If there is one thing you could do in your marketing to make a lasting difference in your ability to impact the business, it’s change what you measure. —Samantha’s Stone
You’ve probably figured it out by now, but measuring open rates and creating sophisticated marketing dashboards won’t get you far. If you really want to have a positive impact on your business (and advance your career), you need to take it a step further.
The real value lies in being able to make informed decisions based on meaningful data and being able to communicate the huge impact of marketing to your CFO and management team.
These concepts are at the heart of a MarketingProfs Master Class, “A Field Guide to Marketing for Defining and Measuring Financial Goals,” which begins May 11 with expert instructor Samantha Stone.
Pierre, the author of Unleash Possible: A Marketing Handbook That Boosts Sales, is a revenue catalyst, B2B marketing strategist, researcher, speaker, consultant and personal coach. She is also the founder of The Marketing Advisory Network, which helps business leaders unlock the possible within their businesses.
We recently spoke with Stone about the importance of aligning marketing with business goals through setting and measuring financial goals.
Marketing professionals: How important is it for marketers to align with the business and its revenue goals?
Rock: If there is one thing you could do in your marketing to make a lasting difference in your ability to impact the business, it’s change what you measure. When we measure the right types of things, while that can be difficult, can be somewhat manual and maybe not perfect … when we focus on the right business goals, it creates an environment where marketers are free to do so. the right decisions for the company and not to chase ineffective measures.
Marketing professionals: How can marketers move from measuring marketing activity to demonstrating their true value to an organization?
Rock: It’s easier than you think, but we’re a little afraid of it. Many years ago I was working for a software company, and marketing was measured by what you would expect: number of inbound leads and pipeline contribution.
We had done a whole bunch of analysis beyond those two metrics to see what kinds of things were affecting the growth of the business – what really made the first meeting go into a real pipeline, what was it? what went from the pipeline to customers. But yet, we were still held accountable to the main number.
One day the CEO of the company came into my office and he said, “I want you to be responsible for the bottom line with sales at the close and win rate.” And I thought, “No way, man. I’m not going to be responsible for what sales do. You’re crazy.”
I sat down and made all of these arguments as to why it was not the right thing to do. He smiled, he left my office and I thought, “OK. I’ll take a deep breath now and let me think about what to do. “
Marketing professionals: And what conclusion did you come to?
Rock: Once I took that deep breath, I realized, “Do you know what? They are absolutely right. If I actually share these goals with my business counterparts, we’re completely aligned with what we’re trying to do. I deliver fewer leads, but I affect the business more directly. It allows me to make different decisions than I might have made if I had only been held accountable for a championship goal, only a marketing contribution goal. “
And it turned out to be true.
Since that really difficult conversation, I’ve taken a step back and built measurement systems that keep us aligned with business goals. The revenue pipeline is one of those goals. This is not the only one, we are measuring other things as well, but it is extremely important if we are to be the best possible partners for the company as a whole, and certainly for our sales team.
Marketing professionals: And how do you go about being a key partner for your financial colleagues as well?
Rock: Being able to attend a board meeting or management meeting, even sit down with the account manager, or your CFO who is budgeting for next year, and have a direct line between the activities you we’re trying to fund and the result that they’re likely to have on the business, that changes the conversation a lot. It becomes much more strategic.
Also, it provides a level of flexibility for marketers, so that we can experiment, and we don’t just have to do the same things that we predictably know they will provide X because we have the flexibility to do things as the business evolves, as their audience changes as the effectiveness of individual programs changes.
Earning the right to have these strategic and flexible approaches to marketing is really freeing up for a marketing team. It gives us so much more empowerment and confidence to be able to do the things we need to be able to do day in and day out.
Marketing professionals: Life is busy for traders right now. Why should they take the time to discover this new Master Class?
Rock: I believe it deeply: if there’s only one thing we can change that affects the outcome of our marketing program, it’s changing what we measure. I have seen it time and time again. In the course, we talk about many examples where this change has had a significant impact on what marketing can do for the business.
Moreover, the great part of the Master Class format is that each section is modular; you learn in small chunks. You can enter and review at your leisure; you can break away and look at a particular item that is important to you.
I hope people will find it very practical in its application, and also very inspiring in giving them the confidence to step into the office of their CFO or Marketing Director, or even sometimes their CEO or the Board of Directors, and feeling confident to present the types of goals and metrics they know are going to make a big difference, and knowing that there is research and data behind why these items are selected.
Marketing professionals: Are there other take-out foods that you hope attendees get?
Rock: I hope they have some reliance on data that is not purely automated. Good measurement systems use technology to provide as much information as possible, but we still need ways to do a manual reconciliation, and I don’t want people to be afraid of that.
And I hope this course inspires people, regardless of their background, not to be afraid to measure the things that are going to be truly meaningful to them, even if it is not a perfect science.
Marketing professionals: It’s great to let people know that no matter where they are in their journey and their career, they will get something out of it.
Rock: Yes. I really believe it. Ultimately, we all want to do a good job that makes a difference, and the only way to know that work makes a difference, other than a gut test, is to build measurement systems that relate the work we do to meet business goals, and also knowing what things to measure and what not to measure.
This course, I hope, will help lay the groundwork for people to really understand how they’re going to build these systems, what they’re going to present from an executive perspective, and then what they’re just going to use for their own day-to-day marketing decision-making processes.
In addition, the course is available on demand, but we also have the option of doing the Watch Parties live. I really hope to see a lot of people there because I will be live on these sessions answering any specific questions people might have about applying these lessons within their specific organization. Hope people take this opportunity.
Learn more about the Master Class starting on May 11 and register here.
Other MarketingProfs Master Classes
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