Modern CEOs know that today’s marketing is driven by data and insight

This week’s guest blogger is Alex Martinez. Alex is CEO and co-founder of Procurement Leaders, an award winning global membership community serving senior procurement and supply chain executives from major worldwide corporations.

The marketing function, ironically, hasn’t always been the best at marketing itself. Many CEOs still harbour significant doubts over what they get back from their marketing spend.

The positive message about the value marketing can bring to a business doesn’t resonate with the clarity it should for decision makers. That’s a serious issue.

Organisations that don’t understand what a modern, best practice marketing function looks like – and how data and science now underpin it – are directly hampering their own business strategies.

The marketing landscape has shifted

CEOs used to see marketing as a creative enterprise they knew they probably needed, but could never quite put their finger on what it was delivering for the business.

Compared to the clear bold numbers a sales team could deliver to management, the lack of in-depth feedback, insight or analytics a marketing team could traditionally offer the board led to marketing getting a reputation for being a ‘luxury’ rather than a necessity.  With such a lack of clear ROI, it was often the first area where cuts were made when budget belts were tightened.

But the landscape has shifted now. Thanks to modern analytical and measurement tools, the marketing function can now be absolutely driven by measurable insight. At Procurement Leaders we see marketing as our eyes and ears – giving us an informed, up-to-date understanding of our customers’ needs.

A clear return on investment

We’ve always been an organisation powered by data and we take the same approach to marketing as we do any other function. We measure everything we are doing right through the acquisition marketing and sales funnel and throughout the customer retention cycle.

We set our business objectives across three data points. We have a three year vision, a one year vision and quarterly goals.

Central to how we operate is that our marketing strategy isn’t drawn up to support our business objectives as an afterthought. It’s a fundamental part of how we focus on achieving our objectives from the very beginning.

This way we can clearly define our KPIs and visualise our goals. We can then create a marketing measurement system that enables us to focus on and execute the key initiatives we have to accomplish to achieve our business aims over the short, medium and long-term.

Evaluation is constant and the ROI is completely clear. We can see where to invest and how to refine our marketing tactics to generate sales and get a clear and measurable return on our investment.

Integrating business and marketing strategy

Too many have fallen into the trap of classing marketing as a cost centre, rather than a profit generating hub. Or seeing marketing as optional background support for the sales team, instead of a team that can lead from the front and take an organisation in the right direction.

If you don’t prioritise marketing in your business, you are likely to drift away from your audience and risk losing your connection with them.

Marketing is without doubt the conduit between our customers, our sales people, our product teams and our executive team. It’s the ‘glue’ that brings us all together.

So we have always recognised that strong marketing leadership and a solid, well executed marketing strategy has been core to Procurement Leader’s success.

MPG has worked with Procurement Leaders since 2012, complimenting the skills and resources of Procurement Leaders’ in-house marketing team and supporting the business to achieve its growth ambitions

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