Mathew Sweezey, Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, examined what it takes to build a high-performing marketing organization during his presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2017 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum in Atlanta on December 13. In his presentation, "The 5 Key Traits of High-Performing Marketing Organizations," Sweezey defined a high-performing marketing organization and offered tips to help marketers achieve the best-possible results.
A high-performing marketing organization is a must-have for any business, regardless of its size or industry. However, differentiating a high-performing marketing organization from an underperforming one sometimes can be difficult.
According to Sweezey, the five key traits of high-performing marketing organizations are:
1. Executive Buy-In
Marketers must get executives to accept a marketing strategy. By doing so, marketing professionals can build trust with executives and receive the support they need to accomplish their day-to-day goals.
To obtain executive buy-in, marketers must define the importance of marketing within an organization. If marketers can highlight the benefits of their everyday efforts, these professionals may be better equipped than ever before to partner with executives.
"Executives must buy-in to a new idea of what marketing means," Sweezey stated. "You must remove the idea that your job is to move messages into the marketplace … and accept that you are now the owner of the entire customer experience."
Furthermore, marketers must accept their roles relative to brand management.
Marketers now are responsible for promoting a brand and fostering relationships with consumers. At the same time, marketers manage all interactions that consumers have with a brand and must do everything they can to deliver positive customer experiences.
"Brand is not what we say," Sweezey indicated. "Brand is the sum of all of the experiences that we create, and you cannot make up for bad experiences."
2. Correct Budget
With executive buy-in, marketers can get the budget they need to deploy state-of-the-art technologies to simplify and enhance their day-to-day efforts.
"Both high-performers and underperformers use the exact same statistics … but high-performers gain substantial value from these metrics."
Marketing tools are available that make it easy for marketers to automate many time-consuming and costly tasks. These tools also can help marketers collect consumer data from a broad range of sources and ensure marketers can analyze this data to gain the insights they need to make informed decisions.
Today's marketing professionals are tasked with building customer partnerships and helping a brand differentiate itself from the competition. At the same time, marketers often have limited time and resources at their disposal. If marketers invest in innovative technologies, they may be able to optimize their budgets and use best-in-class tools to streamline various marketing activities.
3. Correct Tools
Ideal marketing tools drive personalization across multiple channels. These tools enable marketers to connect with consumers, learn from them and gain insights that can be used to address consumer behaviors and trends.
"It's not just about creating experiences, but it's about creating personal experiences," Sweezey pointed out. "And the only way to deliver [personalized experiences] is through technology."
4. Correct Tactics
The tactics that a marketing organization deploys may vary based on its size and budget. Regardless of marketing tactics, this organization must find ways to generate meaningful insights.
"Executives must buy-in to a new idea of what marketing means."
For today's marketing professionals, merely collecting structured and unstructured consumer data is insufficient. Instead, marketers must be able to mine consumer data sets to understand why customers may select one brand over another. With this approach, marketers can obtain actionable insights to drive meaningful business improvements.
"Our tactics don't matter," Sweezey said. "Both high-performers and underperformers use the exact same statistics … but high-performers gain substantial value from these metrics."
Marketing organizations must be able to modify their strategies at a moment's notice. As such, these organizations must possess unparalleled agility.
"Agile is a very large and complex word, but it does not have to be," Sweezey said. "Agile is the modern [marketing] methodology."
An agile approach to marketing requires marketers to learn about a target audience and develop a strategy. Next, marketers should test a strategy and make changes as needed. If marketers maintain their agility, they should have no trouble incorporating fast, effective changes to a marketing strategy based on consumer expectations.
"Agile is simply a process of iteration," Sweeney noted. "You have a user's story, you test an idea, you review that (idea) and then you execute."
Marketers must remain open to feedback and collaboration as well. These professionals should avoid silos and develop testing programs that make it simple to find ways to help a company accomplish its immediate and long-term goals.
"We can't just go with what we think is right because this is biased," Sweeney indicated.
Mathew is Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.com. Mathew is a new breed of marketer born digital, and social. He writes for Clickz.com, Marketing Automation Times, Moz, Mashable, DemandGen Report and Marketing Sherpa. He is also the author of Marketing Automation for Dummies (Published by Wiley February 2014).