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Measuring Marketing Doesn’t Have To Hurt

Metrics That Matter are financially oriented metrics that executives can use to make business decisions. As you look at building your 2015 plan, you should also build it as a business case. This will help you focus on the NUMBERS in terms or revenue impact on the business. As you consider what you can and should be measuring in 2015, first consider where you are on the Revenue Marketing Journey and then take a good, hard look at Metrics That Matter to your executive board.

Where are you on the Revenue Marketing Journey?

Revenue Marketing Journey

Next, as we take a look at what we measure at each stage of the RMJ™, we can classify it into different types of reporting – Activity Reporting, Email Reporting, Funnel Reporting, and Funnel Forecasting.

The Metrics Progression

Activity Reporting

Activity reporting occurs in the Traditional stage. This type of reporting focuses on numbers related to activities in the aggregate and is not related to demand generation. Typical metrics include:

  • # of events hosted per year
  • # of registrants and attendees
  • # of ads
  • # of ad impressions
  • # of press releases

E-Mail Reporting

E-mail reporting is highlighted in the Lead Generation stage and focuses on numbers related to activities. The hot new metric is how many “leads” marketing produces for sales. The definition of a lead is fuzzy and is often a marketing determined definition. Typical metrics include:

  • % and # of opens and click-throughs
  • % and # of bounces
  • % and # of form completions (a conversion)
  • # of “leads” sent to sales
  • Cost per lead

Funnel Reporting

Funnel reporting begins to occur in the Demand Generation stage of Revenue Marketing and is focused on pipeline and revenue-related metrics. This type of reporting represents a high level of measurement competence and is fairly sophisticated. It is this type of reporting that we see begins to mark a significant change in marketing as it relates to revenue and company-wide credibility. Typical metrics include:

  • # of MQLs, SALs, SQLs
  • Conversion rates of each of the above
  • % and $ contribution to pipeline/closed business from marketing
  • Average Deal Size from an MQL
  • Average Days to Close from an MQL

Funnel Forecasting

Funnel Forecasting is when your Revenue Marketing practice is now driving repeatable, predictable, and scalable revenue (RPS) which means marketing can now forecast their impact in revenue, just like sales. Typical metrics include:

  • Forecast for pipeline and revenue
  • Forecast variability
  • Conversion rates
  • Conversion variability

As you look at 2015, consider what you will be responsible for in terms of revenue. As a marketer, this is becoming an increasingly important part of the job…and it’s not going to go away.

What and how will you measure financial performance of marketing in 2015? I’d love to hear what will be key for you!

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

What Should Your Marketing Org Chart Look Like in 2015?

Change Management There’s a great scene from the Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise movie ”Knight and Day” in which Tom turns to Cameron and asks, “Are you with me, or without me?”…. either you’re all in this deal or you’re all out. This is the same question marketing executives need to ask themselves about using marketing automation (MA) and a Revenue Marketing™ approach to help directly connect marketing to revenue – “Are you really going to do this or are you just wasting time, money and resources?”

The last few years we’ve seen an amazing rise in marketing automation (MA) usage in B2B companies, based on the promise that MA will help marketing drive repeatable, predictable and scalable revenue results. However, looking at real results after MA implementations, we see a huge gap between reality and actually transforming marketing from a cost center to an efficient revenue engine. One reason for this shortfall is that it’s often done as a disparate set of actions in marketing, rather than taking the required holistic approach to Revenue Marketing Transformation. Pivotal to the success of this scenario, is the right org structure.

Revenue Marketing Defined – Internal

I’ll give you a definition of Revenue Marketing and then outline the right approach to ensure success.

Revenue Marketing is the combined set of strategies, processes, people, technologies, content and results that does four things:

  • Drops sales ready leads into the top of the funnel
  • Accelerates sales opportunities through the sales pipeline
  • Measures marketing based on the repeatable, predictable and scalable contribution to pipeline and revenue
  • Improves the ROI of the sales and marketing continuum

Revenue Marketing Defined – The Customer Impact

Revenue Marketing is more than just a way to connect marketing to revenue, it is also the way today’s marketer connects with the prospect and the customer in a digital world. In a successful Revenue Marketing practice, marketing is having smart, real-time, automatic digital dialogs that are driven by the prospect and the client. Rather than just flinging out emails to anybody, anytime, in a Revenue Marketing practice, email is just one channel of communication and it is gated based on how a prospect wants to interact with your company and balanced by what buy stage of the journey in which the prospect is having the interaction. With 60% of the buyer’s journey done on-line, being able to have a smart digital dialog helps marketing connect with prospects in today’s digital environment.

The Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence

To achieve this level of revenue performance and prospect and customer digital interaction requires COMMITMENT and nothing says commitment like a job description, an org chart and a budget – in short, a Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence (RMCoE).

