How Excelling Marketing Companies Outperform Their Competitors

Christine Moorman, founder and director of the CMO Survey presented interesting figures on Forbes from the CMO Survey August 2012. In that survey it was the first time that top marketers were asked “How would you rate your company’s marketing excellence?”  Have a look at the insights and how soft skills development can accelerate your marketing performance.

The following 10 insights, excellent marketing companies:

  1. report less spend on traditional advertising and more spend on digital marketing.
  2. spend more on marketing as a percent of firm revenue.
  3. spend more on social media as a percent of their current marketing budgets.  Excellent marketing companies also more effectively integrate social with the firm’s marketing strategy.
  4. spend more on marketing analytics as a percent of their current marketing. Excellent marketing companies also use marketing analytics to make decisions in a higher percentage of projects.
  5. have 10.7% of their employees engaged in marketing.
  6. spend more on marketing training YOY.
  7. have more direct reports to their marketing leaders.
  8. give more responsibility to marketing.
  9. exhibit bigger changes in profitability metric.
  10. outperform low-performing companies on customer metrics.

To read the full elaboration on all 10 insights including figures, click here.

Everything is Marketing and Marketing is Everything

I believe that marketing is to important to leave it up to the marketing department, CMO Survey figures show that excellent marketing companies have a higher percentage of engaged employees in marketing. Every employee is part of the marketing experience and by engaging employees the consistency of the experience is supported.

Marketing development

Training investments are important to excelling marketing companies –as figures show- because it keeps marketers up to date with marketing developments. I do wonder if soft skills training is part of the “marketing training” as asked by the CMO Survey.

Marketing leaders and leaders in general are becoming more and more a conductor, a platform. This means that soft skills development is a training aspect that contributes to the effectiveness of being a conductor.

Most important soft skills

If soft skills are becoming important, there is still a way to go. More than half of the 768 managers and executives who participated in the December 2012 Critical Skills Survey commissioned by the American Management Association said there is significant room for improvement among their employees in the “four Cs” soft skills.

The four Cs are:

  1. Critical thinking,
  2. Communication,
  3. Collaboration and
  4. Creativity.

A study by shows that 71 per cent of the employers value emotional intelligence over IQ. Soft skills such as interpersonal communication, time management and conflict management are becoming more important in the workplace. Dan Schawbel interviewed Peggy Klaus, an executive coach that contributes to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Fortune, on this topic.

Why are soft skills so much more valuable than hard skills in today’s working world?

Until very recently, Hard Skills were the only things that companies looked for when hiring and promoting their employees. However, now that multiple studies have shown the importance of soft skills on job performance and the bottom line, recruiters and HR have jumped on the soft skill bandwagon, demanding that candidates encompass both. Once hired, employees are measured for promotion, assignments, salary increases and bonuses on their soft skill quotient. So, your ability to get along with others, sell your ideas, manage your time, bring a project in under budget and  create an enjoyable workplace environment is now as important- if not more so- than your technical expertise.

What are some ways to go about developing your soft skills?

The first thing you have to do is to get to know yourself. I know that sounds very new-agey and simplistic, but it’s true, and, once you start the process, you’ll find there is nothing warm and fuzzy about it. A good way to start evaluating your social, communication, and self management behaviors is to take my Soft Skills Quiz, at After you have more information as to  your strengths and weaknesses, then you can begin to develop your skills through books, classes, a coach or a mentor.

Managers complain that millennial workers have a lack of soft skills because they are Internet addicts. What advice would you give to millennials?

Millennials bring to the workplace a terrific combination of boundless energy, optimism and technical skill. However, they cannot afford to ignore their soft skills. Many studies sight employers complaints around their lack of professional etiquette, verbal communication, political savy, abilitity to take critical feedback and self presentation (among others), so they must begin to develop these skills so that they won’t stall or derail in their careers.

Click here to read the complete interview.

Are you investing in your and your team’s soft skills development?