The importance of aligning your marketing KPIs with what matters most to the C-Suite -- revenue gains -- can’t be underestimated. The good news is, most marketers seem to be getting the message. But a new report by Spiceworks shows some disconnects still exist. Although I’ve written previously about this topic, it’s worth revisiting. Here are three ways marketers can make a greater impact on revenue:
- Measure What Matters: When it comes to driving revenue, marketers need to start with measurement – measurement that maps to their organization’s revenue goals. According to the Spiceworks report, the top objective claimed by 57% of B2B marketers is to influence revenue through new account acquisition. In addition, 39% planned to increase revenue by cross-selling existing accounts. That’s the good news. The bad news is that less than half (45%) of marketing departments actually measure how much revenue they’re influencing, and over a quarter (27%) admitted they “don’t know” how much revenue they are even tasked with delivering in the first place. Marketers need to know all their companies’ revenue objectives and be able to track their influence on these. Read on for more on how to do that.
- Save Geeky Marketing Metrics for Marketers: So what metrics are marketers tracking? Top answers focus on web traffic (e.g. site visits (81%), traffic by sources (77%), etc.) and email campaign metrics (e.g. click-through rates (79%), marketing qualified leads (65%), content downloads (63%), etc.) But too few marketers are tracking conversions or revenue metrics: only 57% track deals closed and only 44% track the number of pipeline opportunities they have influenced. Marketers need to flip the script here by tracking and tying their activities into business revenue metrics and clearly communicating these when in front of senior management (who prioritize financial metrics). Save the geeky, intricate campaign results for internal marketing audiences only.
- Get the Big Picture: To eliminate any disconnects between marketing and senior management, start by thinking big. For example, while 72% of marketers surveyed said lead metrics are very or extremely important to their departments, only 63% believe leads are highly important to business leaders. Worse, more than a quarter (28%) of marketers admit their objectives are only “somewhat” or “not at all” aligned with their company’s objectives. This dynamic may be attributed to management that isn’t clearly communicating or – even worse -- doesn’t know its business and revenue targets. But it may also be that marketers are missing the bigger picture and falling back to what they know and what they can easily track (e.g. clicks and leads). Measuring revenue influence on pipeline and revenue via multiple marketing campaigns and channels can be challenging but must be accomplished in order become aligned with senior leadership and connect crucial metrics to what executives are most interested in: revenue.
The bottom line is, marketing is a perceived (and actual) cost center, and marketers live under constant scrutiny to prove the ROI of their activities to ensure their success and perhaps their very survival. As a result, it’s important to embrace the mandate to understand overall company revenue objectives and be able to clearly show how your efforts influence and impact these. It’s that simple. How are you measuring your revenue impact?
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