ISBM Action Insights June 2014 Edition
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ISBM Action Insights
Wanted: Value Creators, Not Program Producers.  Only 26 percent of marketers are capable of determining their impact on their businesses, despite the advances in data, analytics, and technology. That's according to the 13th Annual Marketing Performance Management Study, conducted by ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing.  A key component of the annual study is the number of marketers earning an “A” grade from the C-Suite for their ability to measure and report their value to the business. The marketers earning “A’s” have aligned their marketing objectives with business priorities, enabling them to select the right metrics. These best-in-class marketers are leaders who make the market and offer decisions that create value for both customers and shareholders.  In particular, “A” marketers:
  • Make performance management a priority
  • Have a well-defined and documented roadmap for continuous performance improvement
  • Select metrics that measure business outcomes rather than effort and activity
  • Build dashboards that effectively communicate business outcomes and marketing results
Market-Creating Innovations.  Is your firm investing in the innovations that can drive long-term growth?  In a June 2014 Harvard Business Review article titled The Capitalist’s Dilemma, Clay Christensen and Derek van Bever question whether a too-intense focus on metrics like Return on Net Assets or Return on Invested Capital is forcing firms to underinvest in “market-creating innovations” in favor of “efficiency innovations”. The authors argue that capital today is in abundant supply – it’s not 2009 anymore! – but that the longer- term nature of market-creating innovations is making firms shy of investing in the opportunities available to them.  Market-creating innovations are the ones that drive growth and longer-term profitability.  Whether your firm is underinvesting in such opportunities is a question that should be asked by every leadership team.
Innovation – China’s Approach.  One group that is not passing up on the opportunity to invest in market-expanding innovations is the Chinese.  Numerous firms in that economy have figured out innovative ways to create “almost-as-good products at a great price point”, opening up the vast middle markets of emerging and developed economies alike.  And those same firms are finding that their innovations travel well, with many Chinese firms becoming a major force in their industries within the western economies as well as at home.  There are important skills that these firms have developed, ones that can be learned and practiced by western firms looking for ways to profitably reach broader markets. Learning from the Fast Learners from Business Excellence offers several ideas as to how firms can develop critical skills relevant to market-expanding innovations.
Needed: Product, Sales and Marketing Alignment.  Although increasing at a steady rate, still only 16% of North American B-to-B companies are using marketing automation technology, according to a new study by SiriusDecisions. The study shows that while marketing automation may be one of B-to-B's hottest talking points, the software's actual adoption lags way behind the "buzz."  Without the help of marketing automation software, many functions seen as the future of B-to-B marketing will be difficult to execute.  In some industries, such as finance and manufacturing, the rate of adoption is still in the low single digits. And the technology is virtually non-existent in healthcare, where less than 2% of companies use it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, information technology companies were far ahead of the curve with a 65% adoption rate.  Is your firm among the early adapters gaining an advantage from this important technology?
Questions about Action Insights or to make contributions for future issues, please contact George BrownRick Kean, or the ISBM (814-863-2782).

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