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For the last few years, ITSMA has been extensively charting the progress of marketing leaders as they continue to position themselves to play a more strategic role in transforming their organizations for the digital future.
The latest contribution to that body of knowledge comes with research conducted for the forthcoming 2019 Marketing Leadership Forum in Napa on May 21 and 22, Strengthening Marketing’s Role in Driving Strategic Growth.
The research explores not only what marketing organizations are doing to play a more strategic role by bringing insight and innovation and contributing to greater revenue growth, but how they are doing this.
One of the main findings is that there is a progression in marketing’s perceived role and value based on the relationship with the executive management once the marketing leaders actually get a seat at the board table.
At the first stage, when marketers are in the process of building up and expanding their influence beyond the marketing organization, they are mainly listening and responding. Initially, marketing is at the table because executive management thinks that they are discussing issues that marketing needs to be aware of, or they have questions that only marketing can answer. The next stage on the strategic spectrum sees them participating in the discussions by actively sharing company-related insights such as measures of brand equity and customer satisfaction, market share, and client engagement.
A major leap forward comes when, strategically empowered, they start actively sharing market insight and opportunities based on their authority as the source for customer, competitive, and market insight. The CMO starts to assume the role of change agent, uniting the functions and business units around a common objective of prioritizing the customer experience. They reach the pinnacle of their journey when they are able to use their influence and data to direct the actions of others and drive business strategy.
Guidance from the ITSMA Marketing Maturity Model
Categorizing marketing’s progression to the top echelons of strategic decision-making chimes with the ITSMA Maturity Model for Marketing Transformation. This has been developed so that marketing leaders can determine where they are on the journey to organizational transformation and offers a documented plan to plot a course to maturity.
Embarking on this sort of transformative journey takes courage and determination. It demands a fundamental reimagining of how marketing engages and adds value to a business.
The research findings were discussed in depth at the Marketing Leadership Forum (May 21-22) and ITSMA Europe Executive Roundtable on Strengthening Marketing as a Driver of Strategic Growth (May 30).