Recently I read an article about marketers as "Growth Champions". This article was based on a survey conducted by Booz Allen during 2005-2006 and covering 2000 senior marketing executives. See http://www.strategy-business.com/press/article/06206?pg=all
The article identified 6 approaches to marketing leadership and marketing structure in the different companies (the % figures below refer to the number of businesses of that type found in the sample).
Marketing Masters (40%) have a solid grasp of traditional marketing fundamentals and are clearly competent at the kinds of activities that marketing has always conducted. However, they are not so involved in establishing the strategic growth agenda, and they are not as likely to provide high-level strategy recommendations to the CEO and other business leaders. They are also less likely to rely on standardized processes and tools to provide efficient service. Marketing Masters deliver superior revenue growth and profitability.
Senior Counselors (17%) guide the CEO on marketing strategy. They rarely lead product innovation or new business development, and have severely limited decision rights over new markets, new products, or even promotion campaigns. They deliver average revenue growth and profitability.
Service Providers (15%) merely provide advertising, promotion, and public relations service at the request of the company’s brand and product teams. Service Providers serve companies that are foundering behind their industry peers.
Brand Builders (12%) are efficient providers of such marketing services as communications strategy, creative output, and campaign execution in support of the company’s key brands. But their role and decision rights on strategy and investment are all but negligible. This category seems to deliver average revenue growth and profitability.
Best Practices Advisors (9%) work with individual business units to maximize marketing effectiveness and efficiency by bringing best practices to advertising, promotion, public relations, and other activities. This profile has a low correlation with above-average growth, but they are profitable.
Growth Champions (9%) see themselves as "owners" of their company’s key growth-support functions, whether or not these fit into conventional definitions of marketing practice. They lead general management activities as product innovation and new business development; they approve large investment decisions to enter new markets or launch new products.
Only Growth Champions correlated clearly with better performance; teams in this category are 20 percent more likely to exhibit superior revenue growth and profitability for their industry than marketing departments in the other five categories.
Growth Champions share several significant characteristics:
They can identify their contributions to revenue growth, and they gain added authority from their ability to define return on investment (ROI).
Their members have a broader range of capabilities than their counterparts in other companies.
They use standardized tools and processes for efficiency.
They are proactive, not reactive, in providing both guidance and services that they believe add value to the senior leadership team.
We have observed that the clients who have been most successful at using the Growth Game principles have used it to assert their authority and to ensure they deliver each of these 5 points.
There are some strong similarities between this Booz Allen survey and some work we have done with 6 client companies about increasing the influence of marketing on the businesses growth agenda. We will share our conclusions in the next ezine.
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