Evaluating Marketing Performance: The Importance of ‘No’


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I recently worked with the marketing team in a large global organization.  They engaged us to help them to become (in their words) more “efficient”.  Their hypothesis was that both the efficiency problem and its solution lay somewhere at the intersection between their processes and their marketing systems.  However we quickly discovered that people had very different definitions of “efficiency.”

To some, especially those who support the execution of a what seems like a never-ending series of outbound marketing campaigns, it meant achieving a better work-life balance.  To others it meant getting even more work done with the same resources.  Then there were people who felt that by further embracing marketing technology, they would be able to better manage productivity and potentially reduce marketing cost. 

The good news is that all of these outcomes are possible and we delivered recommendations to help in all of these areas.  The “bad” news or, more accurately stated, the “unexpected” news, for this client was that while issues with processes, systems and organizational structure were clearly exacerbating factors, the true root cause lay elsewhere.  Simply put, this was an organization that does not have the measurement and decision-making capabilities to distinguish and systematically learn from its successful, marginally performing, and failing strategies and tactics.  Absent those capabilities, there were no criteria for making decisions on priorities so  everything looked like a “good idea” and was making its way into the hopper for execution. 

In other words, there was no precedent or basis for saying “no,” even though their CMO had explicitly told everybody that that was OK.  While that’s fine in theory, the reality is that people had not been empowered or equipped to do so, even if that resulted in repeating tactics that had been shown to fail in the past.  For the people on the hook for hitting marketing-driven targets – the product and campaign budget owners – those past failures were things they felt they could not afford to worry about as they felt they needed to try everything they could to meet their goals.

I wanted to describe this situation to emphasize what I see in most marketing organizations – the interconnectedness of performance issues and the need for a systematic and structured approach for diagnosing and addressing them.  That’s what I really like about Quaero’s “Six Dimensions” framework.  It leads you to where the true root causes lie and helps you to focus where you can have the most impact.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Niall Budds
Niall Budds is Director of Client Management at Quaero, a CSG Solution. Niall delivers client relationship management and advances the Quaero Solutions Group capabilities and intellectual capital in marketing operations. He applies best practice techniques and technologies to deliver continuous improvement in marketing performance.


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