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The Greatest Story Ever Told: Your Benchmark

Four years ago, my team and I set out to solve a problem that was really plaguing us in our engagements with customers.

Crazy thing, it seems that they wanted to know how they stacked up against our best customers – or really just anyone who looked like them. We couldn’t provide a standardized answer to this question, and neither could anyone else. Problem. Big problem.

That old euphemism in relation to failing to plan equating to planning to fail certainly applies to goal setting as well. The marketing landscape is in a state of hyper-growth and with it, hyper fluctuation.

Everyone is chasing the checkbook wielded by today’s CMO

The result is an industry of over-promise and under deliver, not necessarily the fault of anyone in particular but instead the fault of everyone collectively. The foundation isn’t yet cured and yet there we are, building away with the fervor and excitement of a child on Christmas. So as we looked around for a proper yardstick to hand to our yearning clients we quickly realized that we would have to create said measures.

Before diving in, we asked some really smart people to come in an evaluate the types of metrics that would not only best illustrate success with marketing automation but also spoke the language marketing executives wanted and understood.

We needed data points that would tell a story, were somewhat feasible to collect in an efficient amount of time and could be presented back in an actionable way. That last part is key. We work with clients of all sizes, but primarily mid- to enterprise-level mature organizations.

So, you may be starting to put together that there is a certain analyst firm out there that seems to focus on this very market segment. I’ll allow them to remain nameless for the purposes of keeping this post on track but it’s fairly obvious. Let’s just call them Leerius. Their decisions seem to guide many of our customers, and yet, when we dug into how the results provided data that could translate to specific tactics and actions, we found that with uniformity everyone we spoke with found them to completely devoid of action.

In fact, we also heard that their insights were too broad and lumped many sizes and models together making it hard to apply to a specific use case. For customization, you pay a lot more.

I don’t believe that one-size-fits-all in anything and we needed actionable takeaways our customers could consume and really drive business outcomes with.

It’s always strategy and tactics for the win

As a result, we developed our LeadMD Benchmarking process, and we’ve been gathering data on B2B and B2C marketing performance for the past three plus years.

Profiling the majority of Marketo software users and coupling the data we see with result driven tactics to improve the process. We’re on our second iteration of this model and we run the play in every sales cycle we begin, whether it has the legs to turn into a project or not. Ultimately we want to create the most comprehensive database of marketing performance data ever assembled and we’re on pace to do just that. With over 1,500 benchmarks collected we’re growing that secret sauce every day.

At this year’s Marketo Summit, for the first time, we’re testing the waters by building what normally takes us several deep dive meetings, emails and evaluations of technology platforms – 100% LIVE.

We’re working without a wire, and it’s going to be awesome. At the time of this post, we have 26 registrants from 17 different organizations all focused on understanding the performance benchmarks they should be measuring themselves against and taking actionable steps to improve. What makes this even more aggressive is that it’s also 100% FREE.

So, why should you care?

Simple. If you’re not benchmarking your marketing performance you need to start, now. There is literally nothing more important to your success and growth as a team and to marketing as a profession.

Curious as to where to start? Start with your marketing and sales cycle – how does it perform? If you have a marketing automation platform this should be told in your revenue model and resulting lifecycle campaigns. How is each area of your funnel performing? Demand gen or ABM we all have a funnel and if you can’t see is performance in a highly visible way there is no north star by which to guide your way.

We’ve also published a number of resources to help understand where you fall in this process starting with our online benchmarking engine. You can check it out here. We’re sold out for our maturity session next week but it won’t be the last time we offer this type of workshop.

Regardless, you and your team can start this process on your own just by measuring quarter over quarter performance. If you’re struggling to get started you don’t have to get help through us, but please, get help somewhere.

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