performance

When asked whether their marketing division executes a plan to improve marketing performance and business impact, 74% of the best marketers strongly agreed they did. Only 51% of the mediocre level marketers and 39% of the laggards did so.

3. They regularly engage in a two-way dialogue with senior executives

There is a high level of interaction between marketing executives and senior executives from other departments, within the three groups of marketers analyzed (average 83%). But evidently, high performance marketers are more often in dialogue with other senior executives to determine which metrics are determinants for the business. .

Conversations with sales executives, CEO and finance executives are among the least held. The interaction with these executives is lowest within the three groups of marketers. Finance colleagues were consulted by only 33% of the top marketers, 20% of the mediocre group and by just 17% of the laggards. Top marketers showed significantly higher levels of interaction than the others.

4. They build dashboards to analyze and communicate the performance to the business

Respondents were asked to rate the effectiveness of marketing dashboards to analyze performance and to communicate results to the business, on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 1 meaning not effective and 10 meaning extremely effective). Top marketers rated both functions of dashboards over 7 (7.4 and 7.5), while mediocre level marketers stayed between 5 and 7 (6.6 and 5.5). The laggards rated it lowest: 5.1 and 4.2.

Marketing performance management is clearly not only about measuring. Successful marketing performance management involves a 360º perspective to actually produce an impact. It’s about prioritizing the initiative, integrating it across the organization, evaluating the process, analyzing the effects, and communicating the results.

Marketing performance management in the Benelux

To understand the state of marketing performance management at B2B companies in the Benelux, spotONvision has started their own investigation: B2B marketing performance by 2015. 25 CMO’s and marketing managers of leading B2B companies in the Benelux have been invited to participate in this research. The results will be launched at the end of January/beginning of February.

This research is being executed in partnership with master student Natalia Guerra Arjona of the Nyenrode Business University (also co-author of this blog).

Adwin Gerritsen

Adwin Gerritsen currently works as Senior Consultant in Marketing Performance Management at spotONvision. His focus is on measuring and improving marketing performance and connecting marketing activities to strategy and firm performance.