What Sets Performance-Driven Businesses Apart?

Every smart company knows that it’s not the data itself that’s important — it’s how you bring structure and meaning to those numbers.

Performance-driven business

With today’s seemingly endless bank of knowledge and tools, accessing and collecting data about a company’s visitors, leads, and customers is easier than ever. Yet many companies aren’t optimizing their marketing and sales based on that data. According to Adobe’s Digital Distress study, while 76 percent of marketers believe that data measurement is important, only 29 percent of them feel that they use the data effectively.

This is where performance-driven companies come into play. They excel at connecting actions to outcomes — ready to pivot at any moment, rather than operating with a rearview-mirror perspective. And it’s a philosophy that gives them a serious competitive edge in the market.

What Performance-Driven Looks Like

Performance-driven businesses enjoy a number of advantages — from increased efficiencies and profits to exceeding ROI projections to optimized marketing budget allocations. They waste less, monitor their effectiveness in real time, know their strengths and have the numbers to back them up, and aren’t afraid to make quick changes to stay ahead of the herd.

Companies that make decisions and base strategies on their metrics exhibit several qualities that set them apart. Here are four key indicators of a performance-driven company:

  1. They’re culture- and talent-focused: Performance-driven companies emphasize their unique cultures and purposes to differentiate themselves and recruit top talent.
  2. They’re driven by measurements: Proactive companies consistently assess their marketing teams based on specific metrics and compensate them when they hit their targets. This creates performance incentives.
  3. They take integrated approaches: Smart business leaders drive results through an integrated approach. They use all the data tools at their disposal, including automation platforms and email service providers, to gather information on analytics, content marketing, digital advertising, mobile, web searches, social media, and PR. They also know exactly what the data means and how to act on it — all that information is useless without the context for understanding it.
  4. They’re motivated to transform: The best companies take action now. MIT researchers surveyed more than 1,500 executives and managers and found that 78 percent felt that digital transformation was critical to their organizations. However, 63 percent said that the change wasn’t happening fast enough, citing “lack of urgency” as a major hindrance. That’s a death knell for companies in the current business climate.

Warning Signs a Business Has Gotten Off-Track

Businesses that move away from the performance-driven model stand to lose out on market share, talent, revenue, and competitive advantage. There are a couple of signs that indicate a company is in danger of becoming a backward-looking organization, including:

  • The company doesn’t train the marketing team on modern tools and strategies or doesn’t partner with performance-focused agencies.
  • Company leaders focus on qualitative, rather than quantitative, measurements to assess marketing and business success.
  • The business operates on a conservative model, waiting for competitors to make the first move.
  • Internal power struggles, office politics, and department silos inhibit the organization’s ability to progress or adapt to a new model.
  • The company views engagement as the ultimate goal of human capital efforts, not performance.

Smart companies invest in their marketing teams and learn how to collect and interpret data. They’re willing to shift strategies in real time to meet market demands, and they get results through improved customer experience and a jump in profits.

The business landscape changed forever when online marketing and analytics hit the scene. Companies can now constantly monitor how products and services are performing and make immediate tweaks to better serve their clients and customers. That’s the standard consumers are coming to expect, and the fact is that companies that rely on the responsive — rather than proactive — model will be left behind.


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