The State of Marketing Reporting
Sam Melnick, VP of Marketing at Allocadia started this panel interview with a seemingly easy question, “What’s the state of the union for measuring marketing’s impact?” That question in many other disciplines is a straight line, but, as any seasoned marketer knows, that’s not the case for our beloved discipline. Elle Woulfe from PathFactory had an interesting take on the question, by mentioning that since she worked at Eloqua a decade ago, marketers have struggled to represent it well. And why is that? After countless conversations with marketing, sales, IT and finance leaders over the past decade of owning a consultancy, we found the answer does not live in a spreadsheet. What we see most often is that, at a fundamental level, the purpose of the marketing department is not well-understood or agreed upon. And so, my advice for anyone looking to prove their worth via marketing reporting is to establish an agreement on the expectation for marketing before all else. Once marketers have established that internal alignment they then have the freedom to explore both the art and the science of marketing without the burden of proving marketing’s relevance to the organization but instead focusing on proving marketing’s influence to the buyer – which after all is the fundamental purpose of modern-day marketing.
Hear the full panel discussion, here
TLDR: Marketing Attribution Best Practices
If you don’t want to go listen to the whole 50-minute conversation, here are some of our major takeaways:
1. Alignment on Objectives
Not to belabor the point, but, especially at the CEO level, ensure everyone understands how marketing works and what’s reasonable to expect from your marketing reporting. For tips on how to do this, check out this article from our Chief Strategy Officer, JT Bricker: “Four Myths that Keep Companies from Growing”
2. Kick Perfectionism to the Curb
You want to make data driven decisions. But, if you wait for your data to be perfect, you’re putting action at risk. There is absolutely a scientific element to marketing reporting, but then there is also the art of marketing. Collecting buyer perceptions anecdotally or even your good ole gut can influence your decision-making as well as data and reports. Don’t let perfection sidetrack you from moving forward.
Elle’s advice, “Be comfortable with data that is directionally accurate.”
You might assume people in your organization know how B2B purchases happen. Of course, everyone in the org understand consumer purchases. However, there may actually be a large number of people you’re attempting to convince of marketing’s impact that don’t understand the complexities and nuances of a B2B buying cycle. Remember, your job is not only to demonstrate marketing’s impact, but also educate on core concepts about buyer and seller dynamics.
One quick tips both Heidi and Elle mentioned was taking a few recently closed won opportunities and illustrate visually all the marketing AND sales touchpoints along the buying journey. It helps educate the masses on the number of touchpoints required to get a deal done.
Marketing reporting is never easy. But, by creating executive buy-in and the underlying operational structure to make it work for you and your organization, it is absolutely possible. Check out the full panel interview here: https://content.allocadia.com/events/the-marketers-dilemma-when-to-use-roi-vs-attribution
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.