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The Marketing Performance Advantage

Posted by Rich Schreuer on Thu, Oct 08, 2009

Preview of Findings from Survey of 400 Companies Show Barriers and Keys to Success

Rich Schreuer, SVP of Chadwick Martin Bailey
with J. Mark Carr, Barre Blake and Karl Gustafson of CMG Partners

The full research report was released October 6, 2009.  Sign up to receive a copy by clicking here

We believe that marketing is a significantly underleveraged function in most organizations, and that by instituting Marketing Performance Management — the practice of measuring, learning from, and improving upon marketing strategies and tactics over time – CMOs and other lead marketers can transform the marketing function from a perceived cost-center to a source of competitive advantage.

In a recently released study, entitled The Marketing Performance Advantage, we partnered CMG Partners, a leading marketing strategy consulting firm that shares our approach to this issue, to survey more than 400 companies across a variety of industries and company sizes to better understand the state of marketing performance, how companies are using marketing measurement and management today, and the impact it is having on the organization.

Marketing performance management is clearly still in its infancy.  While most companies (75%) surveyed are highly interested in marketing measurement, we found that many of those surveyed appear to be stuck in the basic tracking and measuring stage of improving marketing effectiveness.  More than 50% of the 400 companies have only limited marketing measurement in place. 

An almost equal number are focused on breaking down barriers to improved performance in areas such as incorporating insights into decision-making and putting processes in place to not only measure the right things but also take appropriate action.  While many organizations struggle and focus only on short term ROI, those who have set up effective Marketing Performance Management infrastructures are reaping the rewards of marketing improvements.  These companies have used processes and measurement discipline to continually improve their marketing initiatives, and to drive business growth.

Below we provide a high-level overview of some of our key findings on the state of marketing performance and how companies utilizing it are achieving the marketing performance advantage.  In our full report, we identify the best practices of companies that outperform their peers and ways companies can tackle common barriers to improvement.

Top Line Survey Findings

While a high priority, most marketing performance improvement practices fall short:

  • Marketing performance is a high priority for organizations, but very few are excelling at measuring or improving their marketing performance.  The study found while greater than 75% of companies were highly interested in marketing performance, and 38% state it is a high priority at the corporate level, yet less than ¼ of the companies reported they are excelling at measuring and improving their marketing performance.
  • Furthermore, only ¼ have integrated measurement into their marketing planning, and only 24% report that measuring marketing performance is having a positive impact on their business.

Top Performers demonstrate that Marketing Performance drives business results

The study found that a strong correlation between achieving superior business results and the practice of marketing performance management. Those who reported excelling at measuring and improving their marketing performance are more likely to report that marketing measurement is having a significant impact on their business (98% versus 24%) and are more likely to be gaining market share (55% reported gaining share and 43% are maintaining share). 

So, what sets successful marketing organizations apart from their less successful peers?

The study identified five best practices common to companies who are excelling at marketing performance and outperforming their peers in business results. The study finds that companies who focus on the measurement AND the management of marketing performance are significantly more likely to be driving business impact through the continual improvement of their marketing initiatives. 

Success in this area is a predictor of CMO tenure

Success at marketing performance and a strong external orientation is tied to increased CMO tenure.  CMOs with longer tenure (3+ years) are more likely to report success in critical areas of marketing performance and are twice as likely to feel their marketing performance management is producing tangible business results

Companies with long tenure CMOs are also more likely to have marketing measures integrated into their initiatives and planning (81% versus 65%)


Chadwick Martin Bailey conducted the research with CMG Partners, a marketing strategy consulting firm. The research sample was provided by e-Rewards Market Research. Over 400 online interviews were conducted with CEOs, CFOs, and marketing employees with 100+ employees who were interested in measuring the performance of their marketing initiatives. 

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, marketing strategy, Consumer Pulse