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Eyes on the Prize: Proving Marketing Impact

None of us should be working in silos. Everyone is part of creating success for their company, and for some departments it’s easy to see their contribution. However, the marketing organization can be a little trickier. Marketers are increasingly asked to prove their impact. But how can they do this?

The difficulty to align marketing metrics with business priorities was highlighted in the 2018-2019 Gartner CMO Spend Survey. It’s not that marketers want to be seen as cost centers – the opposite! Marketing is a revenue driver for the organization, but they need the right tools to speak the C-suite’s language. They can do this by demonstrating alignment between marketing activities and corporate-level strategies and goals.

Great idea! But just one second…

Demonstrating alignment is a lot easier said than done. And this touches on a few related problems marketers face regarding strategic planning:

1. Will the current marketing plan produce the results needed to achieve our goals?
2. How can we show impact to the business to justify future investments and object to budget cuts?
3. Where should I invest my (limited) funds to get the greatest impact?

The answer to all these problems is finding a better Marketing Performance Management (MPM) platform. If you don’t already have one, this is something your marketing team needed to start thinking about yesterday. 54% of CMOs are planning for or are already adopting marketing performance management software technology.

Prove your impact with the right framework

A platform that shows your marketing plans, investments, and results all in one place is the best way to answer the questions your CMO and the rest of the C-suite keep asking. You can’t feel confident that your marketing plans will help you hit your corporate goals unless you start out by connecting the two.

If your marketing budget gets cut – something we’ve all witnessed at least once – then you’ll need visibility into all your marketing plans and their expected impact to the business. With this information, you can make an educated decision on where to reallocate budget. You can use the same planned ROI and expected revenue and pipeline impact reports if you’re angling to gain that budget back.

Alignment between your marketing activities and goals of your CMO and company will help you prove the impact of your plans and investments. In order to create alignment, successful planning will necessitate increased communication and visibility across your team and the organization to coordinate your areas of focus. Advancing C-suite goals will require strategic thinking and the ability to adjust and pivot accordingly – something you can’t do without visibility into your team’s plans.

MPM is the answer to your problems

Marketing Performance Management was described by Forrester as “the headlights and the steering wheel of the car that improve both visibility and control for the driver.”

A good MPM platform will allow marketers to build their marketing plans in a way that is visible to the entire team, and allows them to map revenue back to these plans. A great MPM platform will be able to create pipeline and revenue impact models based on quarterly plans. It will also have a strategic planner that helps marketers connect corporate objectives and goals to their marketing activities.

Bottom line? You need an MPM platform, and don’t waste your time on anything but the best.