As Head of Marketing how do You Know What’s Working and What Isn’t?

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Man Frowning There are so many research reports that have been done from reputable organizations like Gartner Group, Aberdeen, Foresters, IDC, etc., regarding how marketing content and collateral just isn’t working. You have to wonder how the head of Marketing knows what’s working and what isn’t for their organization?

Here are some examples:

“62% of buyers said that content is either not relevant or not useful.” (IDC, 2012 – Sales Enablement Strategy: Content is King, So Why Does Sales Feel Like a Jester?)

“Buyers’ top complaints about content: 86% of buyers say content is neither useful, relevant, not aligned with needs of people in their buying decision.”  (IDG Connect 2011)

“One of the biggest sales effectiveness problems is that the majority of salespeople are left to develop their own messaging. Marketing must fill this gap. They must provide effective messaging to Sales and a feedback system to monitor messaging quality. Marketing cannot “not” do this.”  (Dave Stein, CEO ES Research Group, Inc. 2007)

“Some 80 to 90 percent of marketing collateral is considered useless by Sales” (American Management Association 2003)

I could continue with more examples but I’m sure you get the point that there is a disconnect between what Marketing delivers and its value and effectiveness.  The problem, as pointed out by Dave Stein above, is that most organizations don’t have a feedback system in place to know what is working and what isn’t.

Also, it is rare that someone from Marketing ever gets out in the field to have a face-to-face conversation with a prospect or customer to hear first-hand what’s working for them and what isn’t. So, Marketing must rely on their front line sales people to provide that feedback. Even Marketing executives themselves feel like they are not doing a good job of this: “More than 75 percent of marketing executives believe they are doing a poor job of managing marketing and sales messages and content.” (CMO Council June 3, 2004.)

So is it any wonder that sales people spend as much as 40% of their time creating presentations and customizing messages? (CMO council study 2004). Marketing needs to know what content and collateral is working and what isn’t, so they can capitalize on what is working and fix or replace what isn’t. They need to know what content is being used and how often. They also need to know what content has lost its punch and is no longer effective or being used, so they can remove or replace it.  After all, it’s not about the quantity of content or collateral that is out there, it’s all about the quality of it.

So, as head of Marketing, how do YOU know what is working and what isn’t?

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