Move from Managing Programs to Managing Performance


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Earlier this year the results of our ninth annual marketing performance and measurement (MPM) study revealed four gaps that still hinder a number of marketing organizations:

1. The inability to leverage insights from metrics and dashboards

2. The challenge to develop and execute a systematic approach to marketing performance management and measurement (MPM)

3. The lack of proper infrastructure (tools, systems, and processes) to support MPM

4. Poor linkage between marketing activities and business results

The annual study assesses how companies measure marketing’s performance, which metrics and processes marketing tends to use to measure its performance, effectiveness, efficiency, and financial contribution to the business, and how proficient marketers are at MPM.

One positive highlight is that marketers this year saw an improvement in their grade from the CEO for contributing to the business. Over the years, marketing has struggled to show its contribution to the business. Last year, only 17% of CEOs gave marketing an A. This year, the number of CEOs giving an A grade increased to 24%, compared to only 17% of CEOs who marketing an A in 2009. Eighty percent of CEOs believe that marketing’s efforts made a difference, compared to 2009 when only 67% felt this way.

What have marketers changed? More marketers are working harder at creating a direct line of sight between marketing activities and programs and business outcomes. With planning season upon us, this one step can make a huge difference in preparing next year’s plan.

It is marketing’s responsibility to develop objectives and implement programs that are designed to support achieving these outcomes. Aligning marketing objectives more closely with business outcomes provides a key opportunity for enabling marketing to improve its ability to manage its performance.

This approach may push the lack of systems and tools to collect the date needed to track performance front and center. Now is the time to invest in systems and tools that will help you make real-time course adjustments. While metrics and dashboards are valuable to monitor performance their real value is in identifying actions for improvement that will enable the organization to sustain a competitive advantage.

This year’s study hoped to provide insight into two key questions. First, did the 2010 results reveal that marketing professionals rose to the performance management challenge? And second, has marketing transformed to a performance-driven organization?

One key take away from the study is that even after a decade along the performance measurement and management journey, marketers still need to leverage insights from metrics and dashboards to steer their ship. Marketers have come a long way in being able to manage and monitor program, the next step of the journey is to move to managing and improving performance.

To learn more about the findings from the responses of over 400 business executives and marketing professionals download the 2010 MPM executive summary at

Laura Patterson
Laura Patterson is a recognized and trusted authority for enabling companies to take a customer-centric outcome-based approach to organic growth through the use analytics, accountability, alignment, and operational excellence. Laura's 25+ year career spans a variety of management roles and industries. Today she is at the helm of VisionEdge Marketing, founded in 1999, and is among the pioneers in MPM. She has a patent for the Accelance® framework designed to connect activities and investment to business results and has published four books, most recently Fast-Track Your Business.


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