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The Problem: Lack of Visibility = Loss of Opportunity
Skillsoft struggled from the same issue that so many marketers face: disparate budgetary tracking for marketing programs, making it nearly impossible to accurately track spend. Reconciliation involved a lot of back and forth, spreadsheet wrangling, and uncertainty – and it’s not sustainable to allow 10% of a budget to fall through the bottom line because of an immature marketing performance software system.
When marketers are given budget, it’s never an issue of spending the money. The questions are when to spend, how to invest, and what impact it will have. This is what Skillsoft was missing from their process – they had no visibility into performance or budget accuracy.
The Solution: Visibility Brings Clarity to Finance Conversations
When Jeremie Audran joined Skillsoft, he came in on day one with a list of technologies he wanted to invest in, which included Allocadia. Skillsoft rolled out Allocadia halfway through Q1 and they moved quickly. They also saw results immediately. Not long after implementing Allocadia, the CFO asked Jeremie how marketing was tracking money. Jeremie had just entered his budget into Allocadia and was able to instantly share what marketing had planned. Near the end of Q1, Jeremie could see that they were within the ballpark for planned spend. Before Allocadia, the Skillsoft team wouldn’t have known where their budget was – they would have been hoping for the best.
Allocadia has completely changed the way marketing and finance talk about budgets at Skillsoft. Finance now looks at marketing spend according to how marketing actually plans and allocates budget. Now the forecast plans for marketing and finance are aligned at every meeting. It’s also created efficiencies across both teams – the Finance team accesses Allocadia to see if invoices they receive are part of planned spend, eliminating the back and forth email chains.
The Curveball: Pivoting Plans During a Global Pandemic
But the story doesn’t end there – in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, marketers everywhere felt the impact. This pandemic has put a magnifying glass to everything financial and heightened the need to know exactly where budgets stand at any moment.
Thanks to Allocadia, Skillsoft can see the original budget and how much each specific line item was reduced due to COVID-19. With the heightened scrutiny from finance, a strong grasp on budget is necessary because it’s the topic of conversation several times a week. But Jeremie is able to confidently speak to exactly what is happening with marketing’s budget because he has visibility at his fingertips. For example, Skillsoft totally redesigned Perspectives, their annual user conference in May to be completely digital-first this year following the escalation of the pandemic. In just eight weeks – despite the change of medium and budget decreasing by 30% – they were able to pivot quickly thanks to Allocadia tracking every single line item: original budget, planned spend, and committed spend. Everything that needs to be discussed or justified is now visible with Allocadia.
What’s Next for Skillsoft?
When Skillsoft implemented Allocadia they opted for speed to market versus including integrations in the initial setup. Jeremie prefers this set up because the manual process allows you to see all the quirks and wrap your head around what needs to be addressed in an integration. It also allows for time to think about exactly how to integrate Allocadia with the rest of Skillsoft’s tech stack.
Jeremie has seen how other Allocadia customers implemented it and was envious, but they’d been envious of him too. At his previous company, Hitachi Vantara, they had an integration between Allocadia and Salesforce that allowed marketers to clearly see the performance of each campaign, but no direct financial integration. At Skillsoft, Jeremie is focused on the financial integration first, then will move onto integrating CRM.