An RMCoE is the tangible expression of a company that is serious about moving marketing from cost center to revenue center status and in that process better connection with clients and prospects; its organizational structure supports and drives this strategy. A combination of field and corporate roles and responsibilities combine for a holistic approach to driving a repeatable, predictable and scalable revenue result from marketing. The RMCoE greatly improves efficiencies and optimizes use of MA for revenue marketing efforts.

In an RMCoE, two separate groups report to a VP of Revenue Marketing – a Revenue Marketing Center and a Marketing Operations Center. The Revenue Marketing Center drives programs, campaigns, creative, QA, a lead concierge service, content and best practices. The Marketing Operations center is responsible for technology, data management, process improvement, reporting/analytics and liaison services to all field marketing. The entire structure works with the field and global marketing teams to provide the optimized mixture of shared services, best practices and ultimately, a tangible revenue result.

The Customer Focused Role

Within the Revenue Marketing Center, the role of nurture specialist focuses on prospect and client digital behavior; actually, they obsess about it! Using content as the language translator, they constantly are reviewing what, how and where online behavior is occurring and then ensuring that all campaigns in all channels are optimized for a digital dialog. By assessing this online behavior and the content used in the interaction, the nurture specialists are constantly tweaking and improving the digital dialog for all phases of the customer’s buying journey.

To find out more about how to structurally commit to Revenue Marketing, take a peek at this white paper “Building a Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence.

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

5 Tips for Succeeding with Your Marketing Automation Implementation

5 Tips for Succeeding with Your Marketing Automation ImplementationNow that you have made the decision to implement a marketing automation platform (MAP), where do you go and how do you ensure success as you move forward? It may seem simple enough to, say, flip the switch and scream “It’s Alive”, but it’s not. Just having the technology is not enough to achieve the right results. Process, people, and an eye towards long term results will ensure you have the correct elements to succeed with your new investment.

Here are five things we find crucial to succeeding with your new MAP:

  1. Process: Whether it is understanding how data is governed among your various systems, how a lead is managed from “suspect” to “closed-won”, or how sales and marketing are helping each other and handing data back and forth, process is the number one thing you have to nail down for an effective implementation of a marketing automation solution. Process will help you define how you should implement your system, it will help you define goals and KPIs for reporting, and will also be crucial when you decide to integrate your MAP with your CRM.
  2. Consensus: Diplomacy and bridge-building will be instrumental in reaching the end goals with your implementation. Many different parties are involved in a successful implementation, from IT to Marketing to Sales and the C-Suite. You will need to establish shared goals and a plan to execute that brings all parties to the table if you want to end up with a system everyone respects and values.
  3. Content: Just because you have the technology to send emails and drive web traffic does not mean you have the content. Don’t forget the adage that “Content is King”. While it is often overused, it is still true. Without quality content, you aren’t magically going to be generating leads. So take stock of your content, map it to your personas and the buyers journey, and then deploy it appropriately. Don’t be afraid to weed out old and under-performing content in favor of developing shiny new assets.
  4. Data: If you think of your MAP and CRM as the engines that drive your business goals, then data is the fuel. You wouldn’t fill a fancy new car with crappy fuel, you would put in the premium good stuff. So don’t try to run you campaigns off of badly segmented, poor data. Make sure your database is quality and that you are segmenting accordingly.
  5. Community: Remember, you are not alone in this. Whether you are using Eloqua, Marketo or something else entirely, there are great communities associated with your tools where users are constantly sharing success stories, challenges and solutions. Engage in the communities and don’t be afraid to reach out to partners. The ecosystems that support these tools are rich with people who have built out complicated (and simple) solutions to almost any problem you can dream up.

Have we forgotten anything? What was crucial for your company to succeed with its MAP tools?

Blog Written By: Lauren Kincke

Lauren is an Eloqua Team Leader for The Pedowitz Group. She is an Eloqua Partner Certified Consultant, Certified Salesforce.com Administrator, and has a wide range of experience with various marketing and email automation platforms.

Role of CMO and Team in Lead Generation

Role of CMO and Team in Lead GenerationThe Problem

There is a big elephant standing in your conference room. No one wants to look at the elephant. No one wants to acknowledge the elephant. No one wants to “own” the elephant. Some even believe that the elephant does not exist.

The elephant represents lead follow up and both marketing and sales do a poor job of executing this critical activity because both believe it is the other’s job!

Let me break it down for you.

Marketing

Marketing works hard to create leads – prospects that have shown some defined level of interest in your solution and are willing to talk to you. Most marketers feel that once a prospect has completed a form or has achieved a certain “lead score” defined by a combination of explicit data and online behavior, the lead should go straight to sales. Job done!

