In several previous posts I have been discussing the ways that marketers (and other business professionals) can gain and maintain a secure position at the senior management table. Taking hold of that seat means being more agile, social, and connected in your marketing activities, and in everything else you do to generate revenue and drive profitable results.
But, probably the most important prerequisite for owning that coveted management seat is to inject more “intelligence” into every aspect of how you develop, deploy, and measure marketing. Smarter information, better data, and intelligent insights are now watchwords for marketing programs that deliver bottom-line results and consistent, predictable ROI.
These more intelligent marketing assets and tools are crucial to building and operating a high performance revenue engine. They are essential to succeeding in today’s complex, fiercely competitive business environment.
You’ve no doubt heard the hoary business axiom, “Half my marketing spend is wasted, but I just don’t know which half.” Now, I realize you are probably groaning right now at the mention of that crusty old line. However, I bet that you would also agree that it is much truer than it should be.
Here’s another way of looking at the problem. This is from Marketo’s newly published “Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics”:
Do you know what profits a 10% increase in your marketing budget would generate? According to the Lenskold Group’s 2010 B2B Lead Generation Marketing ROI Study, the most common answer to this question is “I Don’t Know.”
Forty-four percent (44%) of qualified marketers have no idea what a 10% budget increase could do for their companies.
No one in business today should ever wonder which half of their marketing spend is performing (or not). Nor should they ever be clueless about the real impact a budget increase would have on their marketing results.
With more intelligent marketing metrics and analytics, marketing and sales teams no longer need to fly blind.
Taking Intelligent Steps to Transform Marketing Into a Revenue-Generator
By continuously measuring the effect they have on revenue, marketers are taking the necessary steps to transform marketing from being viewed as a corporate cost-center, to being a true revenue-generator. And, the minute your work is viewed within the revenue prism, you assume a much more powerful position in the corporate hierarchy. For sure, the CEO and CFO are going to look at your marketing efforts in an entirely different way.
A critical starting point in achieving this intelligent transformation of your marketing activities is to adopt Revenue Performance Management. RPM extends beyond traditional marketing automation and lead nurturing technologies to optimize interactions with buyers across the Revenue Cycle and accelerate predictable revenue growth.
RPM is all about making intelligent marketing – and revenue – decisions across the full range of online and offline customer interaction channels. These channels include everything from the web and mobile, to social and events.
An important initial step along the RPM journey is to have a clear ROI decision. You need to think about what are you doing that’s going to pay back, and what probably (likely) won’t. Smart new analytics solutions now enable marketers to glance across all of their marketing programs, or just a subset, to determine what’s working, or not. These intelligent systems allow you to drill into campaigns, webinars, trade shows, and search marketing to analyze how they are affecting the bottom line. You can also analyze how all of these activities are performing together.
Just as you might do in managing your personal financial portfolio, you can use these intelligent analytics solutions to rebalance and re-calibrate your marketing efforts to measure and maximize results. Driving breakout revenue performance doesn’t just happened on its own. It results from continuously measuring and improving every aspect of your marketing program. In other words, it takes being more intelligent in your revenue processes.
Knowing What Actually Matters in the Revenue Process
One of the hardest things in successfully adopting RPM is ensuring that the marketing and sales teams really work together to get the forensics about what’s going on every day (and every moment) relative to the myriad touch-points in the Revenue Cycle. In a typical customer engagement scenario, there might be a total of 500 unique interactions.
The crucial question becomes: How do you know what actually matters?
Being able to accurately and rapidly answer that question can mean the difference in closing the deal, and losing the sale. Companies are now starting to use intelligent Revenue Cycle Analytics solutions (like those from Marketo) that help them to model the entire end-to-end revenue funnel so that they can understand what is happening at each critical point in the process.
These solutions provide the information and insights for the marketing professionals and the sales team to sit down together to fully understand what are the different events in that customer lifecycle that are making a difference. They also point out what needs to be addressed, tracked, and followed up on. Naturally, the key is to do more of those things that are connecting and working, and stop doing the ones that aren’t.
This is not about pretty pictures and charts. It is about getting down and dirty…and using granular marketing and sales analytics and data to drive results. It’s about bringing even more intelligence to every aspect of your revenue process.
And that is where RPM again comes into play. By bringing together truly intelligent capabilities to generate more leads, more buyers, and more dollars, RPM enables marketing teams to clearly demonstrate to the C-suite how their efforts are positively impacting revenue.
Using RPM, marketers can now determine very quickly (almost in real-time) what’s not performing well, and then make adjustments to improve results. That’s real intelligence at work, driving significantly greater revenue results.