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Do you ever look at amazing brands and wonder, “what makes them so great?” The good news is we might have the answer.

Salesforce’s Principal of Marketing Insights, Mathew Sweezey, set out to interview 7,000+ marketers from around the world to understand the difference between high performers and under performers. (Recognize the name? You may already know Matthew from his presence at Connections, Dreamforce, or his book, Marketing Automation for Dummies.)

Matthew is this week’s featured guest on the Marketing Cloudcast, sharing the insights he learned from his extensive research. To hear what Matthew said, tune into the full conversation below and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.



How to be a high performing marketer in 2018

According to Mathew, “Our idea of marketing has failed; it was created for a different point in time. The thing that most marketers don't understand is that they see [marketing] as having more media, more content, more channels. They don't see it as a new media environment leading to a new definition of marketing.”

He continued by explaining that in order to understand why high performers are successful, you need to understand today’s marketing landscape. “There are no barriers to the creation of any type of content. No barriers to the distribution of content. And now, we have to realize that doesn't just change what channels we use, it changes the entire environment.

The landscape of martech today is so diverse, it’s essential that the content we create is impactful and resonates for our audiences across the channels we can reach them. Based on his research, he identified five key elements of high performance marketing:


1. Executive Buy-In

“The #1 key difference between a high-performing marketing organization and anyone else is that they have full executive buy-in for a new idea,” said Matthew.

“If your executives don't buy into [your idea], they won't let you do it. The only way to do that is to either test your idea out in small cases or hire a consultant to tell your boss to do it, because you can't be a prophet in your own land. It's not possible.”

He went on to say that tying your idea back to the customer — and all the relevant touchpoints involved in their journey — is the best place to start with executives since most marketers understand why the customer experience needs to be airtight.


2. Growing Budgets

With executive buy-in, you’re more likely to get the budget you need to deliver on your idea. In fact, the highest performing marketing organizations, double their budgets every 1.8 years.”

Mathew pointed out that high-performing marketers understand the importance of pre-negotiating budgets. This trick is to have feasible goals, then negotiate a stretch goal and stretch budget so that if you reach your stretch goal, the accompany budget is activated.

You get that money because you’ve proven that what you’re doing is working. That’s how you expand your budget over time.


3. Future-Focused Analytics

Analyzing success has always been a complex task for marketers and, according to Mathew, the accepted measurement of return on investment (ROI) just doesn’t cut it.

“We need to move into the ideas-weighted pipeline, where we measure the volume at each stage, we measure the velocity of how quickly people move through those stages, and the efficiency that they do so,” said Matthew.

A weighted pipeline allows marketers to add different weights to different marketing tactics so they can see the individual impact of every marketing efforts. Historical data can only tell us how well the money was spent, where a predictive valuation can inform future initiatives.


4. “Agile” Workflows

If you aren’t familiar with the set of principles known as Agile, it describes a process in which solutions evolve from collaboration with multiple teams. It’s originally a term used in software development, but often finds a place in marketing organizations as well.

High performers often assign a single employee to focus on the entire string of connected experiences to reach agility. “You are able to then scale products and scale different ideas that you couldn’t before. All marketing departments must function on an agile process,” said Mathew.


5. Collaboration

Collaboration is a trait that Mathew suggested is needed to adapt to the era of personalized consumer journeys. This means thinking of the journey from multiple perspectives and understanding what the customer is experiencing from every angle across your organization.

“Most people when they hear [consumer journeys] just simply think email or basic content that we send during a nurturing program. That is what it meant back in 2005. Today, we can't just force them into a consumer journey. These things have to be native to the experiences that they're on,” says Mathew.

Now that you have learned 5 elements for high performing marketing, we hope that you can start to build your organization in a similar manner.

Be sure to connect with Matthew on twitter @msweezy, pick up his book, Marketing Automation for Dummies, dive into his research or listen to him speak at events like Connections and Dreamforce. If you’d like to hear more of our top sessions from Connections 2018, check out our 3-day, 9-part webinar series.

And to hear more on the full episode of the Marketing Cloudcast. Join the thousands of Trailblazers who are Cloudcast subscribers on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or Overcast. Reach out and let us know if you have an interesting topic for the Marketing Cloudcast.