Yet, sales is very often unhappy with the quality of the lead and marketing is unhappy with the way sales follows up with their hard work

Sales

In many organizations, sales will get to the lead when they can. Each rep will have his/her own sense of priority for following up on a lead. For example, if a rep gets a lead at the end of the quarter, chances are good that follow up will not happen or at least won’t happen quickly. The only thing a rep thinks about at the end of a quarter is getting business closed – as they should.

Also, sales people are not often classically trained to work the top of the funnel. They are trained to work deep in the funnel and they are compensated on closing business. Working leads is a “necessary evil” to achieve closed business and only minimal effort is applied in this area.

The Impact

The impact is that all that marketing money, time and effort spent on “lead generation” from optimizing a website to creating collateral and executing e-mail campaigns, falls into a black hole with little to show in the way of increased revenue for the organization from marketing.

The Solution

The most successful companies I’ve seen in that create a measurable impact have at least one or both of the following conditions:

  1. Marketing has it’s own Lead Qualifying Team
  2. Sales & Marketing work as one team with all work around lead generation fully shared. Most importantly, there is a vested and financial interest in both parties for leads to become opportunities and to close.

Marketing must take on a new role in lead development so they can deliver higher quality leads that will result in higher conversions to opportunities and closed business. Once the website is set up and/or the e-mail campaign is launched, the marketer needs to start their “other” job – the job of acting like a VP of Sales for lead generation. It is not a role in which many marketers have experience or are classically trained for, but it is a role that is a leading indicator of lead generation success in B2B companies. Lead generation must be treated like its own sales cycle because that is what it is!

And the funny thing about this role? Your VP of Sales is probably begging for you to take on this role – he/she defines it as giving sales higher quality leads!

Executive To-Do’s

So how do you do this? As an executive, you need to:

  • Drive collaboration between sales and marketing that results in optimized processes
  • Build the right structure, the right team and the right skills to support lead management
  • Align and compensate according to lead generation goals
  • Buy and ensure optimization of the right technologies
  • Be a continuous and vocal advocate for marketing’s role in lead generation

Marketing Team To-Do’s (Ten Best Practices)

At the same time you’re doing your work, your team needs to know how to execute your plan! The following best practices will help.

Best Practice #1: Create a Lead Funnel and Treat it like a Sales Funnel

This is typically the biggest challenge for the marketing department in lead generation. Once that e-mail is launched, marketing must assume the responsibilities of creating and driving the “lead funnel”. This process is just like a sales process and includes phases, predictability and accountability. As you are building your Lead Funnel, model it after your company’s sales funnel process.

  • What are the phases of a lead that take it from cold to hot and ready to be turned over to sales? Cold? Warm? Hot?
  • How do you treat these leads differently?
  • What set of actions do you take to move a lead far enough along so it is ready to be turned over to sales?
    • How many touches?
    • Using what channels?
    • Using what content and messaging?
    • What kind of qualifying is required? Automation or human touch?
  • How many cold leads do you need to start with to wind up with hot leads ready for sales?
  • What percent of warm leads become hot leads?

Best Practice #2: Define “Hand Raised!”

This is the point at which the prospect is showing enough interest from your campaign(s) (or as they explore your website), that it is time to for YOU to take action. Typical “hand raised” indicators include the prospect calls you, prospect fills out a “contact me” form, prospect shows strong implicit on-line behavior such as the number of times they open the e-mail, downloading the white paper or other digital asset or visiting key web pages. Depending on what marketing technology you have, the resources you have in place and your industry, each “hand raised” is individually defined for each company.

Best Practice #3: Follow Up on the “Hand Raised”

At this point, you have created a digital relationship through your online efforts. Digital relationships at this phase are tenuous at best so professional and quick response is required to leverage this budding relationship. Someone is on your site or has responded to your e-mail. They are showing interest in what you have to say. When that hand is raised, the best practice is to follow up with a phone call and an e-mail within 1 hour of the observed on-line activity. A follow up report system needs to be put in place that includes:

  • % of hands raised that were followed up on within 1 hour
  • % of hands raised that were followed up on same day
  • % of hands raised that were followed up on within 24 hours
  • % of hands raised that were followed up on within 48 hours
  • % of hands raised that were followed up on within 72 hours

You’ve invested a lot to get to this stage of lead generation and to not follow up on the leads in a best practices manner, puts your investment at risk. This is quite often a no-man’s land between sales and marketing. The companies that produce the most revenue from lead generation programs have this process down to a science.

Best Practice #4: Script and Level I Qualification

The purpose of a follow up script is to ensure Level I Qualification (MQL – Marketing Qualified Lead) takes place prior to passing the lead over to sales for a Level II Qualification (SQL – Sales Qualified Lead). The follow up script should be very consultative in nature and ask 5 basic questions that will best qualify the prospect. Each organization will use a different set of qualifying questions because each sales cycle is unique.

