Marketing Eye

Published on on Jan, 1 2014 and written by Mellissah Smith

Aligning the right people, processes and tools with your company vision and strategy can lead to sustainable results.

Managing marketing team’s performance is a perennial issue that is faced by all company leaders.
While statistics on revenue growth and margins are laid out to see in black and white, it’s more challenging to respond to the question of what value the business receives from its marketing investment.

Three crucial reasons why marketers can struggle to develop sustainable measurement practices are:

- They neglect using metrics to monitor increases in customer value to their company over time’
- They fail to look beyond the front of their marketing, particularly among existing customers
- They do not close the customer interaction loop with sales.

Over my two decade-plus career in marketing in Australia and the US, I’ve come to acknowledge that to have the most efficient and effective marketing team, it is paramount to have the right marketing drivers in place.

Implementing the right people, the right processes and the right tools, and ensuring all are aligned with the company’s vision and strategy are key elements to succeed.

How Microsoft is leading the way

In July, Microsoft announced a new marketing strategy under the banner of “One Strategy, One Microsoft” after the failed launch of its new Xbox the month prior.

The most significant change was in the organisational chart – for the first time, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer reports directly to the company CEO.
I’ve seen many businesses fire blame towards marketing for poor sales performance, so it is an instrumental step forward to see a company of the stature of Microsoft making headway into taking the position more seriously.

One Strategy, One Microsoft signals a tech giant coming to terms with an ever-changing market that requires agility and innovation, rather than four separate division that rarely communicate with each other.

It goes without saying that Microsoft has lagged behind Apple in marketing performances over the past decade. Apple has positioned itself as a market leader – sexier, smarter, futuristic and people-orientated.

I will watch with great interest how successful the shift towards One Microsoft is - and take heed that the world’s largest tech companies have recognized that marketing is crucial to growth, expansion and impact.

How a CEO can have an influence

Your company’s marketing activities have a direct impact on the performance of your sales team.

If your marketing team is not working effectively or to its potential, you will likely commence looking for ways to improve sales performance.

This approach is misguided, based on reaction rather than forward-thinking strategy.

Here are the question that you, as a CEO, need to ask yourself:

- Who does the head of marketing report to? If it is not you, as CEO, what value does your organisation place on its purpose?
- Is your marketing team high performance, or just existing?
- What culture do you instil in your marketing and sales team and how can better results be driven through great integration, support and understanding?
- Does your company have a marketing dashboard in place providing up to date analytics, to give you greater flexibility in changing your investment?
- Do you have an efficient mode for the delivery of effective marketing?
- Is your team experienced enough to deliver marketing underpinning your business goals?
- How do you split the responsibilities between central and devoted marketing staff?
- What marketing KPLs are appropriate and how can performance be monitored?
- Do you spend too much or too little on marketing

Once you are equipped with the answer, you will be best positioned to improve your marketing’s team performance reap the long-term benefits.

Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years’ experience in marketing. She runs an international marketing consultancy firm that provides small businesses with a marketing consultant and in-house team of creative, web development and PR experts.