It’s the new year.
Your CMO has laid out a vision for what they want your large, global marketing organization to accomplish. To get there, your Marketing Ops team is building a useful and integrated technology stack. They’re also working hard to keep campaign, response, and investment data clean, because they know it will be key to making that tech stack work.
What the next piece of the puzzle?
Measurement that matters.
You know, “the M word,” that pesky part of our job as marketers that can make us want to tear our hair out, or make us heroes – depending on how we get it done. Think of measurement as the language by which every marketing leader communicates their intentions to the global business organization. It’s a critical component of Marketing Performance Management.
These days, we can measure nearly every aspect of marketing. But many of us fail to measure the right things.
Because many large, distributed teams do not have a unified approach to measurement.
The way our data is reported and visualized often fails to align to the department and company’s overall objectives. What we measure ends up being useless in translating marketing’s overall impact on the business, not very actionable or helpful in making investment decisions, and a waste of time and money to report.
We surveyed over 200 organizations as part of Allocadia’s 2016 Marketing Performance Management Benchmark Study, and found that organizations which align measurements to corporate objectives and have globally agreed-upon approaches to measurements see larger budget and revenue increases than the ones who do not.
There are few companies that are truly advanced in the way they visualize and report their marketing data, and a clear delineation in approach between those companies that are expecting revenue growth versus those who are not.
In our study, 65% of the companies expecting 25%+ revenue growth report that Marketing’s KPIs correlate directly to contribution to the business, whereas only 33% of companies with flat to negative growth report the same.
Measure what matters to your organization, and you’ll have the ammo you need to fight for more budget, more resources, and more of what you need to reach your goals.
4 Tips on Measuring What Matters from an Expert Marketer’s POV:
Sean Hiss, Former Director of Marketing Strategy & Operations + Chief of Staff to the CMO, Equinix
“Equinix is more on the “science and data” side of marketing. However, just because that culture existed doesn’t mean finding the correct measurement approach was simple. Our challenge was honing in on the “metrics that matter”.
Metrics need to drive action.
As marketers we can measure many types of metrics and pull different types of data, but when push comes to shove it’s not about the specific metrics, it’s about the business needs behind the reports. At Equinix came to the conclusion the metrics need to help answer a question and drive a marketing (or sales) action.
Ask what the CMO and CSO care about, jointly.
To start I suggest “clicking up” to the executive level instead of “double clicking” down the organization. This isn’t to say the more tactical data points aren’t important, it just matters where you are in the org and whose problems you are trying to help solve. When you move up the org chart you want to solve big problems for your executives, that’s obvious. However, one thing we did that worked very well was to bring the CSO and CMO together and asked what they cared about jointly.
This type of lense is helpful in two ways. First it forces marketing and sales alignment around measurements. Second it makes marketing think long and hard about “What does good look like for us?”
These two actions will naturally make marketing move outside it’s comfort zone and look beyond just activity based marketing metrics. When done correctly, it will not only move marketing to focus on metrics that matter, but how that can help drive real business impact.
Be honest and accountable.
One of the keys to a more mature measurements and visibility approach is leadership having an honest dialogue and accountability with each other. Another key is to push the information down and enable marketers in the field to have the right dialogues so they feel like (and actually can) drive the business impact.
Be patient to earn credibility – and impact the bottom line.
Honestly, this all takes time. You have to build the measurements, gain the insights and communicate. But, the reasons to focus energy on projects like these are many. It’s a natural way to create alignment between marketing and sales and marketing and finance, it will increase the credibility of the marketing, and at least at Equinix, we saw results that positively affected our company’s bottom line.”