Marketing Maturity Model -   Part 1

by Sat Duggal

Raise Your Organization's Level of Go-to-Market Capability

How good is your marketing?

You certainly know cost, you have some idea of the return, but do you really know how good your marketing is? The authors view is that marketing’s performance can and should be measured and it should be done at regular intervals to ensure improvements are achieved and opportunities are prioritized. Having a common measuring stick, the ability to gauge performance against peers and making the findings actionable are crucial.

Because marketing is both an art and a science, improvement initiatives in the function can be notoriously difficult to frame and to execute.

Marketers resist overly structured processes that they see as inhibiting creativity. Further, marketing encompasses so many diverse activities, capabilities, and management challenges that it’s difficult to get a normative picture of what good looks like, never mind excellence. By contrast, improvement initiatives in areas like supply chain are relatively straightforward: source strategically, cut costs, and eliminate waste and inefficiency. Improving go-to-market capability can be a much more complex proposition.

Measuring marketing capability can also be challenging. The common measure of marketing performance and effectiveness is organic growth. Certainly, organic growth is the goal of marketing; but because growth often depends on economic conditions beyond a company’s control, it can be a misleading measure. During a recession, the organization’s growth might have slowed but it’s possible the marketing organization maintained or even improved its level of go-to-market capability. Conversely, during times of economic expansion, when a rising tide lifts all boats, marketing performance could lag, but the good times could make underperformance difficult to see.

If marketing excellence is hard to identify and mis-leading measurements are used to evaluate it, then improving performance will be a hit or miss affair.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Based on a decade of designing and implementing marketing excellence programs at global organizations including GE, P&G, DuPont, Kimberly-Clark, IBM, Eli Lilly and Microsoft, we have found that:

  • Levels of marketing maturity can be clearly identified.
  • Maturity in key capabilities can be accurately measured and quantified.
  • An understanding of marketing maturity, combined with comprehensive measurements, enables rapid, targeted improvement in performance.

Through this approach you can take the guesswork out of improvement and multiply the magic: maturing your capabilities faster, aligning your organization and integrating its operations for maximum effectiveness, and achieving the organic growth that is marketing’s ultimate aim.

To read part 2, click here.

To read part 3, click here.

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Keywords: Go-To-Market, Market and Data Analysis