I have good news and bad news.
The good news: Marketing is growing up. Gartner research shows marketing budgets are growing. Marketers are taking on more significant roles and expanded responsibilities, such as developing strategy and designing the customer experience.
The bad news: To whom much is given, much is required. Bigger budgets mean more pressure to deliver business results. More responsibility equals more accountability. This starts with creating a vision tied to strategic objectives. It includes building a team and capabilities. And it means securing and managing resources.
This also means it’s time for marketing to grow up. It’s time to emerge from adolescence. Marketing has to accept adult responsibility for driving customer engagement and revenue growth—not just building awareness or consideration. Some marketers are excited by the opportunity. They’re glad to finally have validation that they play a part in driving business growth. Others cringe at the idea of more responsibility, especially if they lack resources or direction. But across the board, they acknowledge a gap between where they are and where they need to be in order to drive business results.
Most organizations fall around Level 3 –integrated digital marketing. They spend less time fighting for budget or resources because they can demonstrate the business value of marketing activities. Those activities are integrated and focused on specific goals like acquisition or retention. Does this sound like your organization? Maybe you’ve surpassed that point or you’re not even close. According to a poll from our webinar on Gartner’s Digital Marketing Maturity Model, only 2% of participants felt they were at Level 5—immersive digital marketing. Even organizations at Level 5 in one area, like innovation, may have room for growth in another area, like data-driven marketing.
This week’s analyst picks are about helping marketing through these growing pains. Use Gartner’s Digital Marketing Maturity Model as a framework to take stock of your marketing organization. Read research documents like the Mobile Marketing Maturity Model to figure out where changes should be made—like hiring for skills in analytics or investing in mobile technology. This can help you construct a road map to build core competencies and have a greater impact on business results. This week’s headlines reinforce the point that marketers are taking responsibility for revenue generation and expanding their focus beyond traditional marketing activities to include measurement and analytics to help them articulate the value marketing brings.
Growing up is hard to do. Change is difficult. But, a famous general often told his commanders, “If you dislike change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” How should you change strategic priorities, organizational structure, talent and technology to drive business results and avoid irrelevance?