Dominique Turpin, the president of IMD Business School, wrote an article earlier this week about how the Chief Marketing Officer is dead. I don’t believe that position is dead, in fact since the entire demand generation process has become more complicated it is more important then ever. However, to make sure that CMOs and marketing departments as a whole are as effective as possible there has to be focus on the scientific side of marketing as well as the artistic side.
The point he made that marketing impact can be hard to measure is true and possibly the biggest issue today’s marketing departments face (often times because they are too focused on the art as opposed to the science). Being unable to accurately quantify marketing’s contribution to a company’s bottom line leaves marketing executives unable to defend marketing’s spend or show the executive team the true value of having marketing around at all.
Here are a couple things CMOs (and marketing departments in general) can do to ensure that marketing is able to prove its value:
Hire marketing scientists. In many companies (and the general public) marketing is often viewed as an art – pretty banner ads, witty email campaigns, smooth websites, eye-catching booths at trade shows, etc. This is definitely a large part of marketing, but marketing is much more then just the content/materials produced. To prove the value of all these different campaigns and show how they impact revenue generation companies must hire marketing scientists to measure campaign performance as well as the marketing artists that are responsible for creating those campaigns. These scientists are the guys and gals that are generally (but not necessarily) in marketing ops and enjoy playing with data, running reports, and figuring out the results of your programs. They dive deep into your CRM, marketing automation solutions, BI tools, or wherever you have your campaign data stored, show you what actually drives revenue and track all your KPIs.
Leverage solutions that effectively track and measure data to help out those marketing scientists. This varies from company to company, but pretty much every well run business has some sort of CRM (customer relationship management) solution in place where they can at a bear minimum track how many leads come in from particular campaigns. From my own experience I have found it easier to keep track of the results of my marketing campaigns in salesforce.com (the CRM solution my company uses) because that is where the source of all the data is stored anyway. The point is you need to provide your marketing scientists a platform where the data is stored to measure your marketing efforts so they can provide those insights that help executives understand marketing’s impact.
Prove marketing’s contribution to the bottom line. By hiring more marketing scientists to analyze the data from your marketing programs and getting solutions in place that empower them to do this effectively everyone in your company will be able to understand exactly how much marketing contributes to revenue. With the right people and technology you can show key metrics such as the volume, conversion rates, and velocity of all your campaigns. You can split those out by different verticals, product lines, locations, and anything else that is stored in your CRM solution to figure out exactly how which campaigns influence revenue. Don’t get me wrong this is not something that will happen over night, but with a little time and effort combined with the right solution(s) you will be able to understand exactly how marketing affects your sales cycle and drives revenue.
The point is the position of a CMO is not dead at all. Since marketers have gained the ability to accurately track and measure the results of their programs, marketing has become more scientific then ever. CMOs armed with the right information play a huge role in any company’s strategic planning and can have a vast impact on revenue generation.