Build a Scalable Marketing Organization with the Marketing Maturity Model

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Build a Scalable Marketing Organization with the Marketing Maturity Model

Creating a predictable and scalable marketing organization is the holy grail of any CMO. As a CMO, you don't want your marketing teams to be working ad-hoc, but predictably. Repeatably. With fixed methods, in a fixed structure, where they consistently achieve results. But how do you achieve this in 2021? In this article, Koen Kranenberg and Jan Smit discuss how the Adwise Marketing Maturity Model can help you as a CMO to apply the right focus in building a scalable marketing organization.

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Koen Kranenberg

Director Disruption & Innovation (CDO)


CMOs caught between priorities

We often hear that CMOs and marketing managers feel that they are caught between priorities. In almost every industry, the marketing and digital landscape is changing at such a rapid pace that CMOs have to make macro and micro choices every week. Choices in:

  1. Strategic marketing objectives, and the translation of these objectives to the operation.
  2. Budget allocations across products, channels and activities.
  3. Role division (in-house vs external).

The speed with which a CMO makes choices on these three themes is increasing. As a CMO, you can no longer make a choice in January (about budget allocations, for example) and not revise it until December. A CMO therefore needs a framework to test these themes throughout the year: Are we still on the right track? Are we working on the right things, with the right people?

A good framework for this is the Marketing Maturity Model for performing a baseline measurement - and determining growth objectives - on the most important competencies of your marketing organization. As a CMO, you can use the model to answer two key questions:

  1. How mature and scalable is my marketing organization?
  2. Are we able to achieve our strategic goals with this maturity?

Answering these questions is important, because as a CMO you do not want to set strategic goals and allocate budget allocations when specific competencies are not or hardly present. For example: a commerce organization that has a strong growth target in marketplaces, needs a high maturity in marketplace performance marketing. If this is not available, you adjust the objectives, train the people and/or hire the competence externally.

At Adwise we help our clients to measure the maturity of their marketing organization and take them to the next level. This is in line with our brand promise: that we give organizations a decisive advantage through brilliant marketing (strategies and solutions). The tool we use as a guideline for this is the Adwise Marketing Maturity Model.


The Adwise Marketing Maturity Model provides direction and balance

The Adwise Marketing Maturity Model gives you, as a CMO, direction to work on the right competencies. So you have a balanced organization, ready for growth. The model describes the 8 essential competencies for any marketing organization:

Het Adwise Marketing Maturity Model

  • Strategy – Marketing activities are aligned with a clear marketing strategy, which is linked to the business strategy.
  • Brand – All marketing materials (and: content) are created from a sharp brand positioning, including USPs and core competencies.
  • Data – The marketing team is data driven. All decisions regarding channels and budget allocation are based on data.
  • People – All marketing activities are aligned. Roles and processes are 100% clear.
  • Technology – The tech stack fits together seamlessly. Customer data is complete and transparent, and work processes are automated.
  • Content – Content is consistent in quality and results, with a distinction between brand content, product content and personalized content.
  • Performance marketing – These are all marketing activities that lead to a direct, sales-related action. At level 5, you work with an optimized marketing channel mix, where the implementation is predictable in terms of quality and result.
  • Demand marketing – These are all marketing activities that lead to increasing your brand and product awareness in the market, and ultimately to market-driven demand. At level 5, you conduct targeted brand + product marketing campaigns throughout the year, which lead to an increase in direct product requests and purchases.

Measuring the level of these competencies is essential for CMOs - because you always know where the areas for improvement lie. In other words: the model provides a truth that is useful to your team. It provides focus. And vice versa: if, as a CMO, you do not know the current level of your marketing competencies, it is difficult to determine how you will achieve the strategic objectives with your marketing team.

A healthy marketing organization has a balance in the eight competencies - but always a high level of competences that are leading for turnover growth (core competences). These core competencies have the highest priority for the CMO. An important starting question for any assessment is therefore the following: ‘Which competences make the greatest contribution to achieving our strategic objectives?’ If you know the answer to this question, you always work on the right competencies.


The five levels of maturity

For the eight marketing competencies you determine a) the current maturity level and b) the desired maturity level. You determine your maturity level on a scale of 5 levels.

De vijf niveaus van maturity

  1. Absent. The competence is present at the lowest level (sometimes: totally absent). This level is undesirable for any competency.
  2. Operational. The competence is present at the operational level, which is not yet a desired result. Moreover, the quality delivered is also inconsistent.
  3. Effective. The competency delivers the desired result within the desired quality standards, but it is not yet consistent and predictable.
  4. Predictable. The competency consistently and predictably delivers the desired result, and the quality can be controlled by management / board of directors.
  5. Leading. The competence is at the highest level and is leading in the market. Moreover, the competency is 100% aligned with sales, product and customer success.

Please be cautiously ambitious in determining your desired level - especially in the short term. Too much ambition often leads to wrong priorities and choices by CMOs. A recognisable example is the competency technology. For many small and medium-sized organizations, a level 3 martech landscape is excellent for an effective marketing organization. In that case, it is not advisable to set up a heavy tech landscape, of which not all technology contributes to the business.


A mature marketing organization is a journey

“The business enterprise has two--and only two--basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.“Peter Drucker

Marketing is the fastest changing area within an organization. What has become important in 2021 may be irrelevant in 2022. But in addition to the fact that the field is changing rapidly, we also see that the function of marketing within an organization is changing rapidly. What we see is that marketing is changing from a supporting function towards business growth, to a leading function towards business growth. In other words: organizations (within B2C and B2B) are becoming ‘Marketing Driven Organizations’. And this is a logical development, because marketing is the connecting factor between brand, product innovation and sales.

And when the marketing area becomes leading in your organization, it is important as a CMO to create a foundation of truths that your team can fall back on. So it is clear whether you are on track. These truths are:

  1. The truth of priority (Which competencies and associated KPIs are leading in our team?),
  2. The truth of result (When are we successful per competency?) en
  3. The truth of quality (How do we perform the competencies well?)).


“Making progress in a marketing organization is difficult when you don't have truth of priority and truth of quality. Everyone in the (marketing) organization must give the same answer to the questions: ‘What value does our marketing team deliver to the organization and how do we measure quality?’ When this context is clear, you can more easily set long-term goals for your team and manage them in order to achieve these goals.”Koen Kranenberg - Director Disruption & Innovation

Is it important for you as a CMO to define these truths? A good first step we discussed in this article is an assessment of the 8 marketing competencies in the Marketing Maturity Model.

Adwise helps both B2B and B2C organizations to assess these competencies, and - where necessary - to move each competency to the next level. The aim is to have the right competencies at the right level, performed by the right people. So that your marketing organization is leading in its industry. Do you want help to achieve this in 2021? Request a Maturity Assessment below, or contact:

Werken met één waarheid

Koen Kranenberg.

Director Disruption & Innovation

“Vooruitgang boeken in een marketing organisatie is moeilijk wanneer je geen waarheid van prioriteit en waarheid van kwaliteit hebt. Iedereen in de (marketing) organisatie moet hetzelfde antwoord geven op de vragen: ‘Welke waarde levert ons marketing team aan de organisatie en hoe meten we kwaliteit?’ Als deze context helder is, kun je makkelijker langetermijn doelen stellen voor je team en ze aansturen om deze te behalen.”

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