Marketers who stick with John Wanamaker’s famous quote about half his marketing budget being wasted are in danger of being kicked to the kerb as the age of measurement and accountability take hold.
CMOs are facing a crisis of credibility with less than a third of them being confident in their ability to accurately measure the business impact of their marketing activity. Mercifully, the good folk at Marketo have toiled away and come up with The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics for your downloading pleasure.
At 88 pages, the guide leaves no stone unturned, no question unanswered, no professional opinion uncanvassed. This is a must read for anyone spending money in marketing and communications.
Among the more damning assessments of marketing by other executive functions, according to the guide, is “marketing exists solely to support sales, or that it is an arts and crafts function that throws parties, churns out Tweets and puts logos on pens. Either way, marketing often does not command the respect it deserves.”
As you will see in the guide’s pages, Gartner has found CMOs are now spending more money on analytics and measurements, nearly 10% of their budgets, than anything else, while the amount being spent is forecast to grow by 200% in the next three years.
The reason for the dramatic rise in spending is the twin forces of boardroom expectations and the actual importance marketing plays on overall business performance. What are the most important marketing metrics for my team to consider?
Among the pearls of wisdom contained within Marketo’s guide is answers to questions like:
- How can I measure my various marketing programs’ impact on revenue and profit?
- Which personnel, procedural, and cultural changes need to occur within my organisation so I can implement marketing measurement?
- How can I best communicate marketing results with my executive team and board?
Metrics like brand awareness, click-through rates, impressions, organic search rankings, and reach are essential – but only to the extent that they quantifiably connect to hard metrics like pipeline, revenue, and profit.
Ironically, one of the most useful things a marketer can to do to build credibility with the CEO is to offer some thoughtful cuts to marketing programs. Show that you are “de-funding” things that either didn’t work, aren’t aligned with broader company goals or indeed are a lower priority than other initiatives.
This mindset will demonstrate a strong sense that you are managing a portfolio of investments and willing to make hard choices with company money, the guide suggests.
Forecasting is perhaps the most critical thing marketers can do to change the perception that marketing is a cost centre.
In the same way that you can’t drive quickly if you rely only on your rearview mirror, you can’t be an effective marketer if you only report what has happened in the past. The best marketers forecast the results they expect in the future—and quantify their forecasts regarding leads, pipeline, and revenue.
It’s clear that marketers these days must be skillful at proving their worth and establishing the value of marketing within the very top echelons of their organisations. Make sure you’re not left behind and download your free copy of the 2019 Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics.