Marketing Reporting: Tips and Tricks from the Trenches

May 9, 2019 | Justin Gray | No Comments |

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

Marketing Reporting Panel

Marketing Reporting Panel

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.”

Heidi Bullock of Engagio‘s advice, “Start small.”

3. Education

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.

In Conclusion

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:

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