Research Reveals How Marketing Strategies Deliver Big
- Marketers with optimized marketing strategies delivered significantly higher contribution to the sales pipeline, generated revenue and marketing ROI than marketers without the same mature strategies.
- Best-in-Class marketers (i.e., the top 15 percent) were 2.6X more likely to use formal strategies than their lower performing peers.
- On the flip side, 29 percent of marketers do not produce an annual strategy and 34 percent do not calculate their direct revenue contribution to the company and their marketing ROI. This is both a cause for concern and a tremendous opportunity for performance improvement.
Marketing strategies engineer customer and business outcomes that maximize company revenues. They surface the best customer and market growth opportunities. They define the path to achieve targeted revenue results in the shortest time and least cost. And they focus on the methods, processes and best practices that produce the outcomes that matter and avoid wasting time with activities that don't.
Research published in the Marketing Transformation Report shows that marketing strategies directly impact the most important business objectives but that not all marketers know how to create an effective marketing strategy.
Marketing Strategy Research Results
Not all strategies are equal. So, the research first measured each survey participants marketing strategy maturity and grouped them into categories of Ad Hoc, Informal, Formal and Optimized.
Maturity levels were based on factors such as alignment with the corporate growth plan, the ability to forecast revenue performance, the frequency of strategic reviews and updates, whether the plan was customer or product focused, and how well the strategy integrates with the marketing budget and Go-to-Market Plan.
We then compared marketing strategy maturity levels with the top three performance measures of marketing sourced sales pipeline, marketing sourced revenue attainment and Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). The results were revealing.
Those marketers with optimized strategies were 64 percent more likely to achieve year over year marketing sourced sales pipeline growth. They were 59 percent more likely to deliver year over year marketing sourced revenue growth. And they were 65 percent more likely to show year over year Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) growth.
These very high double-digit increases make it clear that more mature marketing strategies drive the most important performance results.
We then drilled further into the data to understand how each performance archetype benefits from optimized strategies. The below chart shows the percentage of participants by archetype with optimized marketing strategies.
While it's no surprise the Best-in-Class marketers (i.e., the top 15 percent) were more likely to benefit from the most mature strategies, the disparity between this group and the others was startling. Seldom does one archetype stand so far above others.
The research was clear that mature and optimized strategies highly correlate with more marketing contribution to the sales pipeline, revenue generation and ROMI.
A Missed Opportunity
This research relied on a smaller sample size for two reasons.
First, the research found that 29 percent of survey participants do not produce an annual marketing strategy. That was an unexpectedly high figure.
When we correlated these participants to revenue performance and ROMI results this group fell almost entirely into the Laggard archetype. That was expected.
Without a proper marketing strategy, planning becomes more of a year to year continuation of the status quo. Execution reverts to piecemeal tactics or what the C-suite often refers to as random acts of marketing.
Second, just over one-third of marketers do not calculate their direct revenue contribution and ROMI. That's alarming for several reasons. Clearly, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. And if you cannot measure how marketing's contribution impacts the company's priorities (i.e., revenue growth) the marketing budget and marketing itself is at risk.