June 20, 2017
by Suzanne Martin
Change. It’s hard and intimidating. And as marketers, we’re facing what can feel like more than our fair share of it.
I know how it feels to work in a changing industry. As CMO of The Mx Group, my goal is the same as yours: to turn marketing investments into revenue. To generate leads, bring in sales and have a measurable impact on our company’s success. That’s my holy grail, and I know it’s yours.
You’re dealing with change every day. And you know the solution isn’t as simple as buying the perfect marketing technology, turning it on and hoping for the best.
To keep up with our industry’s changes, you have to modernize every part of your operations. Strategy, technology, lead management, data, reporting — all of it.
But breaking it down into categories doesn’t really make the idea of change more manageable. You don’t want me to say “improve your marketing strategy.” You want to know how — because you need to start modernizing right now.
Know Your Starting Place
“Modern marketing” is a big concept, and getting started can feel overwhelming. First, find out where you stand.
I see so many marketers jump into modernizing their operations without ever evaluating where they are. I love that enthusiasm, but modern marketing isn’t something you can achieve in a day; it’s a journey. And you need to know where you are before you can get where you’re going. To get the results you want from your modernization efforts, you have to know which areas you’re struggling in and what you’re doing well.
And I mean “know,” not “guess.” You probably have a gut feeling about where your operations need improvement, but for a change this important you’re going to need more.
Small Steps, Big Impact
Fortunately, there are plenty of frameworks you can draw on. At The Mx Group, for example, we follow SiriusDecisions’ approach to modern marketing. Renowned for its research and insight into high-performance marketing, this firm studies marketing maturity holistically across the function. It shares what a modernized marketing function should look like across different operational areas.
Identifying those gaps makes it easier to set specific, measurable goals for your modernization process. “Improve lead management” is too broad to tackle, but a concrete goal like “make sure sales and marketing share a definition of a qualified lead” is easier to accomplish.
While these small steps might not feel transformational by themselves, together they add up to something powerful. Together, they’re the foundation of modern marketing.
If you’re ready to find out where you are in your modern marketing journey, there’s one more useful tool I recommend. We’ve created a marketing assessment based on SiriusDecisions’ model. This simple online assessment evaluates your operations and gives you the personalized, concrete steps you can take to modernize.
We believe in this tool’s power to get your modern marketing efforts on track. That’s why if you use it, we won’t even contact you right now — not unless you ask us to. Our goal isn’t to get you in our database; it’s to get you on the road to modern marketing. Check it out here!
Modern marketing is a big change. But as with any big change, the way to achieve it is one step at a time.
This post originally appeared on The MX Group blog.
Photo credit: Gratisography
About Suzanne Martin
Suzanne Martin, CMO at The Mx Group, has built her marketing and leadership practice in environments ranging from global corporations to high-growth startups and has gained sales and operational experience along the way. She has served as BMA Chicago president twice and currently leads the education committee. Follow her on Twitter @suzannedmartin