We came across a fascinating comprehensive survey of top marketing organizations—specifically more than 350 CEOs, CMOs and agency heads—worldwide. The goal was to understand what separates the strategies and structures of superior marketing organizations from everyone else out there. Polled were 10,000-plus marketers from 92 countries. The study included questionnaires, over a dozen CMO round tables in cities worldwide, and online surveys including more than 80 questions focusing on data analytics, capabilities, brand strategy, cross-functional and global interactions and employee training.
Some great insights—some of them not surprising, others more significant.
- “Marketing” is no longer a silo-ed, discrete entity unto itself. It extends throughout the firm, involving nearly every function.
- High performing brands are able to integrate data on what consumers are doing, with knowledge of why they are doing it, driving new insights into consumer needs and how to best meet them.
- Top brands hit it out of the park when it comes to brand purpose: functional benefits (the job the product does for the customer who buys it), emotional benefits (how it makes the buyer feel), and societal benefits (such as sustainability). Not only are these benefits communicated in marketing, but they are organization-wide—aligned within the company itself.
- It’s the customer experience. Winning brands are creating immersive customer experiences for their advocates. Personalizing offerings, added touch points (packaging branded content, retail stores, digital outreach, interactive, customized tools, and more).
- Growth-focused organization. Critical to excellence is creating an internal structure that is aligned for marketing growth. Important components include connecting teams, inspiration and brand engagement for all employees, tight focus on a select few goals, organizing for agility (leaner and meaner, and limiting bureaucracy, creating new marketing roles as needs develop, building new capabilities.
How are these characteristics reflected in your organization? Good thoughts for 2015.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn