Two major themes emerged from all the comments – Alignment and Data-Driven Accountability. Both themes align well to the SPB&M Model. Alignment is addressed in Step 1 of the model – Facilitate Alignment. Data-Driven Accountability is encompassed in Steps 3-5. What is relevant about the SPB&M model is that it defines a collaborative and on-going process for improvement. As one webinar participant said – “Process eats technology for breakfast!” Let’s see what the rest of our webinar participants had to say about their annual planning best practices.
Alignment with Other Groups – Especially Sales and Executives
- Accountability without alignment is corporate suicide.
- Get regional input from sales and business units on what their focus is for next fiscal year with revenue goals. Marketing takes that into account when prioritizing programs.
- I feel like the biggest challenge in budget planning is alignment between Sales and Marketing.
- In past, sales and marketing had separate planning processes. This year we are combining them.
- We align with sales leadership, in this planning process, to “stack hands” on our annual revenue number.
- CFO and CIO need to be your best friends in the planning process.
- Alignment — one shared planning spreadsheet for all marketers from the start of the process. No PowerPoints submitted.
- IMO the MO requires the executive mandate to drive this transformation.
- Alignment is pretty easy when you shift the conversation from leads, to the unit economics of the “revenue engine.”
- We hold a monthly Marketing Data review meeting with our upper management team… lead by me and supported by our CMO.
- Mediating has to come from the top. I think if top management doesn’t do it, others will not.
- We follow the Rockefeller habits methodology to planning across our organization starting with the leadership team and that trickles down throughout all departments. In marketing, we have a consistent, process starting with annual planning down to quarterly planning and weekly planning meetings to develop, drive, monitor and adjust as needed as we learn, fail, and ultimately succeed. We are growing rapidly and are now challenged with the collaboration across the functional areas of the business due to the tremendous amount of work and lack of time to get it all done. So we have to carefully pick and choose what we choose to do ensuring that we choose the right activities that are going to drive the most success. This insight comes from the measuring and continually monitoring, reviewing, and learning.
Data-Driven Decisions Accountability
- All of this is tied in to KPIs for individual contribution, marketing department and the company.
- KPIs need to be dynamic and visible on a dashboard.
- To be credible, we need to show KPIs on failure as well as success.
- I feel like I am very tied to driving the growth of the business. And asked to help do so. From forecasting to planning to execution. Even if it’s not perfect.
- Ah, de-funding! I think if the planning process needs to include a data driven “stop-doing” analysis on prior year activities and positions. Absent this, people’s pet projects get entrenched. When people say “we don’t have the budget” I say — look at last year and reallocate 10% of what you did.
- The revenue engine requires alignment across understanding 5 revenue performance indicators (where MO can enable) reach, value, conversion, value and return.
- The past two years we used the “attribution model” within Marketing only to drive ourselves. The whole company signed on this year for the first time to drive our net new logo acquisitions off of my model.
- We use actual data to understand our Attribution of how many deals (# & $) come in from the different areas of the company (sales, marketing, sales and SDR’s). Then develop goals based on what has been achieved by each of these departments. I have developed a Case Statement that assigns the where each deal has come from. This allows us to deploy goals to each department and then identify gaps and develop measures to address the gaps
- Campaign (ROI) costs need to include FTE costs for those participating in the campaigns — e.g., hourly time of designers or digital specialists supporting the campaigns. So many organizations don’t track time to particular campaigns/projects.
- Here’s what we did — asked marketers to plan by capacity. Each initiative … in a plan had to have an estimate of hours required to perform it. The hours had to include support resources…. forcing marketers to negotiate with comms, creative. digital etc.
- Along with front loading our entire 2018 DM,EM,OB Marketing spend into the IBM Marketing Operations module we’ve implemented a feature called ‘Best Available Volume’ to drive our marketing metrics as they migrate through the lifecycle. The first being what our marketing metrics look like at the planning phase (Plan), as the campaign gets closer to the contact date, volume may shift and this shift could impact the volume (Forecast), the marketing list gets pulled within the IBM Campaign module which drives a reduction in volume and impacts the marketing metrics (Extract), and finally when the actual invoices are sent back from vendors and updated within the system these would be our final (Actual) volume which finalize our marketing metrics. Volume, RR%, AOS, total rev, total orders layered in with planned cost, response curves, and package/material costs.
- Just to add to the process that we have in place. This is fully automated – everything from loading the projects into IBM Marketing Operations, daily forecast changes provided to a reporting datamart, adhoc access to the marketing team to understand how their campaigns are performing. Actual revenue being fed back into the application for a quick snap shot at particular contact sends.
In closing, it’s clear that the annual planning process requires new levels of alignment and collaboration supported by data-driven decisions based on shared KPIs. One webinar participant provided us an excellent example.
Best Overall Best Practice for Annual Planning came from Bridget Arnott of Axiometrics:
Strategic planning for marketing includes content tied to campaigns to drive brand equity and lead conversion through the buyers’ decision processes. We prepare our content calendar for the year, including nurturing campaigns: renewal, welcome, client and non-client, and this is married to support promotion (lead gen) campaigns and advertising during each business cycle. From there, we pull historical data on expected response/conversion rate, multiplied by close rate and average deal size to present our financial assumptions for revenue contribution. We align with sales leadership, in this planning process, to “stack hands” on our annual revenue number. We develop sample copy, collateral and assets to support the campaigns and assumptions. Taking all of this, we present a formal overview, including financial assumptions and marketing budget, to the executive leadership team so it’s supported by all stakeholders. As part of implementation, we watch the metrics and pivot where necessary so we remain agile.
With a four-person team, and following the revenue marketing formula, we’re on track to exceed our initial revenue assumptions by 100%. It works!
Related Resources for Strategic Planning, Budgeting and Management (SPB&M)
Debbie is a nationally recognized thought leader, innovator and speaker in Revenue Marketing with more than 30 years of experience applying strategy, technology and process to help B2B companies drive revenue growth. She is the author of the award winning book – “Rise of the Revenue Marketer,” Chancellor of Revenue Marketing University, and host of Revenue Marketer Radio (WRMR). Debbie has been at the forefront of the marketing automation phenomenon, first as a beneficiary, and now as an advocate and expert. She is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to Revenue Marketing transformation, leadership, change management, sales and marketing alignment, ROI, content, organization, talent and marketing operations. She coined the term “Revenue Marketer” in 2011. As a principal partner and chief strategy officer of The Pedowitz Group, Debbie is responsible for developing and managing global client relationships, as well as leading the firm’s thought leadership initiatives. Debbie is also PhD candidate and her dissertation topic is how the CMO adopts financial accountability in an e-marketing environment.
- Posted by Debbie Qaqish
- On 08/16/2017
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