Sample question set:

  • What is working well for you?
  • What can be improved?
  • What happens if those changes don’t occur?
  • Confirm BANT – budget, authority, need and time
  • When can we set you up to talk to one of our consultants?

Best Practice #5: Follow Up Assets and Protocol

For each e-mail campaign that is created, a set of follow-up e-mail templates is also required. This includes instant e-mails sent from an automated program to the e-mails that a telemarketer and/or sales person would send out as part of their follow up. This helps keep the messaging on target and speeds up the follow up process making it easy to do follow up. Additionally, a voice mail and an e-mail should be left at the same time for the prospect that raised their hand. This is a powerful best practice, as you don’t know if this prospect responds best to voicemail or e-mail at this point. Depending on the resources available for follow up, several attempts to reach the prospect live should be made during the same day before leaving a voicemail/e-mail combination.

Best Practice #6: Lead Designations

Marketing is responsible for creating a lead funnel so creating lead designations that help you manage the funnel is critical. There are many names for these leads the key is to get a set of definitions that are common to both sales and marketing. Common designations include:

  • Cold lead – no activity
  • Warm lead – they have raised their hand and you are trying to engage with them
  • Hot lead – they have raised their hand, you are in dialog, not quite ready to turn over to sales
  • Turned Over lead – this lead has been qualified by marketing per the Level I Qualification guidelines and has been turned over to sales

Best Practice #7: Turn Over Process & Level II Qualification

Once the lead has been qualified by marketing per the Level I Qualification guidelines, it is turned over to sales. The following steps should be followed:

  • Sales talks to the lead
  • If acceptable, meaning it really is qualified, sales will notify marketing the lead has been accepted and it enters the sales funnel. This completes the Level II Qualification process.
  • Each company will designate what happens from here but a best practice is to change the lead to an opportunity with the appropriate weighting, even if it is 0%.
  • The opportunity should have a note that marketing generated this.

Best Practice #8: Use your CRM system

Whatever CRM system you have, notes on all conversations should be included. This way, when the lead passes to sales, sales will have relevant information to use. In addition, when the lead is passed to sales, the digital body language information should also be passed in a way that is easy for sales to understand and act on.

Best Practice #9: Closed Loop Reporting

Reporting that follows the life of a lead is critical for the recognition of marketing efforts. Depending on what systems are in place, what this looks like will vary from very sophisticated to very basic. Closed loop reporting is what every revenue marketer strives to achieve.

Best Practice #10: Follow Up Team Set Up

It is a best practice to have a resource(s) dedicated to follow up and providing a Level I Qualification. The reason this is so critical is:

  • Immediacy in creating a relationship is key to on-line lead generation
  • Sales typically does not have the time to do this
  • Sales is not trained to handle the top end of the funnel and in fact, are spectacularly bad at it

This resource can be borrowed, full time or outsourced but needs to be in place for effective follow up. 50% of the time, this person(s) is in sales and 50% of the time, they are in marketing. Either model works as long as the resource is in place.

Two questions for you. As an executive, how have you enabled this critical activity? As a marketing team member, what are your best practices? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

How Does the Successful CMO Prepare for the Board Meeting?

Boardroom meetingPreparing for any board meeting is stressful and a big part of that stress comes from the inability of the CMO to answer pointed questions about revenue contribution. Today’s boards are more savvy and fully expect marketing to grow up and behave like a business unit, not just a cost center. It can be an uncomfortable conversation.

Watch Nassim Hossain as he shares the impact of a board discussion on his career.

Two Types of CMOs

The pressure for metrics including ROI is here to stay for marketing. Nowhere is this change more apparent than in the direct revenue contribution and resulting metrics being tasked to the enterprise CMO. They are being asked to directly contribute to revenue and to show exactly how that contribution has occurred and will occur. And, quite frankly, it is an uncomfortable place for many CMOs given their lack of experience and training in this new direction. In this sea of change, I see two types of CMOs:

  1. CMO #1 has dug her heels deeply into the traditional sands of marketing or is just pretending this shift is not occurring. This CMO is motivated by negatives and specifically by the question – “What are we getting for all of this marketing spend?” This CMO does not see a role in direct revenue contribution. She sees her role in revenue as one of high-level, generic influence. Sales sells and marketing markets. There is a clear distinction.
  2. CMO #2 is leading the change of transforming marketing from a cost center into a revenue center. This CMO is motivated by the ability to fully leverage people, process and technology and answer the question – “What revenue impact is marketing making on my company?” This CMO helps the company approach revenue as a “Revenue Team” built on ONE unified process across sales and marketing versus maintaining silos and chasms between sales and marketing. Further, this CMO acts and sounds like a VP of Sales in the way they run their business and report and forecast revenue.

