I had the pleasure of collaborating with fellow Forrester analysts Jessie Liu and Ryan Skinner on the subject of marketing process — one of the lynchpin competencies in Forrester’s marketing innovation playbook.

As Jessie Liu explained in her blog introducing the series, we wrote three reports, each targeted at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced maturity level. (A handy assessment tool in the playbook helps you pinpoint your maturity level.)

I chose to take the lead on the beginner level because that’s where so many of my B2B marketing colleagues are. Unfortunately, process rigor — having defined and repeatable processes — is not a core strength of B2B marketers. Just 49% of global B2B marketing decision makers somewhat agreed that they have defined and documented processes, and only 32% strongly agreed.

Why is that? Process rigor takes most marketers outside their comfort zone. Most marketers are more comfortable with projects (e.g., launching a campaign or planning a trade show) than process. Project management emphasizes a “just do it” approach to achieve the end result, but marketing transformation requires marketers to get comfortable with rigor that makes processes — such as lead nurturing, lead scoring, or generating inbound traffic — repeatable, consistent, effective, and efficient.

Why must that change? It’s important that B2B marketers adopt more process rigor, because process:

  • Helps ensure consistent execution on new customer strategies.
  • Facilitates a unified experience across organizational silos.
  • Institutionalizes innovation into corporate competency.
  • Transforms employee know-how into a corporate asset.
  • Introduces new efficiencies.

But the most important reason is that there is a strong correlation between process and revenue performance (see Figure 1). In the beginner-level process document, we introduce five new perspectives on marketing process to jump-start your process reboot: structures, systems, patterns, evaluations, and outputs. Read more here.

Figure 1: Process Rigor Correlates To B2B Revenue Growth