Monday, March 06, 2006

Survey on Marketing Department Performance Not Pretty

Physician, heal thyself!

It is never easy to accept criticism, but it is how we learn.

The CMO Council conducted a 4-month study into how we practice marketing ... how we run our marketing departments.

Leading marketing execs admit that their department performance is not top-notch. Only 10 percent see their marketing groups as "highly influential and strategic" within their company. Under half believed marketing was "well regarded and respected."

More than 40 percent of marketers said their departments were aligned with their company's mission, noting significant knowledge gaps about customer insight and access (46 percent), strategic depth and business knowledge (39 percent), and marketing analytics and measurement (35 percent).

Three-fourths said they have no formal marketing performance scorecard to effectively rate their organization.

According to Donovan Neale-May, the CMO Council's executive director: "This study confirms marketers need to move from a tactical orientation to a more analytic and strategic approach that will enable them to realign marketing initiatives with the overall corporate mission. Only marketing executives who successfully transform their organizations through rigorous disciplines, best practices and technology-enabled processes will play a critical role in their company's strategic growth."

The fact about lack of customer insights really hurts.

That's our primary job ... we cannot do anything positive without these insights.

But instead, we get locked in meetings all day with little time to get out and talk with customers. In the end, that's no excuse. We allow all the customer insights to trickle in on call reports from sales reps ... and we all know those reports are tainted by the nature of the sales process itself; they are not objective reports.

Suggestion -- set aside one hour first thing every Monday. No interruptions. Just call prospects or customers at random. Dont' sell them anything. Just find out what's on their minds. What problems do they struggle with ... particularly the problems for which they have no immediate solutions. Suggest a few ideas to help them. Invite them to opt-in for your company newsletter. Invite them to access your blog. Be a thought-leader for them. But most important -- LISTEN. What are you doing that could be done better?

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