Metrics That Matter

Let’s examine CMO #2 to understand how she approaches metrics by looking at how this CMO prepares for a quarterly board meeting. First, even before the board meeting occurs, there is a series of meetings (based on a symbiotic relationship already established) between the CMO and the VP of Sales. In this company, revenue is actually a joint presentation between these two executives. They jointly work on and plan the revenue number and how to achieve it. The CMO presents first, followed by the VP of Sales and it is a complete picture of how the company has and will achieve the number. Here is a summary of key metrics presented by the CMO:

  • Reporting on Past Performance
    • Total revenue directly sourced by marketing
    • % contribution to the sales pipeline sourced by marketing
    • # and dollar amount of opportunities sourced by marketing
    • Close rate of marketing sourced deals
    • Review of budget, forecast and actual for leads and opportunities sourced by marketing
  • Reporting on Forecasted Performance
    • A precursor to the VP of Sales presentation
    • # of leads forecasted to fill the funnel based on established conversion rates
    • # of marketing sourced opportunities forecasted to get to closed business sourced by marketing based on established conversion rates
    • Spend required to achieve forecast based on established funnel conversion rates from inquiry to close

In addition, this CMO was able to pull this report out of current systems with minimal effort. Further, just as any executive can gain 24×7 insight into sales through the CRM system, executives can gain the same 24×7 insight into the revenue impact of marketing through the marketing automation system, dashboards integrated into the CRM and/or scheduled reports.

Five Barrier Busters

What does it take to become CMO #2? First, this move only occurs when key executives and the board recognize there is a better way to drive revenue and second, that marketing has a key role in the initiative. Driven by new buyer behavior, new SAS marketing technologies, and a need to change the old way of selling, marketing can and is accepting new accountability for revenue. That said, the transition can be tough. Here are five Barrier Busters we see revenue-focused CMO’s deploying to ensure a successful transition:

  1. Invest in marketing automation to gain the closed loop reporting and forecasting for marketing sourced revenue.
  2. Re-define, re-skill and re-incent the marketing team around revenue.
  3. Add a lead qualification team to the marketing organization.
  4. Create a bi-directional, synergistic working relationship with sales.
  5. Understand that moving from a cost center to a revenue center entails more science and less art. Science is just the quantification of the art but art is what drives the engagement with the customer and the purchase motivation.

So what kind of CMO are you? If you are still CMO #1, you’d best expand your horizons and learn how to leverage people, processes and technology to make a revenue impact. Otherwise, you will be wading in the unemployment line as the sea change in marketing pulls you under.

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

Database Fairies, Revisited

Data ManagementA while back, Majda Anwar and I wrote about Marketing Unicorns and their associated Database Fairies. More definitely needs to be said about those Database Fairies!

While I was talking at the Silicon Valley Marketo User Group recently about Lead Scoring, one of the attendees pointed out that if you don’t have clean demographic data in your database, you won’t be able to score on those characteristics. Too true. And the sad fact is – there are no Database Fairies.

No one comes in the night and cleans your data so that your values are consistent. No one comes to magically ensure your data is current. And no one comes to remediate your data while you’re catching up on your sleep.

Database management, as I’ve said before, is not for the faint of heart. It takes diligence, concentration, and commitment—it’s a marathon, not a sprint. But it’s SO worth it.

At a previous job, more than once I drew on a whiteboard the places that poor data management and integrity caused us to gush money:

1)    No data verification meant we had plenty of Donald Ducks and Mickey Mouses – apparently Disney characters and well-known politicians were very interested in our products!

2)    Lack of archiving or deleting of bounced email addresses caused us to store records of people we couldn’t contact in both our CRM and our Marketing Automation platform.

3)    Our inability to recognize non-responsive leads meant we were ripe for spam traps and blacklisting – which meant when the time came, we might not be able to send anything to the quality leads in our database!

4)    Because our leads were going to a data team, that team was providing data remediation and pre-qualification not only for our high-value leads, but also for junk – a waste of manpower!

There were more places that I could show we were spending more than we wanted to, but the list was already long – and it was expensive to keep doing what we were doing. Unfortunately, data management wasn’t considered high value or sexy, so everything stayed the same, and despite my ability to quantify how much money we were spending that we didn’t need to, other things were prioritized.

I don’t know how that database is doing today. I only know I never want any of my clients, co-workers, or ME, to have to look at the sorry state of a database and know that our database could be more valuable, our time better spent, and our budget used on better investments if we did the expensive-but-worth-it drudgery of cleaning up our database and the processes that go with lead management.

While Website Gremlins and Marketing Automation Gnomes do exist (you know, that webpage was fine when we QAed and approved it, but what happened overnight?!), the Database Fairies don’t. So you’ll have to do that magic yourself.

