One of the companies with which we work is planning to change the way Marketing works. The company did as much as it could internally and relied on external experts only on a limited basis.
The need for strategic, not just operational, speed is increasing due to increased competition.
Does strategic speed matter? According to a Harvard-Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 343 companies, companies that improved their strategic speed saw their bottom line and top line improve by an average of 40%.
Alignment is also a key component of strategic speed. IBM’s sixth annual study, Analytics – The Speed Advantage, revealed that data and analytics driven by rate have a significant effect on business performance.
By improving their analytics and alignment, marketers can provide a competitive advantage that is based on speed.
- Marketing is the key to achieving any financial target. This includes aligning the business with its goals, as well as finding, retaining, and increasing the value of the customers.
- Marketers can use analytics and customer and market data to gain insights that will help them guide their organization and identify the best opportunities.
How can you improve the alignment and analytics skills that you have and your results?
Aligning marketing strategy with business strategies
The ability of your business to grow is largely determined by its design. How you make your business matter to the market is what innovation is all about.
Business strategy is about what you stand for as a company, who you serve, what you do to meet their expectations and needs, and what you can do differently than your competitors. It is the secret sauce of your business.
The Evergreen Project analyzed more than 200 practices of management in 160 companies for ten years to determine the practices that were most important to a firm’s success. Financial measurements included the total return to investors, sales, assets, and operating income.
All of the financially successful companies had a well-articulated and clearly defined strategy. These companies outperformed losing companies by an average of a…
- Total return to shareholders: 945% to 62%
- Sales increase by 415% up to 83%
- Assets are worth 358% more than they were before.
- Operating income gains up to 326% or 22%
- Return on capital: 5.45% – -8.92%
When separated from the business strategy, marketing’s goals are in danger. When Marketing and business strategy are aligned, it gives life to the business strategy. Marketing systems support the business strategy.
Check quickly: Are your marketing goals linked directly to quantifiable results?
- If you answered yes, then you are ready to implement your marketing plan. You will develop marketing programs and strategies that will communicate your brand promise, highlight relevant functions and features, and connect and engage with customers and prospects.
- If the answer is “no,” go back to your team of leaders and translate your business strategy into quantifiable terms that are customer-centric. If you don’t have a clear plan, your speedy execution may lead to the wrong destination.
If your short-term strategy is to increase your share of wallet by 10 percent, then your marketing strategy should be aligned to activities that directly correlate to this goal. You may choose to implement a marketing plan that focuses on customer engagement in order to increase your share. Examples of activities include…
- Develop customer personas for better message and content development
- To better understand customer needs and preferences, conduct voice of the customer research or any other relevant research.
- Map the customer’s buying process for better synchronization of channels and touchpoints.
You can determine if you’re on the right track by evaluating the success of your activities. Our workbook “Leveraging 8 Key Metrics For The Customer-Centric Organisation” is a great resource for sharing insights about what metrics you require.
Strengthening your analytical muscles
According to Dr. Koen Paauwels’ research, firms that use marketing analytics and market dashboards perform better than their competitors. Even a slight improvement in the use of analytical dashboards can result in an average 8% increase in return on assets and 21% for companies operating in highly competitive sectors (It’s not the size of the data–it’s how you use it: Smarter marketing with analytics and dashboards, 2014).
By leveraging the power of data, your company can remain competitive, and you, as a marketing professional, can prove the value of marketing. You can solve problems more efficiently and effectively with analytical skills.
Analyzing data logically is done using some math or algorithm. The application of statistics and mathematics is used to analyze data to find patterns and trends. In 2007, Davenport and Harris defined analytics as a collection of technologies and processes that use data and information to analyze and understand business performance.
With the advent of advanced analytics and the abundance of data available to marketers, they can now demonstrate a return on investment in a way that was never possible before. Marketers who are able quickly to synthesize data and then gain actionable insight become vital members of the team.
Develop and use models for smart investment decisions and strategic planning if you haven’t already.
Here are a few examples of how analytics can be used in marketing.
- Models can be created to understand, monitor, and predict customer behavior, such as the likelihood of defect or predisposition towards purchase.
- Understand the impact of campaigns on sales and make channel and mix optimization decisions.
- Understanding where your customers struggle the most will help you to improve customer satisfaction.