Connecting Your Marketing Strategy to Business Growth
A recent report from Accenture Strategy, “The C-Level Disruptive Growth Opportunity,” found that 54% of CMOs feel a large portion of their marketing budget is being wasted and not delivering the results expected for the business. Only 30% of CMOs believe they are cutting-edge marketing innovators. With more and more pressure on marketing teams to deliver quantifiable revenue generation from their activities, it is more important than ever to make sure your business growth goals and marketing strategies are aligned.
The challenge with meeting that goal is that growth can mean different things to different parts of a company. For sales, it usually means revenue growth. But for others, some growth may be sacrificed for higher profits. It can also be impacted by where the business wants to grow. There may be a new line of business that will be the long-term growth engine for the company or the business may be looking to gain share in an underperforming segment.
To get marketing and business growth tied together, consider these points:
- Agree to innovation and disruption– a shared mindset about changes to marketing. With growth in mind, there may need to be some disruption or ruffling of the feathers. Meaning you may stop doing things you have always done and start doing things that people question because it’s non-traditional. If there is not that agreement at the highest level, you will end up with angry people above you, below you and beside you.
- Have a common view of growth – how you grow and what factors you are using to measure growth can impact the optics of what successful growth looks like. Marketing is more metric driven now than at any point in history. Knowing what the scorecard looks like for marketing (and other areas) will help you set your activities towards those deliverables.
- Be nimble– if business growth is your goal then you need to make sure your marketing programs can move and match needs, as their impact is known. As you gain insight into how your programs are doing, you can adjust and adapt in real-time rather than waiting for the quarter or year-end results to determine your performance.
- Measure above all– growth accountability adds weight to marketing. As marketing leaders, we need to move from the number of likes on Facebook and retweets on Twitter to real conversion metrics that are creating leads that move to revenue. You will need to get sales, finance and others into that conversation in order to get the data you need, but that collection of brains will make sure the goals you set are in line with the goals of the organization.
The directive coming from the executive suite for marketing to deliver growth, rather than softer measurables like impressions, demands marketers to hone in their efforts to the channels and programs that show the growth needed and desired by today’s companies. That focus will be the long-term key for marketing to have its proper place within the organization and invariably lead to more business growth.