Adaptive Marketers Perform Better

Adaptive marketers perform better in sales, customer satisfaction and innovation, according to a recent study. Yet the research also revealed that 78% of marketing leaders are having difficulty transforming their companies into ones that can adapt to evolving market conditions and technologies. These are some of the findings of a study by Forrester, in collaboration with the CMO Club, among  81 U.S. CMOs and marketing leaders.

Based on composite survey scores, the researchers classified marketers into four groups:

  • Inflexible marketers. (22%) They are bound by a rigid and complacent company culture, where defying convention is frowned on.
  • Restricted marketers. (56%) They have made some progress in building adaptive organizations and processes, but they can’t get their companies to commit to a revised vision.
  • Progressive marketers. (16%) They’ve made significant strides toward becoming more agile and nimble by building a collaborative culture and a networked organization.
  • Adaptive marketers. (5%) They have the vision to transform the company’s culture, structure and practices, and they’ve gained executive support to redefine the mission and role of the marketing function.
With the inflexible marketers lagging behind, adaptive marketers, take the lead according to the study:

And for those CMOs and marketers who want to ‘kick their old habits’ and switch to a more progressive approach to their management styles, the researchers have identified three main areas for improvement. The three adaptive marketing behaviors that correlate most highly to the performance of sales, customer satisfaction, and innovation are:

  1. equipping and training employees with new technology;
  2. acting like a customer-obsessed company;
  3. piloting new media and technology.


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