Steering Committees Increase Program Success

Jesse Hopps

Developing a strong governance process requires cross-functional alignment on marketing decisions. Implement a Sales & Marketing Steering Committee to formalize your strategic planning, prioritization, decision-making, investment, and performance measurement processes. Use Demand Metric's downloadable Steering Committee Charter Template to kick-start the formation of your committee and establish your mandate.

What are the Benefits of Steering Committees?

  • Increased Buy-in - including Senior Management and leaders from other departments in your decision-making process will help you sell the benefits of a proposed initiative as other stakeholders can support your business cases.
  • Reduced Decision-Making Risk - along with increasing buy-in, a collaborative decision-making process will certainly help you avoid making poor decisions that have an impact on another department.
  • Better Resource Allocation - as your committee works to measure performance of marketing investments, it will become much easier to determine where budgets & resources would be most effectively deployed.

Key Responsibilities of Steering Committees:

  • Provide Strategic Leadership - the primary responsibility of the Steering Committee is to ensure that all department activities are aligned with corporate goals & objectives, processes, and initiatives.
  • Prioritize Investments - a secondary objective of the committee is to ensure that marketing investments are prioritized correctly with other corporate budget and resource allocations.
  • Measuring Program Performance - collaborative evaluation of previous investments is the key to developing a performance-driven marketing culture.

Levels of Strategic Planning & Governance Maturity:

  • Level 1: Initial/Ad Hoc - regular governance practices such as review meetings, creation of performance reports, and investigation into problems take place, but rely mostly on the initiative of the marketing management team.
  • Level 2: Repeatable/Intuitive - senior management is involved only when there are major problems or successes. The measurement of marketing performance is typically limited to technical measures and only within the marketing function.
  • Level 3: Defined Process - specific procedures for management covering key governance has been developed. These include regular target setting, reviews of performance, and project planning and funding for any necessary marketing improvements.
  • Level 4: Managed & Measurable - target setting has developed to a fairly sophisticated stage with relationships between outcome goals in business terms and marketing process improvement measures now well understood.
  • Level 5: Optimized - marketing governance practices have developed into a sophisticated approach using effective and efficient techniques. There is true transparency of marketing activities, and the board feels in control of the marketing strategy.

Action Plan:

  1. Learn Governance Best Practices - read the Demand Metric Best Practices Report entitled, Measuring Marketing Governance Maturity, to learn how you can improve your maturity of this essential process.
  2. Discuss with Senior Management - secure buy-in for this process by communicating the benefits of establishing a Sales & Marketing Steering committee in your organization.
  3. Assemble Committee & Set Mandate - approach leaders from each relevant department and secure their commitment to join the committee. Use our downloadable Steering Committee Charter Template to help you set the mandate for how this governance process will work.