Each of our customers wants to know how they stack up against their competition and, beyond that, how they stack up against the best brands in the world. They want to know if their email, website, lead generation, social media, and content marketing initiatives are performing the same (or better) as their competition, and beyond, what they’re doing. would cost to achieve similar results.
We love this question. We love this job. We love working with clients who not only want to understand this issue, but more importantly what do they need to do to reach the next levels of success?
This is where the Convince & Convert consulting team shines and can deliver the best return on investment. We provide the exact strategies and operational playbooks to take our clients to the next level of maturity and success in digital marketing.
Benchmarking B2B Marketing Maturity for Cisco Velocity Partners
In fact, we recently completed this work for one of our longest customer relationships, Cisco. We work with the Velocity Marketing team to support their global partner marketing efforts.
Over the years we have created hundreds of content to support the success of their partner base, including marketing webinars, blog posts, 1: 1 partner tips and more. Cisco knew we understood variations in language, regions, resources, types of marketing and more.
We started the project by sharing with the Cisco team the standard section that we created for B2B marketing teams. Derived from our two decades of B2B marketing expertise, as well as our daily interaction and consultation with current B2B clients, we refine and update our requirements regularly. Yet the fundamental tactics required for maturity remain stable.
What is a B2B marketing maturity card?
The B2b marketing maturity section serves as a self-assessment to diagnose marketing maturity in 10 categories (in our case). This is an objective ranking of your organization against a competitor who obtains a perfect score. It highlights the shortcomings of the category and provides an overview of the tactics to be deployed in order to receive full points and increased maturity.
In other words, if you applied all of the tactics in every category of the topic, you would be considered the best of the best for digital marketing maturity. Is the section perfect? Not at all. But the beauty of it is that you can customize it for your business.
When thinking about how your digital marketing team should rank under this topic, consider the following:
1. Be honest. An inflated score won’t get you anywhere except the same place you are now. Your score is not public, so be honest with your organization’s position on the maturity scale and award the earned points for this time.
2. Commit to growth. After assessing your score, review your business goals and your department’s goals. Commit to two areas of the maturity rubric that could impact these goals if they focused on the next six months. Make them your key areas of growth.
3. Schedule a reassessment. Typically, we do this every year for clients, with regular checks throughout the year. For self-assessment, schedule an honest reassessment every six months. This will keep you on track with your growth plan and allow you to see if you are making progress. Likewise, if you’ve achieved growth in your focus areas, this is a great opportunity to add another area to focus on for the next six months.
How we measured the marketing maturity of thousands of global partners 🌎
As part of our work with Cisco, they have thousands of partners in almost every country, all with varying degrees of marketing expertise, resources, infrastructure and budget. Creating a fair system for measuring partner maturity was a key performance measure for the team. With the mission of measuring the maturity of partners in order to support them accordingly in future programs and budgets, Cisco asked Convince & Convert to create the personalized maturity tool.
After sharing the database of sections, we personalized the project by following the following steps:
1. Our team met the leaders of the three regions of the world, allowing everyone to share the complexity of their set of partners and to express the cultural and local nuances of partner markets.
2. We conducted several additional interviews with the next level of representatives from global partners who talk and work with partners on a daily or weekly basis. These meetings highlighted the linguistic considerations and the differences in translation from one marketing term to another.
3. Based on these interviews, the C&C team wrote a personalized version of the Marketing Assessment Tool. specifically for Cisco’s global partner marketing base. Reworking questions and answers across the variety of use cases became paramount to ensure that the end tool was universally applicable, understandable, and fair.
4. After the survey tool was approved and verified by all stakeholders, we launched the survey with a test group of Cisco partners. The test group consisted of approximately 35 partners of all sizes, represented by the three regions. This test group validates the tool as a whole in terms of the scoring mechanism, the interpretation of the questions and the fairness of the instrument.
Lessons learned: Despite our best efforts, there were 3 questions out of the set that were, in fact, unfair and did not assess skills in a universally acceptable manner. This was essential in updating these challenge areas and also validating that the overall survey met our intended goals.
5. The final marketing maturity assessment has been launched with the partner database by Cisco and data has been collected. It is important to note that the partner base has remained anonymous from Convince & Convert. Our team was able to see the scores, but partner names and other details have been redacted.
Analysis of results 📊
Following the data entry, we were able to analyze the results for Cisco in three main areas:
1. Overall score by region and by partner size, as well as the distribution of marketing maturity in each digital marketing category in the assessment.
2. Scores analysis with other Cisco maturity and support entries.
3. And finally, a written recommendation from Convince & Convert to find out where partner scores stand in terms of top-notch B2B marketing and strategies for Cisco to further train and support partners in each area of digital marketing.
How Cisco Uses Marketing Maturity Results
Cisco plans to share the results individually with each partner. In addition, they will regularly repeat the assessment for current and new partners, ultimately seeking to create a growth plan to help each partner achieve the next level of marketing success. Using this assessment also informs Cisco’s editorial team and Partner Education team about programs and content to be created in the future so that each partner continues to progress.
Ready to find out how your digital marketing team stacks up?
Convince & Convert can create and analyze a marketing maturity assessment, or you can download our B2B Marketing Maturity Rubric and Scorecard to get started now!