Marketers are doing a better job contributing to an organization's bottom line, but they are still more focused on managing metrics than managing performance, and most have yet to leverage insights from metrics and dashboards, according to a survey from VisionEdge Marketing in association with Marketo.

Over one-third (39%) of business and marketing executives surveyed say marketing is good at improving its financial contribution to the business, up from the 19% who said so a year earlier.

However, there is still a gap in marketing's ability to show a clear linkage to the business: Less than one-half of business and marketing professionals (47%) say there is a clear link between marketing activities and business goals, and only 38% say marketing's impact on business is clear to corporate leaders.

Below, other findings from the ninth annual Marketing Performance Management and Measurement (MPM) Survey, conducted by VisionEdge in association with Marketo.

Difficulty Forecasting Impact on Business Goals

Marketing is focused on campaign activity metrics and is still having difficulty tracking opportunity movement: 41% of marketing and business professionals say marketing is good at improving efficiency (doing things right) and 43% say marketing is good at improving effectiveness (doing the right thing).

However, only 27% say marketing is effective at forecasting business impact.

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Marketing's difficulty in linking contribution to business impact is a result of how it tracks activities through to business outcomes, according to VisionEdge. Most marketers are challenged with defining metrics and measurements from lead to pipeline to revenue.

Instead, those metrics tracked primarily focus on campaign management (40%) and are predominantly more about volume-oriented metrics related to websites, such as traffic levels, downloads, and site behavior.

Only about one-third of business and marketing executives now focus on metrics related to customer management (33%), lead management (31%), market outcomes (31%), and marketing management (30%).

Other findings:

  • 66% of marketing and business executives say their organizations now have personnel dedicated to marketing operations, down 14 points from the 80% a year earlier.
  • 33% of CEOs awarded marketing an A for overall performance in 2010, compared with 17% who awarded an A last year. In total, 80% of the CEOs gave an A or B, compared with 57% in 2009.

About the data: Findings are from the ninth annual Marketing Performance Management and Measurement (MPM) Survey among 423 business and marketing executives and professionals, conducted by VisionEdge in association with Marketo from mid-February to mid-March, 2010.

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