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Nearly 50% of marketers score a grade of C or lower for their ability to prove Marketing's value, impact, and contribution to the organization, according to our 2015 Marketing Performance Management (MPM) benchmark study: A Diagnosis and Prescription for Marketing Performance Management.

But it's not the grade itself that matters so much. It's that marketers with lower grades exert less influence on decisions and have less credibility in the organization.

Becoming an "A" marketer is not an easy task, however. First, you must be able to step back and figure out what corrective actions need to be taken. This article will explain why nearly 50% of marketers are receiving a low grade and what actions they need to take if they are to improve their own and Marketing's performance, credibility, and influence.

Most marketers feel the pressure. They know that their credibility and influence are at risk when they cannot connect marketing investments and activities to business results.

Despite such awareness, they have yet to take the plunge—to dive into making the necessary effort.

After talking with marketers in this group, we found three common themes regarding that lack of action:

  1. A sense of paralysis: The effort seems so daunting they don't even know where to start, so they don't start at all.
  2. A heavy current workload: Their plates are so full with activities and responsibilities that the thought of taking on more things is overwhelming.
  3. A lack of confidence: The work that needs to be done is outside their comfort zone.

Those are not surprising themes; they often accompany situations requiring change. So what can you do to overcome them?

The first two are a result of what is sometimes referred to as Paralyzed Productivity, which stems from a feeling of being overwhelmed. When people feel overwhelmed, they tend to over-complete things, or to delay in fear of doing something incorrectly or imperfectly.

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image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM