What Marketing Executives in Denver and Chicago are Saying About Metrics

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Our 14-city tour of roundtable discussions (part of Marketo’s Revenue Rockstar Roadshow tour) continues with stops in Denver and Chicago to learn what CMO’s and senior marketing executives there are saying and doing about metrics that drive revenue marketing performance. This is what they had to say:

Denver CMO Roundtable:

  • As in other cities, executives here continue to stress over first touch, last touch and how to assign marketing influence across multiple touch points.
  • How do you report metrics when you have a really long sales cycle? (Why don’t we ask the client?)
  • Ongoing issue of how to get executives to think differently and invest in marketing.
  • 80/20 is still the rule.
  • Only looking at cost per lead can be very dangerous.
  • No one metric tells the whole story.
  • What would happen without marketing? If senior management gave you 10% more budget, what could you do with it?
  • Tracking results is fundamental.
  • CEOs typically look for a 20-50% return on investment. Otherwise, they put money elsewhere.
  • Discussion around how to change the perception of marketing as a cost center to that of a revenue driver.
  • How do you account for lifetime value of a customer when marketing values a lead?
  • Still seeing top marketing executives tied to some revenue number. This varies on team members below the executive level.
  • Talk around the importance of not making arbitrary assignments of value (for example: leads from tradeshows.)

Chicago CMO Roundtable:

  • Executives are looking at profit versus just revenue.
  • Consensus says: always start with assumptions.
  • Consider both sides: efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Techniques to assess incremental lift include:
    • Results tracking
    • Pre/post analysis
    • Market testing (% in mix, test, use a control group)
    • Modeling (2 years of data and then correlate project moving forward)
  • All agreed on the need to have a metrics discipline in place.
  • All agreed on the need for a strong control group to compare against that is similar in size and make-up.
  • The five best opportunities to improve ROI (according to Lenskold Group)
    • Targeting and segmentation
    • Improve conversations late in the funnel.
    • Reduce leakage with better integration.
    • Accelerate leakage of low-potential prospects.
    • Gain efficiency, eliminating low impact media.
  • When asked, “If you had 10% more budget, what would your ROI be?” – no one had a solid answer.
  • Agreed that, when you don’t have statistics, you should show multiple touches to management including first, last and assigned.
  • Discussed idea that if you have a question, you can devise a test.
  • Discussed “communicating up” through dashboards, metrics vs. goal, tracking what matters to senior management, and showing trends that are easy to understand.
  • What should you present to the board?
    • More pictures, fewer details.
    • Marketing is not arts and crafts.
  • Pick five things and make an impact!

What are you doing about revenue and metrics?

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