If you saw the latest Gartner CMO spend report you know that budgets are on the rise for 2017, up to 12% of revenue. In the report Gartner states “with power comes great responsibility. By taking custody of these dollars, CMOs are promising more and more back to the business.” In investing these dollars CMOs are expected to increase the bottom line, drive growth, and champion the end-to-end customer experience. They achieve this by developing and executing marketing plans/strategies that enhance the customer experience, serving as brand ombudsmen, and delivering customer insights and competitive intelligence to their organizations. Insights derived from data using analytics has become the lifeblood of Marketing and business decisions, and critical to improving Marketing’s effectiveness, and proving Marketing’s value. Use these tools to enable your Marketing to be a center of excellence.

In the right on-target words of James Thomas, Allocadia’s CMO, “the latest tactical trend isn’t nearly as important as continually focusing on how best to optimize Marketing’s contribution to revenue and business goals. After all, regardless of the tactics they employ, CMOs are measured on their ability to drive growth for their company.”

If data is the lifeblood, Marketing Performance Management (MPM)—which Forrester describes as “a discipline that governs goal setting, monitoring, and continuous optimization of marketing’s contribution to revenue and other priority business goals” – is the heartbeat. Performance measurement and management requires Marketing organizations to connect investments to results. MPM success isn’t achieved haphazardly. It requires optimizing operations and adopting best practices. It takes Marketing operating as a Center of Excellence (CoE), transforming the function into a center of competency focused on value creation, customer-centricity, outcome-based planning, and the related analytics to achieve these goals. Forrester predicts that at least 30% of CEOs will fire their CMOs this year. Those CMOs who survive will be able to prove the business impact of Marketing investments and demonstrate stewardship over their marketing investments. These will be the CMOs who sit at the table. The Marketing organizations under the auspices of these CMOs will operate as a CoE that produces long-lasting benefits.

Your Marketing CoE Up and Running in 3 Steps

  1. Make yourself ready. Transforming into a Marketing CoE (MCoE) takes resources. You will need both the critical mass of talent and the financial resources. You will need processes in place to develop a high-performance Marketing team. That means you will need a culture that can attract and retain people Marketing talent as well as people with data, analytical, modeling, strategy, and process skills. It also means that you will need a clear and meaningful career path for MCoE members.
  2. Secure an executive partner. A fledgling MCoE doesn’t stand a chance without a strong executive partner. You may be the CMO or VP of Marketing, but you need a partner from among the executive ranks, such as your CEO, COO, CFO or CIO.
  3. Embrace tools and processes. A MCoE at its most fundamental level drives and achieves business results and encourages innovation. They leverage proven practices and methodologies across all their areas of responsibility. This requires tools and processes. A MCoE team must be able to tie the work of Marketing back to business results, identify any gaps and close these gaps. It must be able to address business-critical issues, like linking customer insights to business strategies.

Because creating a MCoE involves functional and organizational change, we recommend taking an incremental approach. Research reveals that successful implementations focus on specific problems that need to be solved. Marketing Performance Management (MPM) provides an excellent focus for a MCoE. By addressing MPM, the MCoE begins with the purpose of providing and proving bottom-line value. To learn more, download our complementary white paper, What You Must Know About Marketing Centers of Excellence: A Why and How Primer.

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