Not all marketing activities are created equal. Some yield great results. Some involve lots of marketing effort. Some take more sales resources. Some have clear objectives, others happen because it’s always been that way. But with so many opinions from across the business about what marketing activities are the best, it’s hard to keep focused.
Figuring how marketing can achieve the greatest impact and how to demonstrate it, was top-of-mind at Marketing Nation Engage in London.
Here’s what marketing leaders find most challenging about marketing with impact:
Being able to attribute revenue to marketing campaigns is very important for speaking to leadership or the CMO. However, it is difficult to model. While first or last touch attribution is easier to model, it can lead to a biased decision. For instance, a last touch model may cause you to potentially overspend on search marketing while deprioritizing the tactics that got a customer there in the first place. Multi-touch attribution provides a more balanced view for a longer sales cycle, but it requires figuring out what weight to give to each stage. Once you get it down though, it becomes programmatic, and you can run reports to get updates easily.
It’s important to figure out what your primary KPIs are, along with the factors that drive them. Another challenge that marketers face is how to continually optimize their KPIs. One way to address this is to keep a close eye out—if KPIs move positively, then you are on the right track.
Marketing spans across many channels, which presents its own set of challenges. Each channel has a differing role across the sales and marketing channel, and intent differs between them. As such, there is no uniform way to measure engagement. Attribution comes into play here, and the key is figuring out how and where each channel is influencing revenue to assign it proper weight. Remember that if you can prove that something doesn’t work, you can’t ditch it. And if you can prove where you deliver value, you will get more budget and resources to put into it.
Another challenge for marketers is figuring out how to focus program spend. Remember that it’s not the advocates or the never-purchasers that you need to worry about, it’s the swing customers in the middle. These are the prospects who have the mindshare to convince others of your value, and the people you should be focusing your spend on. Perception, awareness, and attitude are key to understand how these prospects are engaging with your brand.
Reporting and ROI
Issues abound for marketers in this area. Many teams are not at the stage where they can prove impact. Headline metric categories are easy to select, but marketers struggle to get the underlying metrics. Selecting benchmarks can also be tough. A good starting place can be to make sure everyone has one common view on simple metrics. Next, define goals for each product, and align those to measurements. Once that foundation is in place, you can work towards measuring marketing influenced bookings that resulted in a sale, also known as return on marketing investment.
With more marketing channels and activities at our disposal than ever before, we need to be more focused. Proving highest impact campaigns comes down to being able to assess elements of the mix against each other. Ultimately, when measurement comes in revenue terms, it helps the business understand marketing’s value, improving perceptions and helping justify future budget requests.