How Talend is Measuring Performance During a Pandemic with Allocadia

Talend is a leading data integration and data integrity company, that enables every business to find clarity amidst the data chaos. In a single platform, Talend provides all the necessary capabilities that ensure enterprise data is complete, clean, compliant, and readily available to everyone who needs it throughout the organization. Businesses rely on Talend to make smarter decisions in the moment, drive innovation, improve operations, and thrive in a future they can’t yet see.

The Problem: Spreadsheets Can’t Get You to ROI

ROI means a thousand different things, and when Carol Hague, VP Global Demand Generation, joined Talend last September, it wasn’t always clear how the business measured things in the past or why. Marketing teams were managing budgets out of spreadsheets and there was so little visibility into investments that it was hard to measure performance with any kind of confidence. 

The Solution: Creating the Foundations for Better Performance

Talend’s marketing organization knew they wanted to focus on key elements in 2020: systems, processes, and technology. The goal was to lay a solid foundation that could be scaled up. Allocadia would provide the budget visibility and results data they needed to dig into performance metrics and ROI.

Before 2020 started, Carol re-adjusted Allocadia to make sure budgets were organized correctly, that everything was aligned to the business goals that CMO Lauren Vaccarello had established for their department. She and the team also aligned on how Talend would be measuring ROI for the year, and created a view into channel performance so marketers could see which areas were performing well and should be re-invested in.

To help paint the full picture of marketing investments and results, as well as increase team efficiency, Talend fully integrated Allocadia into their tech stack. Their PO data all comes from Netsuite, they have a connection to Salesforce to create an association between all line items and campaigns, and all of the data inputs get pushed into Tableau for analysis. 

Allocadia gave us streamlined budget efficiency for running the marketing business. We now have one single source of truth for marketing investments and their results. I’m looking forward to going deeper with the ROI and performance metrics now that we have the right granularity of investment insights. 

Carol Hague, VP Global Demand Generation, Talend

Talend spent Q1 of 2020 learning and encouraging all the budget managers to use Allocadia instead of regressing back to spreadsheets. Everyone went through training, and by the end of the first quarter had all their budgets in Allocadia and felt comfortable using it. 

In Q2 they progressed to tracking programs associated with budgets. Teams did weekly deep dives to make sure campaign programs were associated to budget spend, and that the spend data was up-to-date. Key stakeholders on Carol’s team helped monitor and manage forecasts to actuals and keep everyone aligned. People got into the habit of going to Allocadia first which created more efficiency, because they were able to organize POs and get campaign IDs ready before looking at the data in Tableau.

Marketing ROI is a Journey, Not a Destination

At the end of Q2 Talend had ROI data they truly felt confident in, and the marketing organization presented their initial ROI analysis to the CFO. With everyone using Allocadia, they could see what they were spending, how their investments were performing, and where they were trending. Their CFO loved it and asked for more.

Based on the benchmark they set in July, Carol and her team are continuing to refine their ROI measurements and are establishing processes to view the granularity of program ROI, as well as ROI by geography. Optimizing spend was a great benchmark for Q2, now they’re looking at ROI and monitoring campaign performance to spend performance. Talend is also working towards measuring program and acquisition channel to spend.

Carol and her team look at ROI from two perspectives:

  1. Pipeline creation to spend
  2. Influenced pipeline to spend

Historically, the business metric they’ve measured is influenced-pipeline-to spend, but Carol wants to balance both. All of Talend’s programs need to support one of those efforts, and they’re trying to be really clear on what ROI means for different kinds of programs. This means primarily looking at digital and demand programs when it comes to pipeline-creation-to-spend. Then programs coming from corporate marketing, customer marketing, and product marketing are mostly viewed as influenced-pipeline-to-spend. 

Shifting Paradigms and Shifting Worlds

Every marketer was thrown into a world of chaos when COVID-19 hit. At Talend it was all-hands on deck getting new campaigns set up. They had been working on a brand-new global campaign that needed to be re-built in 15 days. Events no longer existed, so Carol needed to reallocate all of those dollars to different campaigns and focus on other areas of demand generation. 

Allocadia gave Talend true visibility to re-adjust and they moved dollars around quickly. Now, they’re doing the same thing for the second half of the year. Every month the analytics team looks at all of the marketing programs and checks each line item to see if there’s a campaign attached to it, what the pipeline creation or influence is, and what the total ROI is. Like many, Talend’s marketers hoped that face-to-face could happen in Q4, but that’s not the case. Now that they have performance metrics, Carol and her team are looking at Q4 and reinvesting those dollars in impactful digital programs. 

Better Data Leads to Better Conversations and Decisions

With all of the new performance metrics and increased visibility into spend, Carol noticed a definite increase in the types of conversations and communication. Everyone is asking more about benchmarks and what models should be used. After getting all budget owners managing their plans and budgets in Allocadia, now they can look at doing more with executive summary reports. It’s an opportunity to educate people on what ROI means so that each geographic leader can have a single view. 

Carol and the marketing team are sharing their best practices with finance and helping them understand the right kinds of questions to ask about marketing’s impact on business. This has created high-level alignment on all business metrics between both organizations and driven more confidence for the marketing organization.

The next step for Carol and her team is digging into the difference between how Talend’s marketing organization is spending dollars this year vs last year. When they ask finance for more funds for a specific region or program, it’s because now they can see performance metrics. As she plans for 2021 she’s focused on modelling and assessing how Talend can further optimize their budget to drive bigger business impacts. 

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