Who’s the best marketer you know? Maybe it’s your boss, or the CMO at your last company, or maybe it’s the lead organizer of the Meetup group you belong to. Maybe it’s a legend, like Seth Godin or David Ogiivy. Having the opportunity to study and learn from great marketers was one of the biggest ways that I’ve personally developed as a marketer.

At Percolate, we took that concept further, and in the fall of 2014, we conducted a survey of over 250 U.S. senior marketers to understand how they plan, coordinate, and execute marketing activity. Our respondents were on average 46 years old, worked at firms with annual revenues ranging from under $1M to over $1B, and were well-represented across 16 industry verticals.

Distinguishing High and Low Performing Marketers

As part of that study, we asked respondents to indicate how their marketing team performed against their peers at other organizations. About half said that their teams were average, or below average, which we dubbed “low-performing”. The other half said their teams were above or well-above average, which we dubbed “high-performing”. After crunching the data, we identified a number of differences between these two groups.

Below, we’ve shared three findings from this study. We’ll be covering the full results in our upcoming webinar: How High Performing Marketing Teams Work, held on Dec 17th and 18th.

1. High Performing Marketers are Less Likely to Struggle with Speed and COLLABORATION

When asked what their major challenges were, low performing marketers were 46% more likely to answer “Creating Content Faster” and 42% more likely to say “Collaborating with my team and partners”. High performing marketers were more like to have both the skill and the systems in place to deal with speed and collaboration.

Both groups also noted that “Creating a greater volume of content” and “Having a single place for planning, content/media, and publishing” were important challenges that they faced.

2. High Performing Marketers Are More Likely to Create Blog Posts, Infographics, and Shortform Video

Based on our research, Email Newsletter is the most common form of marketing content, produced by 77% of high-performing marketers and 72% of low-performing marketers. But further down the list of content, we found that high-performing marketers were 39% more likely to create blogs, 70% more likely to create shortform video (on channels like Vine and Instagram), and a whopping 81% more likely to create infographics.

The best marketers understand that rich visuals, and media like digital video are driving the customer experience. According to Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic. These high performing marketers know that customers are expecting more for their marketing, including engaging media.

3. High Performing Marketers Understand the Power of Mobile for Managing Work

Most marketers today understand that the global growth of smartphone usage offer an unprecedented level of reach and targeting for B2B and B2C campaigns. But not everyone understands that this groundswell also means changes their own workflow. Technology has not just changed marketing, it has changed the marketer.

We found that high-performing marketers are more likely to agree with the statement, “It is important for my team to be able to create/publish marketing content through their mobile devices.” The best marketers see the changes in technology as facilitating new ways to work. You no longer have to be chained to a desktop to get your work done. From planning, to creating, to publishing, great marketers know they need to be able to get work done wherever they are.


Over the following weeks, we’ll continue to share more insights from this study. If you’re interested in getting a deep dive on this data, we welcome you to join our free webinar, How High Performing Marketing Teams Work, held on Dec 17th and 18th.