Insights 5 Mistakes preventing marketing from demonstrating value

5 Mistakes preventing marketing from demonstrating value

Misalignments and lack of transparency of the value that marketing brings are more common and costly than you might think. In fact, the lack of connection between sales and marketing is estimated to cost businesses annually over $1 trillion. On the other hand, when there is transparency and alignment, organisations perform better, the speed of change increases and employee retention improves.

1. Mistaking activity for impact

Some marketing metrics might look good on paper but aren't indicative of real performance and the overall value to the business. Whilst volume-based measures offer positive reporting, they may not move the needle for the organisation’s business goals or offer context for future marketing decisions. Marketers also often feel pressure to measure as much data as possible, which makes it difficult to determine where to focus, however, instead of gathering “number of” metrics, it’s more important to look at the bigger picture and tie marketing campaigns and activities to key organisational goals, such as increasing revenue.

2. Assuming that what has been said, has been heard

There is a misconception that people hear and act on messages they hear once, but marketing leaders can’t assume that just because something has been said, it has been heard. For messages to stick, they need to be communicated consistently and repeatedly, through various communication channels. The way marketing communicates can make or break buy-in from stakeholders, and with the right balance of data and storytelling, it can create a clear vision that links the marketing plan to the business strategy. It might feel that the message has been overplayed on the delivery side, however, it’s not as it is perceived on the receiving end, and repeated communication is necessary to create awareness and understanding.

3. Relying on technology to solve fundamental problems

When organisations invest in new technology and systems, they do so in hope that they will solve issues they were unable to solve previously. But very often when tools are in place, they are not being utilised fully, either due to poor data or configuration, limited team enablement, or other internal blockers. This, in return, leads to limited usage or purchasing of additional tools to either replace or supplement the technology in place. However, technology alone can’t fix what’s broken – it can only be achieved by bringing together the technology, people and processes and creating a holistic, transparent view that allows marketing leaders to focus on the areas that bring the most value and help solve critical issues.

4. Neglecting to measure success

On many occasions marketing is unable to evidence their contributions, due to limited reporting capabilities. So, even when ambitious goals are achieved, marketing can't report on these fully, limiting the visibility of their contribution to the organisation. However, reporting is not only a retrospective tool – its value is in enabling marketing leaders to make better informed, data-based decisions for future marketing campaigns, and helps marketing demonstrate value, moving away from being a cost to the organisation, to a revenue-driving function.

5. Not getting the right people involved and bought in

People are naturally resistant to change as it is unknown and takes them out of their comfort zone, so it’s only natural that they won’t engage with initiatives they don’t fully understand. However, using transparent communication that links marketing’s contribution to the organisational goals, sharing and celebrating success, and creating a roadmap with pragmatic steps that leads to ambitious marketing goals will build a foundation for recognition and support – within and outside the marketing department. Creating engagement and involving the right people in driving marketing initiatives is critical for any marketing department, as well as the personal success of individual team members and their engagement within the organisation. Because it’s people that drive success, and no success happens in isolation.

At WoolfHodson we’re obsessive problem solvers united by a shared passion for delivering lasting change and value that sticks. If you would like to find out more about how we can enhance your marketing performance and improve business operations, why not contact the team today at

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