Measure Marketing Maturity
Okay, let’s talk about how it’s really valuable to measure the maturity of different aspects of your business and of your marketing. This practice that we’re going to talk about is incredibly valuable at these key inflection points on your business. But I think it’s incredibly valuable to go through this process in terms of figuring out how to level up your marketing, and where you need to level up your marketing as you’re moving forward to the future.
But before we do that, let’s talk a little bit of a story. So, John on our team tells the story of an individual who was an Apache helicopter pilot in the military and then eventually turned into an IT consultant. Now, one of the concepts that he brought when he went into IT consulting is this idea of measuring things on a scale of threat to advantage.
So the idea is that as you’re thinking about different areas of your business, is that area of your business, is that area of your marketing, a threat to the business? Is it status quo? Or is actually a competitive advantage? What that does is it eliminates some of the vague aspects of using like an arbitrary numerical scale, let’s say. If you’re measuring different areas of your marketing, different areas of your business on a 1 to 10, 1 to 5, what are those numbers mean? Right?
It can get a little bit confusing and it creates a lack of clarity in the organization as you’re then communicating these discoveries and these decisions downstream. So what you can do is simplify that and you’re thinking about things are they, again, threat to the business, status quo, or competitive advantage? Now, take that tool and look at the different areas of what are really key for the decisions that you’re making.
So you can think about your product. Where does your product land on that scale or your service if you’re in the service environment? Then go to your marketing. What about your brand?What about your branding, the visual representation of that brand in the marketplace? What about your marketing technology or your sales collateral or even your sales team? It allows you to put these different aspects of really crucial points to make success happen for you moving forward and measure where they are today.
Now the question is, what does good look like in that environment? Well, going back to that example of the individual who went from, again, Apache pilot to IT consultant, they worked with a client who was a snowplow company in Maine. This company needed to be the best, they needed to have a competitive advantage in snow plowing in Maine. What that does not mean is that they needed to be the best snow plowing company in the country. They didn’t even need to be the best snow plowing company in New York.
If the IT infrastructure of this company that was snow plowing in Maine allowed them to serve their customers in a way that was the best in that environment, that is success for them because they aren’t trying to go across the country into New York, where the streets are different, where the environments are different, where the frequency of snow and the amounts are different. They needed to be the best in their competitive environment.
So again, put that idea back to your marketing and your business, right? You’re not necessarily measuring yourself against this industry standard of what competitive advantage means or what threat to the business means. You’re measuring yourself against the specific business environment that you’re in, the specific industry that you’re in.
And those things could have different examples of what good looks like, what competitive advantage means. So let’s say that you are a B2B2C, or a dealer model manufacturer. Well, that’s going to have very different implications on where you need to have a competitive advantage, say, on your online presence compared to an e-commerce company.
So again, to bring us all back together, it’s thinking about what are the goals for the business right now? How does marketing really serve my business, where the areas where it has the most impact? And then measure yourself, measure the maturity of those different aspects of your business and your marketing to help figure out what levers should I pull? What levers do I maybe not think about for a little bit because they’re already an advantage and get a very clear picture of where you are today and where to go next.
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