Boost Bottom Lines
W e often hear people talking about “best in class” strategies and “best practices” that other marketers are encouraged to follow. These best practices improve marketing results and boost bottom lines. But how is a “best in class” marketer defined? What really makes them different?
According to the Aberdeen Group, best-in-class marketers are defined as being in the top 20% of industry performance in process, organization, industry knowledge, technology, and sales performance. It separates the remainder into “industry average” (the middle 50%) and industry laggards (the bottom 30%). The differences between these classifications is striking.
Aberdeen surveyed 160 end-user organizations to learn about their marketing effectiveness. It found that the firms showing best-in-class performance shared several common characteristics. Specifically:
- 86% utilize website visitor tracking
- 82% track, measure, and report on all marketing campaign results
- 64% have a process to test effectiveness of campaign content These firms also make a 60% average marketing contribution to the sales pipeline versus 10% for industry average firms and 3% for laggards.
Notable about these efforts is that they are intentional and strategic. Not only do nearly two-third of best-in-class marketers test the effectiveness of their campaign content (both print and online), but they have a process in place to do so. This isn’t something they do occasionally or spot check when things aren’t going well. It is something they do regularly and build into their planning.
Aberdeen also notes that best-in-class marketers also support their campaigns with pre-launch evaluations, and open the process to everyone with a stake in the marketing. This helps them gain a variety of perspectives and insights.
These marketers also compare campaign-specific and overall department performance against well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs). The bottom-line benefits of these efforts are substantial. Best-in-class marketers not only enjoy best-in-class marketing performance, but they enjoy best-in-class bottom-line results, as well:
- 9.9% average YOY improvement in incremental sales lift resulting from marketing campaigns vs. 1.1% for the industry average and a 3.6% decline among laggards.
- 9.5% average YOY increase in customer retention rate vs. 2.1% among industry average and a 3.2% decline for laggard firms.
Using best-in-class marketing strategies makes a difference! So follow the lead of best-in-class marketers: Track, measure, report, and invest. You just need to be intentional about it.