Blog Written By: Emily Salus

Emily Salus is the Marketo Practice Director at The Pedowitz Group. She has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, PR and Sales. Emily is a certified Marketo technical consultant, providing Revenue Marketing services and strategy to enterprise clients and best practices and training to the SMB market.

Learn to maximize customer data for greater revenue results – Join Scott Benedetti, VP of Sales & Marketing at The Pedowitz Group, and Pat O’Brien, Chief Revenue Officer at Leadspace on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET. Details and Registration here.

Pedowitz Leadspace Webinar

 

What Not to Say to Your CEO

You get it. It’s a new day for marketing and the role you can, and should, play is helping to directly grow top-line revenue. You’ve read the research and seen other B2B marketing groups make a significant impact on revenue in their companies. You know this can work and you have a vision… to attend the quarterly sales planning meeting and deliver the marketing forecast for revenue!

You’re ready to transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue producing part of the company. You’ve got the Big Idea.

But, and this is a big ‘but’, no one else in your company seems to get it, especially the CEO. He thinks of marketing simply as the ’make it pretty’ department or the ’collateral’ department. So you’re in the process of preparing a briefing to present to the senior management team in which you will state your case for the Big Idea and ask for budget to proceed.

Many marketing leaders have been at this crossroads and have learned – the hard way – what NOT to say. Here’s a compilation of three of the biggest mistakes you can make, along with a better way to have this discussion with the CEO and the senior management team.

What NOT to say #1: “I need more money for this project even though I can’t show the value of the investment.”

While most marketing leaders won’t put it exactly this way, this is what they mean most of the time when they ask for additional budget. Further, senior management is often very conditioned to hear this message, as marketing does not typically work in an ROI environment.

My first piece of advice is never, ever pitch the Big Idea (and ask for money) without a business case and a financial model. A well-prepared marketing leader will facilitate the Big Idea discussion using the language of business, not the language of marketing. This means presenting the business challenges and then offering a business solution, based on a well thought out business case and financial model. This does not mean talking about activities. Instead, it means talking about the investment, and the return on the investment, in terms of business improvement and revenue contribution from marketing.

When selling the Big Idea, the following statement will carry a much larger impact than the first statement.

“As a result of this marketing investment, we will grow the pipeline by 38%, reduce sales time lines by 14%, improve average deal size by 8% and grow overall top line revenue by 12%.”

See the difference? Do your homework before you present the Big Idea and ask for budget. It will pay off.

What NOT to say #2: We don’t need to work with sales in order to get this project done.

In many companies, marketing and sales work as fairly independent and non-synergistic silos. When sales has a project or a new initiative, they don’t involve marketing. Likewise, if marketing has a new project or initiative, sales is not typically involved. In the world of traditional marketing, this is a universal occurrence.

However, once the move begins to transform marketing into a revenue-accountable part of the company, continuing to work in silos will lead to failure. From the very beginning, marketing must work closely with sales to co-develop and align key processes, definitions, technology, goals, and roles and responsibilities.

When selling the Big Idea, here’s a line that works.

“As we look at transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue center, our closest partner will be sales. We’ll need to work hand-in-hand with sales to define a holistic lead management process, align goals, develop roles and responsibilities, and establish a closed-loop revenue process. Ultimately, we need to jointly build and execute a new revenue machine.”

See the difference? By working with sales from the beginning, you will gain critical alignment to ensure long-term success.

What NOT to say #3: “This is a technology project.”

First, the Big Idea of transforming marketing from a cost center to a department with revenue accountability is not a project, it’s a transformation, and it signals the creation of a new status quo. With any disruption in status quo, carefully guided change management for all involved stakeholder groups is vital. Marketing will need to lead the organization through five phases of change – Disruption, Resistance, Acceptance, Adoption and Advocacy.

Second, technology is only one part of the Big Idea. While the right technology is required as the foundation, the real time and effort to ensure success will occur around the strategy, people, process and results.

When pitching the Big Idea, here’s a statement to help make your point.

“We’re talking about a new status quo, a transformation of marketing from a cost center to a revenue center enabled by a cloud technology foundation. This will involve new processes, roles, responsibilities and of course, proactively managing the change over a 2-4 year period.”

See the difference? This provides a truer and more comprehensive vision of the initiative while redefining the role of marketing in the company.

Try these new approaches and you’re much more likely to get a “go ahead” from your CEO and senior management team.

Go on – what have you got to lose? How have you sold the Big Idea? I’d love to hear your comments!

