If you joined us for this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit, you heard a number of references throughout the week to our Intelligent Growth Model. It illustrates the five pillars of growth that b-to-b companies can choose from or combine as their path to achieving their desired growth objectives:
We believe it makes sense for b-to-b companies to take a measured, intelligent approach to these five core levers of growth, because each has unique implications for product, marketing and sales to execute effectively against the growth strategy.
Equally important is the alignment and consistent focus of product, marketing and sales on the growth strategy. We continually emphasize this point, because our studies have indicated that companies that maintain this focus achieve up to 19 percent faster revenue growth and 15 percent higher profitability than other companies.
It might surprise you to see what marketing leaders told us about their company’s growth strategy in our 2016 annual CMO study. We asked more than 270 global marketing leaders to rank the Intelligent Growth® pillars by importance to their company over the next two years, choosing only those that apply.
An astounding 88 percent indicated that their company would pursue as many as five growth strategies. While it’s feasible for some companies to be pursuing all five strategies, that probably isn’t what’s driving this response. These results more likely reveal that most companies aren’t taking an intelligent, measured approach to defining their growth strategies, leading to one of the top struggles marketing leaders face today: establishing and maintaining focus.
The infographic also illustrates marketing leaders’ prioritization of growth strategies, along with what respondents told us was their greatest challenge. However, the greatest challenge isn’t the only one – each growth strategy comes with its own set of unique challenges and requirements that companies must address if they want to attain the corporate goals within each pillar.
In some companies, product, marketing and sales leaders may play a role in defining the corporate growth strategy. In others, the growth strategy may be a high-level mandate that everyone just needs to accept. In either scenario, creating focus requires the following:
Addressing these criteria requires an approach that should be embedded into the overall planning process. In my next blog post, I’ll share an approach for assessing organizational and functional readiness to execute against the growth strategy that will enhance the overall planning process, driving greater alignment across functions and optimizing performance. In the meantime, assess the current state of your company’s growth strategy. Are you part of the 88 percent that’s trying to do it all?
Jennifer Ross is Senior Research Director of Marketing Leadership Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Throughout her 20 years as an executive-level marketer, Jennifer has employed integrated, multi-channel inbound/outbound marketing campaigns to generate demand, increase brand identity and awareness, and drive business growth. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @Jenross17.