The mythical “Marketing Unicorn” – able to produce closed-loop reporting in a single bound. Buzzing along its side are the “Database Fairies” with the ability to gather any and all data, no matter the platform, accuracy, or detail. Marketing Unicorns and Database Fairies prance into your marketing automation system in the middle of the night, producing beautifully clear and accurate dashboards that are then delivered by fairy dust to your executive suite…
It’s easy for marketing to show activity, that’s what we do. We create campaigns to generate demand. What becomes difficult is when marketers are asked to show reports that tie activity to revenue results. These metrics cannot be gathered by marketing alone, and require sales and marketing alignment in both the lead management process and technology to produce. Even when these processes are in place, data needs to be accurate and updated regularly – maybe even automatically to populate reporting.

Many organizations forget the processes part. If you’re using your systems, you must have data, right? Well, you might have numbers, but you don’t necessarily have data that lead to metrics, which lead to actionable reporting!

What kind of processes? It’s often the simplest things that we take for granted:

  • Our lead sources are accurate, and travel through lead to contact to opportunity
  • We’re using our systems correctly, so we know the initiatives that had an impact on the opportunity
  • We’ve got SLAs in place so that marketing and sales data is aligned
  • We all know the definitions of the different stages of the funnel
  • We have contacts, not just accounts, associated with opportunities, so we can track the activity of individuals that have an effect on a deal, not just the amorphous “company” with whom you did the deal

Sales, IT, and executive stakeholders need to align with marketing to produce and follow the right processes to produce correct revenue attribution. Yes, you can start to collect metrics quickly. But at The Pedowitz Group, we’ve found that it takes one to two years to develop a true Revenue Marketing department that is producing, and accurately measuring, revenue results. So if it feels like you’re moving a mountain to ascertain the smallest revenue marketing metric, you’re probably moving in the right direction—and not just chasing a unicorn.

Written By: Emily Salus & Majda Anwar