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

Data Governance – Another Byline in Organizational Alignment

Data GovernanceAs Marketers, we have quickly become the holding place for so much data, from whom we view as our Total Marketable Universe (both companies and people), to whom we communicate with, to what those people care about. The volume is not trivial, nor is the care and maintenance of this information. However, few companies have a true, defined process and policy for the care of their marketing data.

As we clamor for more and more data (purchase history, invoice information, etc.), we need to establish and maintain data governance policies. Not just for compliance and legal reasons, but also as another way to enhance the relationship between Marketing and other departments inside the organization. Sales and Marketing must be aligned on what data is coming from what systems, who can fill it in, and where the expectation for supplying information comes from. Accounting and Marketing need a good working relationship to ensure that marketers can really understand who a “customer” is and can maintain a loop between the systems to flag these people for appropriate marketing based on their place in the customer lifecycle. IT and Marketing need a deep relationship to ensure that systems are in compliance with both internal security standards and, where needed, external compliance standards to which the company is subject.

To help you, here is a step-by-step guide for establishing a data governance policy.

  1. Create a cross-departmental committee for data governance. Bring together representation from each group that holds major data and be prepared to explain why you (as Marketing) want and need to share information with this team.
  2. Understand who uses the system and what their goals are. Everyone from the end-user who accesses the CRM, to the Marketing Manager designing Campaigns, to the Customer Service Representative who takes support calls, should be considered in this process. Understand who touches the data, and at what points, as well as what they need to get out of the systems.
  3. Determine what is the system of record. If your Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) is the system of record, then link all of your other data sets to it. If you need to maintain a few systems, define the use cases. For example, the ERP system might be the system of record when it comes to determining who a “customer” is, but your MAP might be the gold standard with regards to prospects and the pre-sales process.
  4. Assess the health of your current database. Once you understand what systems should be the standard for your various processes, establish a baseline assessment of the completeness, quality and correctness of the records in these tools.
  5. Understand what your deficiencies are. After you’ve established a baseline, map out where you have gaps to fill and then create an action plan for fulfilling them.
  6. Fill in the gaps. Pretty self-explanatory :)
  7. Build technological process to prevent lapses. This may take the form of integration between your systems or data washing machines in an external database, or even data append programs in your CRM or MAP tools. Whatever it is, create a process that does not require daily monitoring. You should be able to build it, review it periodically, and let it run.
  8. Build business process and reporting for exceptions. Knowing what your problems were before you filled in the gaps and what key pieces of data are necessary for the users in each system, build out exception reports that can be checked on a regular basis and reviewed for necessary corrections.
  9. Build dashboards to review health at a glance. Set yourself up for success by creating monitoring dashboards that show (at a very high level) whether or not your tools are maintaining your systems as you expect them to.

How far along the path to a data governance policy is your company?

Blog Written By: Lauren Kincke

Lauren is an Eloqua Team Leader for the Pedowitz Group. She is an Eloqua Partner Certified Consultant, Certified Salesforce.com Administrator, and has a wide range of experience with various marketing and email automation platforms.

Learn to maximize customer data for greater revenue results – Join Scott Benedetti, VP of Sales & Marketing at The Pedowitz Group, and Pat O’Brien, Chief Revenue Officer at Leadspace on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET. Details and Registration here.

Pedowitz Leadspace Webinar

Old Instance, New Employee: 3 Tips for Marketo Forensic Analysis

Marketo Forensic AnalysisNow that Marketo is maturing as a product, I’m hearing this more and more, both with experienced Marketo users and with those new to the product: “I have a new job – how do I find out what’s going on with the Marketo instance I just inherited?”

If you’re an experienced user, you’re going to be able to do some reports, look through the instance, and assess pretty quickly where you need to focus. But for those who are newer to the platform, just understanding what you’re looking at can be a challenge.

The older the instance, the more likely it is to be messy – unless there was a really great and organized administrator previously. It’s going to take time to understand your instance and its sync with your CRM. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from fellow marketers who have been with the company a while, or even sales operations and sales reps who worked in alignment with your predecessor.

Here are three tips for getting started:

1) Use the Campaign Inspector. It will tell you which triggered campaigns are turned on. Once you know that, you can dig in to find out what they’re doing—and make sure they make sense and are still needed.

2) Use the Campaign Queue. It will help you determine what is scheduled to launch in future, and which batch campaigns you need to worry about – so that nothing launches without your knowledge.

3) Document Your Instance. Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had left you with comprehensive documentation of your Marketo processes? Be considerate for the next person, so that when you win the lottery and move to Fiji, they aren’t as frustrated as you are now. Distinguish your operational programs, such as lifecycle, lead scoring and data management, from your marketing programs, including webinars, emails, SEO, blogs, PPC, etc. Are they lead acquisition or nurturing programs? Document your target lists, as well as segmentations and segments. Note which email and landing page templates are in use – and archive old ones! Writing all this down, in a clear way, will help you organize both the instance as it exists and the ways in which you can improve it. Keep your documentation up to date as your marketing initiatives grow and change – and make sure your whole team has access to it!

