Marketer or Magician? Intro to Marketing Maturity Model

As a marketer do people expect you to do magic. Or close to it.

Your boss may call and ask you why leads are drying up, ignoring comfortably the budgets you asked for. Your sales team may ask why we aren’t getting traffic like Uber.

Worse is if you are an agency staff. Your creatives will be hailed by one client, while another client will say it is not acceptable.

Ever wondered, why this happens to marketing profession? Such undue expectations are an indicator of the marketing maturity level of the organization. It is a symptom. Let’s look at its cause.

In this post, I simplified the MMM to broadly 3 levels, for easy understanding. These levels have nothing to do with the company size.

Level 1. Marketing Starters: These organizations have gotten a logo, website, presentations and some sales material.

Large companies in this level are generally sales driven. Spend lots of money on events — in the name of marketing. I recently met a good marketing friend in such a company, and she was broke, as Covid disrupted events. A year back when I met her, she was full of zeal and told me we participated in over 20 events in this quarter. When I asked her what happened next, she said we got the list of people who attended. When I asked what happened next, she drew a blank.

Funded startups in this level, simply blow up all the funds by offering freebees, and big discounts out of cheap capital.

Level 2. Marketing Strugglers: These organizations are lead machines.

I generated 3600 leads last month, and lined up 222 site visits, said a VP of Marketing in a Real Estate group, when I met, before covid. I congratulated him and asked what happened next. He said that is not my concern, as the sales team has to convert from the 222 site visits. I rephrased my question and asked what happened to the balance 3378 leads. He looked at his Digital Marketing person, and she said we have fresh budget for next month and want to generate another 5000 leads. I persisted, what happened to those 3378 leads. She murmured to the VP; our variable pay doesn’t count leads twice!

Level 3: Marketing Nirvana: These organizations create customer experiences, and get highly qualified leads, for impactful revenue.

They do not see leads as a number in excel sheets, but as customers.

The customers are categorized by persona. The Nirvana Marketers have operationalized the century old AIDA, with data-driven techniques, and extended it to a full funnel. At any time, the dashboard shows how many potential customers are in each stage of the AIDA, and the best part is they know who they are.

If they sell through partners, they also have a visibility to the demand-chain. We all know SCM (Supply chain management), the Nirvana Marketers know the DCM.

What are the implications of MMM?

Just imagine you worked for a Level 3 company, and moved on to join a Level 1 company, you are up for a disaster. You will talk about persona, they will say fix my website.

You will say AIDA pipeline in a Marketing Automation, and they will say pipeline is managed by sales in the CRM. All your efforts will go in explaining why both aren’t the same.

If in case, you joined a Level 2 company, they will say generate more leads. You may tend to put in quality criteria, and send only few leads of high quality, and you will be reprimanded.

The reverse is also true. If you had worked for a Level 1 company, and got a jump to Level 3 standards, you are in for a disaster. You will keep worrying about sales assets, wherein your boss will ask for full funnel visibility.

Worse off is the Agency challenge. You will have a mix of clientele, few in level 3, some in level 2, and a lot in level 1. The creative director will have to deal with the lofty expectations of a level 3 company in the morning meeting, and sit through foundational expectations of a level 1 company in the evening. Formatted and re-formatted, again, and again, and again.

Same is the trouble of a Channel Marketer. Your partners will be in different levels of maturity. Unless you categorize them, it will be a nightmare!

Where are you?

Every function in an organization go through a maturity cycle. Measured. Optimized. Modernized. The function of marketing is a late entrant, in this cycle.

Where are you in this cycle? Please share your views/comments.



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Dr. Shiv

We consume & get consumed. This marketing equation needs attention. Shiv is instrumental in this mission. He is the founder of Camp Automation LLP