Is Your Marketing Up to the Task of the Primary Directive of Growth?
A 100% agreement, we don’t see that very often in survey results. But “growth,” especially organic growth, was the first or second choice by everyone who responded to the first question in our recent three-question poll, “What’s the top priority for your Marketing organization in 2018?” The response reflects the findings in the CMO Council and Deloitte study that found that “almost 70% of CEOs now expect CMOs to lead revenue growth.”
The second but trailing answer was “Improve how your company creates customer value.” I would like to suggest that customer value is vital to being able to achieve growth and Marketing’s fundamental mission. To drive growth requires creating Demand with a capital D. It takes a different type of Marketing than generating leads for the pipeline. The former encompasses Upstream Marketing capabilities, while the latter is Downstream Marketing.
Most of the recent investments being made in Marketing they fall in the downstream category. Tackling a primary directive like growth involves different analytics, models, and capabilities. Organic growth requires being able to create competitive advantages, differentiate and innovate your product/service offerings, and zero in on viable existing and new customer opportunities.
This type of work is not about creating new content, executing campaigns, or improving your website SEO. It is not about the Martech stack. What Marketing must be able to develop is a growth strategy based on data and analytics that emphasize customer insights and competitive intelligence.
Your growth strategy is shaped by the following questions.
- What is value to a customer?
- How do we translate ideas/inventions into solutions that create value for which customers will pay?
- How do we accelerate adoption of these solutions?
- What existing or new segments offer the best opportunity for growth?
- What existing or new customers offer the best opportunity for growth?
- How do we gain access to these segments and customers?
- How can existing customers help us acquire new customers?
You won’t find the answers hiding in your marketing automation system. They necessitate real research and engaging with customers. Your analytics must move up the food chain and go beyond analyzing campaigns, channel, and website performance. You need business analytics.
Business analytics help you identify new opportunities for growth and market development. To succeed at business analytics avoid a generalized approached to data because it will not yield the results and actionable insights necessary to answer the specific question.
To do this work well, you will need to capture and integrate relevant data sets from both inside and outside your organization designed to answer a specific question, like the questions above.
In addition, your analytics should move beyond reporting on what has happened to analytics that will help you model what will happen. This means entering the realm of predictive analytics.
Our Advice for Succeeding at Growth
For any Marketing organization willing to accept the prime directive, spend less time on data collection and management associated with lead generation and more time on acquiring customer, market and competitive intelligence. This may mean investing more in research and analysis capabilities. Notice the word “capabilities,” not “technology.” That often calls for asking experts to come in to do the initial work and support growing your team’s skills. If you’re an organization that has predominantly lived in the downstream part of Marketing, tap experts and coaches to help you build your upstream competency.
Achieving growth entails executing on the data-derived insights, identifying market and customer opportunities, and developing relevant solutions and targeted offers. Don’t try to boil the ocean – prioritize your efforts around answering the most critical decisions.
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.
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