Marketing only remains valuable for an organization if there is a continuous effort to improve every facet of the marketing process. One of the most effective ways to achieve any level of improvement is to carefully document how you manage people, process, systems and vendors from start to finish. Before that can be done, though, it is important that the organization clearly identifies the starting point(s), in a quantifiable and objective manner, and then measure with time to calculate the delta between points–the improvement or deterioration.
The marketing organization should be solidly built on the fundamental pillars. Many organizations look at the likes of demand creation, product marketing, social media, corporate communications, and partner marketing as their pillars. Whichever they decide, the goal then becomes identifying the key drivers for each of those pillars.
If you take product marketing as an example, the organization may find the key drivers to be industry knowledge, presales support, competitive insights, technical product competence, and more. Even when those drivers are located, organizations may choose to dig another layer deeper for even better results. Following in that vein, the organization could then break down competitive insights to get a handle on such things as features and functions, pricing, key players, technology, etc.
Once the organization has established a solid framework, they can then move on to creating an objective structure that can show where they stand at the current time, as well as what is required for advancement. Once way to do that is to employ what is known as the Capability Maturity Model. This is basically a 5 stage rating system that summarizes how well an action or practice that has been put in place by a company is accomplishing the desired outcomes. The 5 levels of the model are:
Level 1 – Ad hoc
When an Ad hoc state is used, tasks are addressed as they happen, with no prior idea of how to act on them – this is a reactionary process. In most cases, there is no documentation available that might help complete the task. There is also no knowledge base built from previously completing such tasks.
Level 2 – Repeatable
Here, the organization can used knowledge from previously performing a similar task to complete the new one, although this may not be consistent across all tasks.
Level 3 – Defined
A defined state means that there a defined, documented process used for specific tasks. This is not used to improve the process, but rather to ensure that consistency is in place.
Level 4 – Managed
In a managed state, there is a definite process in place, as well as metrics that can track, monitor, and manage each one.
Level 5 – Optimized
The optimized state is somewhat similar to the managed state, with the major difference being that the focus here shifts to improving the process through training, enhancements, improvements and automation. Optimized is often considered to be the most effective as processes are systematically managed whilst also being constantly improved.
Each of the pillars at the marketing level need to be evaluated against six specific criteria and scored on the 5 point rating scale:
– Current State: how the organization is ranked as of today
– Desired State: the ranking that the organization would like to achieve
– Gap: the perceived difference between Current and Desired states
– Dependencies: what the organization needs to do at the top level to move from Current to Desired State
– Investment: the resources that need to be added to close the Gap
All of this provides the foundation for the Marketing Assessment spider diagram.
Marketing Assessment Spider Diagram
The final piece in the marketing assessment is typically the Spider Diagram. The diagram shows the performance of all attributes in a clear, integrated manner. This is achieved by using a consistent methodology to measure each attribute.
Spider Diagrams should be broken down in as detailed a fashion as possible so that a clear insight into every department of the organization can be seen in a single place. This will allow the company to improve investment strategy and the allocation of tasks and priorities.
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