If you’re struggling or strapped for time, you may well need a full health check to assess where your instance is in comparison to best practices. It’s always good to evaluate this on a regular basis regardless, so you’re keeping up on the latest features and functions, as well as optimizing your processes for both current and future business goals.

It’s going to be a bit like cleaning out the attic, but eventually everything will be in the right place – and nothing will go bump in the night.

Blog Written By: Emily Salus

Emily Salus is the Marketo Practice Director at The Pedowitz Group. She has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, PR and Sales. Emily is a certified Marketo technical consultant, providing Revenue Marketing services and strategy to enterprise clients and best practices and training to the SMB market.

How the PR Team Can Make Revenue Gravy

Article Highlights:

  • PR Should Be a Lead Source
  • Case Study Vignette #1: Traditional PR
  • Case Study Vignette #2: PR with Revenue Marketing

“Click”

PR imageDid you hear that? That’s the sound of a switch turning on as PR professionals realize they can make revenue gravy. What’s PR revenue gravy? Here’s my perspective.

First, understand PR is an integral part of marketing, not an offshoot. As a C-level executive with 30 years of marketing and sales experience, I can tell you unequivocally, everything revolves around Revenue Marketing™ i.e., marketing’s ability to drive revenue. The transformation of marketing from cost center to revenue center is happening because of technologies like marketing automation that track automatic responses to a prospect’s online behavior. Tracking behaviors creates a closed-loop reporting system between marketing and sales. The power to measure digital behavior enables PR to track lead sources back to specific campaigns, just like all other marketing programs.

Inherent in this approach is the ongoing digital dialog marketing orchestrates resulting in a “prospect conversion” – completing a form and becoming a name in the database for future marketing, completing a form and asking for more information, a piece of content or a call. Every digital communication channel leveraged by PR (web, email, social, mobile, etc.) and all content (press releases, publicity placements, web copy, landing pages, emails, blogs, white papers, case studies, etc.) must be optimized for this activity. By optimizing, I mean inserting a unique tracking link within the content that identifies from where the lead originated. This identification empowers PR to create and executive campaigns that make revenue gravy.

Case Study Vignette #1: The Traditional Approach

The switch must be turned on at both the PR agency and customer site. Consider this example using two recent discussions – one with a digital PR agency where the switch had not clicked on, another with a customer making PR gravy. Many PR agencies have successfully made the transition from print to digital PR from a traditional definition of PR. Recently I met such a company at a conference in Atlanta, GA, and began chatting about the future of digital PR. As I was listening to what this agency was doing, it dawned on me they had the same traditional PR focus (outward communication and building awareness), but were just applying it in a different channel – digital. This company was uneducated about how to make PR revenue gravy and consequently, was missing an incredible opportunity to create leads for clients as part of their PR efforts. Why? Because, like most PR people they were not wired to think about direct revenue results. They live in a world characterized by press releases, articles and media relations that are pushed through various digital and print channels designed to bring awareness, influence and engage key constituents in a market. They also have not kept up with technology – especially marketing automation – and don’t understand the possibilities they might create for clients. For example, in 2012 as I was working with a global software company who underwent a major rebranding and as they re-launched the brand, had no links for name capture or further communication or interest in any of the programs around the re-launch. What a waste.

Case Study Vignette #2: PR with Revenue Marketing

Compare this to a recent conversation with a savvy PR professional working in a global software and services organization. For him, PR was all the traditional elements plus a lead conversion channel. He worked closely with his company’s demand generation team to treat PR as another channel for leads. Every piece of content that the PR department proactively pushed out to the public, i.e. press releases, bylined articles, web copy, etc. was optimized for lead conversion. The result? This PR professional tracks all leads created as a result of PR programs and tracks them as a “PR lead source” from inception to close. He is making PR gravy.

In addition, this brilliant PR professional used demand generation to push his own publishing agenda. By using the technology backbone of his demand generation team, he created a series of small case studies that he placed in the market through email/social, which gained media attention. Rather than reacting, i.e. waiting for media to call him and ask for something based on their publishing agenda, he proactively used demand generation programs to entice media to use his publishing agenda. And, this program was optimized for making PR gravy.

Conclusion

I’m not saying PR should change its focus – we need the communication, awareness, and brand building PR brings. I am saying both PR agencies and PR professionals within companies should consider the big picture with all these moving parts and learn how to optimize PR for lead conversion. The push for all parts of marketing to show tangible ROI is here to stay. PR professionals have a huge opportunity to produce thick PR revenue gravy and demonstrate marketing ROI.

Does PR represent a “lead source” in your company? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

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