Combating Marketing’s Failure to Deliver Impactful Business Results

Marketing leaders have reason to be the most paranoid executives within the company. Given the high speed at which markets and marketing itself are changing in the digital economy, it’s nearly impossible to have confidence that you’ve got the right strategy and are able to execute with sufficient speed and agility. Combine that with the fact that marketing now includes multiple sub-disciplines, such as demand gen, lead gen, education, advertising, and social, it can sometimes seem like a thin strand of luck is all that’s keeping you between success and failure.

But, by taking charge of your work, and ensuring you have the right tools and processes to connect the work that you do to the key objectives of your team and the company, you can replace your paranoia with a feeling you didn’t know was possible – the confidence that comes when you know your team not only has the right strategy to success, but that it is on track to execute that strategy in a way that produces demonstrable results.

A welcomed side effect: you will sleep better at night.

The digital economy has increased scrutity on marketing performance

While the digital economy has been revolutionized marketing in many ways, one of the most profound changes is that marketers, and executive teams alike can more clearly see the ROI of marketing spend. This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it allows CMOs to articulate their value to the organization. On the other hand, it easily exposes weaknesses in marketing strategy or execution.

Thanks to digital, customer engagement can be measured in real time through social channels, web traffic can be heavily analyzed with Google, and ROI of advertising spend can be recorded instantly. These tools have helped countless brands grow, but they’ve also increased the pressure to show clearly the results they drive. For these reasons, being able to connect the work you and the team are doing with specific business outcomes has never been more stressful, or, more important.  

Confidence comes from shared visibility

Given the benefits of transparency in a team, it was surprising that in research we conducted this year, about 35% of marketing contributors said they “disagree” or “strongly disagree” that their teams have a single source of truth for project information. It begs the question: how do teams collaborate, and just as importantly, do their managers know where work stands?

Your marketing organization is a machine, and understanding it’s health is an important part of keeping it running. Are your projects on track? Are there delays to critical deliverables? Are certain contributors at risk of burning out? These are questions that are impossible to answer for many leaders, and the consequences are huge: stress, failed projects, and teams that aren’t functioning to their fullest potential.

Fortunately, cloud solutions that allow teams to collaborate can inherently offer that same visibility to leaders, while also giving the business a fast method for prioritizing tasks on the fly to ensure the efforts are always being focused on the right tasks for a moment.

When these tools for internal collaboration are combined with analytics about campaign performance, teams can share results quickly and propagate real-time information about what’s working and what’s not, so teams can realign their efforts to maximize ROT.

Structure and repeatability allow for consistent delivery

Brands don’t just need strong performance marketing to thrive. They need consistently high quality creative to win over audiences wherever they interact with media. The demand for a higher volume of creative has made it difficult for artists to keep up, and structure is the key to rapid delivery.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with one of Wrike‘s customers, Georgia Steenberge, who is an art director at She said something about structure for creatives that I think illustrates the value of confidence in marketing organizations. “I don’t think it’s true that creatives have to be disorganized in order to be creative,” she explained. “I think that creatives actually work much better in an organized capacity, and they work much better when they have strong guardrails.”

Providing guardrails to creatives on process is a function often overlooked in a marketing technology, which usually focuses on designing assets, generating leads, or delivering messaging. A well rounded marketing stack must also provide process and accurately represent the status of jobs in a workflow, and help them prioritize the order in which they’ll complete new jobs. This conveniently gives executives the opportunity to guide teams towards projects that will most heavily impact primary business goals.

Put your mind at ease

The paranoia trap is easy to get sucked into as a marketing leader, and the cycle of fear can best be broken when you achieve confidence that your strategy and execution are aligned for success. By operating with visibility, creating structured, repeatable processes for your teams, and analyzing data about your actions, you can consistently demonstrate the value of your team, and win over the hearts and minds of your organization and your leadership.

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