Why Are We Putting Up With Half-Brained Marketing?

Making the Most of Marketing Resources

right brain marketingHalf-brained marketing is obviously not a good thing. Yet, over-emphasis on left-brain or right-brain thinking, skills, or endeavors actually does plague many marketing departments.

Right-brain marketing prevails in companies that have historically valued advertising and marketing communications. Right-brain characteristics: qualitative, idea-driven, free-form, creative, intuiting, feeling, non-linear. Marketing has always been expected to use creative talent to tap into emotions and elicit responses from people, influencing their behavior.

Left-brain marketing is dominant in firms that have … Read more →

Effective Approaches to Reaping Intended Results in Marketing

marketing resultsMarketing ROI can be elusive. The results we intend to reap in a marketing effort are often dependent upon multiple players’ synergies. The mis-match in intentions and results is typically due to lack of strategic context, clear prioritization, and/or blinders.

  • Strategic Context: Sometimes best intentions are not adequately aligned with a strategic outcome. If a marketing effort isn’t resonating strategically with those you rely on, … Read more →

Marketing-Driven Business: Heaven or Hell?

marketing driven“Marketing-driven” sounds attractive. But then so does “market-driven”. And if you ask a project manager or accountant how they think the company should be driven, they’d say “project-driven” or “profit-driven”. Talk about blind-siding silos! So consider this: is “driven” about activity, or about direction? If you’re driven, you might speed down the highway with an unknown or misdirected destination and accomplish nothing. So it is, all too often, with “driven” as a mantra.

Marketing Hell
Driven implies a focus on activity without perhaps thinking through the long-term implications, lacking strategic direction and balance. When Marketing finds itself on a never-ending treadmill of tasks, or as a one-trick pony serving a single stakeholder … Read more →

Getting Over Shiny Objects: Marketing Automation & Beyond

marketing operationsShiny objects are things that capture the imagination. They’re silver bullets that promise to fix everything with immediate gratification. As much as we like to think that there is “a” quick solution for every problem, eventually, reality breaks the spell. Shiny objects don’t work as well as advertised, or at least as well as we’ve built them up to be in our imaginations.

Technologies are notorious contributors to the shiny object syndrome. For marketing efficiency and effectiveness goals, automation promises to replace boring manual tasks, standardize workflows, keep a running record for visibility of transactions and patterns, and provide standardized reports. And automation does these things, with caveats.

What’s lacking among shiny objects are … Read more →

Expanding Marketing Value & Impact

return on marketingDriving revenue and attaining corporate goals is the evolving role of the marketing function — replacing the fluffy “branders” of old. But is that how marketers see themselves? And if not, do we know how our self-perceptions impact the prime role of value creation by marketing?

Apparently, a large gap still remains in marketing's readiness to fulfill this prime role:

  • Only 7% of marketers have a detailed job description, opportunity to advance and clear career path opportunities
  • 3 of 4 marketers are not receiving the training and development they need for competence and success
  • 74% of marketers don't see "what's in it for me" regarding marketing strategies
  • Read more →

Big Data & Marketing: Small Steps to Get Started

business intelligenceIt doesn't seem possible to read about marketing and technology or attend a conference these days without the topic of big data arising before long. Everyone's talking about it, from vendors and commentators to agencies and marketing professionals — but what does it really mean for Marketing, how seriously does it need to be taken, and what are the first steps to adoption in your organization?

What is Big Data?
The commonly accepted definition of big data is known as the Three Vs:

  • Volume: Clearly, the number one characteristic of big data is that there’s a lot of it. IDC estimates that between 2005 and 2011, the digital universe exploded from 130 exabytes to 1,800 exabytes (one exabyte = 1 billion gigabytes (Gb)). 90% of the data stored in the world today has been created in just the past two years, according to IBM.
  • Velocity: Rapidly changing and rapidly occurring data needs to be handled in near-real-time. Clicks, visits, purchases, Tweets, … Read more →

Sales & Marketing Alignment Systematically

marketing sales alignmentMuch has been written about the quest for Sales and Marketing alignment, and Marketing Operations is often at the sharp end in its pursuit. Among those declaring "tight" Sales and Marketing alignment, significantly higher growth rates were reported in Aberdeen Group's benchmark report, Sales and Marketing Alignment: The New Power Couple. Keys to success include shared lead definitions, qualification criteria and best-practice processes. With the usual proviso that technology is never the answer, underlying system considerations should be emphasized.

Systematic Information Sharing
Efficient and effective sharing of contact data and leads between Sales and Marketing is a crucial aspect of alignment and marketing agility. Holding data separately means … Read more →

Mastering Revenue Cycle Management

Revenue ManagementDid you know that up to 90% of the buying process is complete before a prospect engages with a sales rep? Marketing has a golden opportunity to take ownership of this critical part of the buying process.

That's why an understanding of "TOFU, MOFU and BOFU" is becoming increasingly crucial for today's business-to-business marketer, as explained in a recent presentation by Jon Miller, Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Marketo.

TOFU = Top-Of-the-FUnnel
TOFU represents more than 90% of Marketo's marketing database. This early-stage audience is not yet ready to buy and wants to consume relevant, helpful content before engaging with the company. Targets are basically names in the database who are exposed to Marketo via content, brand or word-of-mouth. Content is largely educational or entertainment, such as research, funny videos, curated lists, infographics, thought leadership and definitive guides. This content can be downloaded anonymously.

MOFU = Middle-Of-the-FUnnel
Individuals who have moved from TOFU to MOFU have validated the TOFU act of faith with … Read more →

Optimize Your Marketing Investment

Marketing InvestmentWhat single improvement would help your company optimize its marketing investment? To answer this question, you're probably thinking about your marketing budget allocations for campaigns, events, intelligence, etc. But this question is not about that — it's about getting more bang for the buck by doing things smarter across your marketing organization.

Optimizing means achieving the best possible results by maximizing desired factors and minimizing undesired factors. Desired factors are easy to name: revenue, market share, profit, and opportunities. Undesired factors along your path to these goals include duplicated or scrapped efforts, and low productivity and morale. Your marketing expertise is the key to maximizing desired factors, while how your marketing organization operates is the key to minimizing undesired factors.

Sub-optimization is a "situation where a process, procedure, or system yields less than the best possible outcome or output, caused by a lack of best possible coordination between different components, elements, parts, etc." (BusinessDictionary.com) When any part of your marketing strategy suffers because of isolated pockets of expertise, the squeaky wheel getting the grease, pet projects, firefighting realities, and the like, your marketing investment is sub-optimized.

Insufficient budget is CMOs' biggest aggravation, … Read more →

Is Your Marketing Organization Ready to Change its MO?

Marketing TransformationIt can sometimes be difficult to determine whether your company is ready to implement Marketing Operations. As described in 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing (previous blog post), Marketing Operations (MO) is an emerging discipline with the potential to significantly increase performance and accountability in complex marketing organizations. It leverages a strong front-end infrastructure to reinforce marketing strategy and back-end programs and tactics. This article identifies the characteristics that signal your organization's readiness for MO and answers these questions: What does that organization look like? What are its primary pain points? What is its vision for the future? What pressures are driving it to consider undergoing substantial change?

MO Readiness: A Checklist for Your Company
To see if your company is a good candidate for MO, check any of the following characteristics that apply:

  • My company is midsize or larger
  • My company's marketplace is dynamic and highly competitive
  • My company's marketing has evolved into … Read more →