Making Marketing Measurable
Admirable Goals for Marketing
Making all those “Wishing you a Prosperous 2016!” sentiments come true
As we all settle into 2016, here’s a thought to improve your new year marketing investments.
For good sport, throw this out at your next management meeting:
“What should be the 2016 Sales Goal for the Marketing Department?”
The reactions may vary from adamant protestations to showing pre-and-post brand awareness studies to dragging out stacks of spread sheets on web site “click throughs”. The reality is that, in this digital age, it is indeed possible to tie many marketing efforts directly to converted sales and, at least to some extent, shouldn’t the role of Marketing be to provide qualified leads for Sales?
Let’s take a modest approach to this last thought for 2016. Is it unrealistic to ask Marketing to have 50% of their efforts be measureable and tied to converted sales? Even if that goal is 25-30%, the benefits are significant in:
- At least moving toward a more Sales oriented/measurable mindset within Marketing (and the rest of the organization?)
- Having a common scorecard for collaborative success
- Having visibility to what efforts provided ROI and what didn’t (thus, providing data to better direct marketing investments for 2017)
If there is no openness to discuss this approach, it often points to deeper challenges including no “closed loop”, marketing campaign-through-sales processes in place, little to no CRM utilization by the sales force, no ability to measure marketing campaigns, etc.
Not to worry, everyone has to start somewhere and “2016” has a nice ring to it as a milestone. To this effect, start the process by presenting the question below the next time Sales and Marketing are all together:
“What do you consider to be a “good lead”?
This is the first area where “bridging” needs to occur. Make certain that there is consensus from the discuss as to what a good lead looks like and that the definition is captured on paper. This exercise alone can help make great strides toward bringing the two, often discordant, groups together.
As detailed in the white paper “Why Marketing Throws Sales under the Bus (and how to avoid fatalities)”, by the marketing automation company, Silverpop, the challenges are fairly common and the detriment to go-to-market efforts evident:
“Much of the problem lies in marketing and sales having different definitions of what constitutes a lead. For example, marketing might consider a person who downloaded a white paper to be a lead, while sales labels that person merely a contact or information request. Generally, salespeople want to work prospects that are further along in the pipeline than merely showing interest in a topic. They prefer to jump in when prospects are at a point where they’re ready to make a buying decision. And they certainly don’t want to follow up on a supposedly “hot” lead only to be told, “Actually, I’m not looking to buy anytime soon, I was just checking out a Webinar.”
Frustration builds when lead generation becomes a numbers game. Marketing rushes to fill the pipeline at the top, with little concern for quality over quantity, believing sales can sort through the chaff. Marketing feels it’s fulfilled its responsibility of driving more leads sales’ way, not realizing that unqualified leads become a distracting nuisance to the salesperson.”
If you would like directions to the web site where Silverpop houses this white paper (it is very good) or another excellent article on the subject from our strategic partner, The Annuitas Group, simply drop us an e-mail or give a call.
In any event, take the first step in 2016 toward accountability, visibility to your marketing investment and measurement of ROI.
For what it is worth…