There have been many articles out there about how the role of Marketing is changing and how CMOs must evolve to stay relevant, however an article called B2B Marketing Research: How CMO’s Can Evolve: Accurately Measure Marketing’s ImpactHow CMO Roles Need to Evolve, written by Robert Rose (Chief Strategist at the Content Marketing Institute) really caught my eye. This article discusses a study Forrester the Business Marketing Association jointly worked on called B2B CMOs Must Evolve Or Move On and breaks it down for us in a bit more realistic terms.
The three main topics addressed in the article are all spot on, but I want to take them one step further and go into a little detail into some concrete actions CMOs can take to ensure Marketing gets a say in the revenue discussions:
Marketing’s role wins new influence and importance. Robert makes an excellent point that not all B2B business have embraced some of the more modern aspects of marketing (social media, content marketing, etc.). From an executive’s perspective it is very easy to look at a marketing email and say “well 14,000 people opened it, 280 people clicked through to the landing page, and 120 people are now part of current opportunities – so yes this campaign will generate $1 million for us this quarter,” but it is not as easy to quantify the value of other campaigns if they are not measured properly. To understand the true value of all of Marketing’s campaigns you have to dig deeper and look at the Campaign Influence of Marketing’s programs to really get a granular look at how Marketing is driving revenue. Using this methodology allows marketers to show exactly how all types of Marketing campaigns play a role in driving revenue and pushing prospects through the various stages of the buyer’s cycle and will enable CMOs and Marketing teams to accurately quantify the value of every single campaign they run.
Growing expectations place a staggering burden on marketing. Couldn’t agree more – in the age of big data and digital marketing there is a huge amount of pressure on Marketing to quantify the results of its programs and prove that it adds to the bottom line. The truth is this is actually a pretty simple fix. CMOs and Marketing teams should leverage the existing CRM solutions at their company (salesforce.com, etc.) to track and measure all Marketing programs. The more CMOs and Marketing departments are able to quantify the value of their campaigns (ROI, conversion rates, net new leads generated, whatever their company’s KPIs are) the easier it will be to temper expectations to become more realistic and also to prove that you are meeting or exceeding those expectations. By measuring Marketing in your company’s CRM solution you do it in a place where key stakeholders like Sales and the executive team are already looking at Sales data anyway. This really helps align Sales and Marketing and also empower the whole measurement process because all the customer data is stored in your CRM solution, which enables you to get more granular with your measurements.
Relationships with IT, sales, and executives are deepening. Absolutely true. As Marketing teams are utilizing all sorts of marketing technologies (marketing automation, social listening, CRM, SEO/SEM, etc.) and much more it has become crucial to work more closely with IT to make sure these are working properly. Sales and Marketing are drawing closer and closer together because there is so much data available and Marketing can now easily quantify its relationship with Sales using CRM systems to build out Marketing-Sales hand-off processes and create complete customer response lifycycle workflows. The executive teams are more interested then ever in Marketing results because they know it is possible to quantify them now so the old adage “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted … I just don’t know which half” is no longer relevant – they want to know what’s working and how to make it even better. So keep all these key stakeholders in the loop – hold meetings to sync up with them, send up weekly or monthly updates – it doesn’t matter exactly what you do as long as Marketing is not in its own silo.
The crux of the matter is this – yes CMOs need to evolve, but its not just CMOs. Marketing as a whole needs to become more data driven and track its programs and campaigns the same way Sales does, this is the only way that Marketing will be able to accurately quantify its contributions to the bottom line, get more aligned with key stakeholders, and truly be able to drive more value from its programs.
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