I recently did a poll on LinkedIn, asking “What’s the best way to improve marketing performance in your organization?” The result was as follows on the chart.
I’m very excited that Measuring ROI and Building internal capabilities got the majority of the votes! My poll is hardly scientific evidence but it does suggest that some companies are thinking more strategically about marketing rather than simply as the department for funny hats.
The Bandaid Approach
Hiring a new agency or Increasing the budget can be very tempting tools. But are in my opinion not effective because while they can be a stopgap solution, they rarely have a long-lasting effect – like peeing in your pants to keep warm.
I think that Measuring ROI is critical, however simply measuring more does not deliver better performance. Some times it can even confuse or stifle if the marketing organization doesn’t know what to measure or how to use the data.
In fact, not a million new agencies, campaigns, logos, social media channels, bigger budgets, or more KPIs can improve marketing performance in a sustained way.
Build High Standards From The Core
Enter Building internal capabilities. And here I’m not talking about letting a few marketing employees take a course once in a while. I mean systematically building capabilities across the marketing organization in a way that directly supports the marketing strategy.
In my experience, there’s often too little emphasis on this. But only by improving the input can we improve the output. Building strong internal capabilities allows us to get the best out of our agencies, invest the budget more efficiently, and measure the right KPIs the right way. It has to start with capabilities, not the other way around.
Create A Learning Culture
I think – hope – that more and more companies are starting to think seriously about this. It’s simply becoming too difficult to move forward fast enough as a marketing organization without a continuous upskilling in line with the marketing strategy.
Plus, of course, being part of an open, curious culture and learning new stuff often makes for a much happier marketing organization 😀