Tag Archives: ROI

What’s it worth?

In business the value of something is what most things are about. You deliver a service, wich is valued by another, they pay you for this service. It’s the key of doing business. In Marketing Operations (MO) companies that evolve toward higher and more sophisticated Marketing Operations are reaping a higher value. In Journey to Marketing Operations Maturity one can read that high-value MO goes beyond automation, measurement and administration to include higher value-add tools such as cross-functional collaboration, change management, metrics alignment, competency development, predictive analytics, and the like.

According to the survey, companies showed clear tendencies to extend the scope of MO. Thus, the scope of MO typically includes fundamental, expanded, and sophisticated elements:

  • Fundamental MO Scope — Includes budget management, customer relationship management (CRM), vendor management, marketing outcomes measurement, and marketing services (e.g., bill of materials, licensing, pricing, creative, production management).
  • Expanded MO Scope — Expands beyond the “Fundamental MO Scope” to comprise marketing campaign automation, process mapping and design, best practices and knowledge management, cross-functional and behavior-rewards alignment, marketing operations management (MOM), marketing resource management (MRM), digital asset management (DAM), and marketing process metrics.
  • Sophisticated MO Scope — Evolves to higher sophistication than the “Expanded MO Scope” to include advanced processes (e.g., LEAN Enterprise, Six Sigma, and supply chain management), marketing governance, portfolio management, customer profitability, change management, competency development, shared vision and strategic management, enterprise marketing management, metrics alignment, and predictive analytics.

The graph shows the progression over time from “Fundamental” to “Expanded” to “Sophisticated” practices

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Optimizing for ROI

In today’s market marketing teams are under more and more pressure to perform and get results. ROI is a magic word in marketing now-a-days, while budgets and resources are under pressure as well. In the meantime customers are holding back and getting less and less faithfull to just one brand. So, pressure is on for the marketing department, because you can only do so much to get better results.

There are several trends today which cause this higher pressure, says a paper by DMA and SAS.

  • Consumers are more empowered then ever
  • Data volumes are exploding
  • New contact channels add complexity and dissonance
  • You don’t control all the channels
  • There’s more opportunity for confusion and noise
  • Marketing organizations are drowning in data

How can marketers keep their head up in all this turmoil? How can they identify the best strategy that will deliver the best returns on from marketing investments?

Wilson Raj, Global Customer Intelligence Director at SAS shed his light on how to improve ROI on your marketing investments during a webinar sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association and SAS.  Optimization is the keyword, he says.

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Organize Marketing Materials For Better Platform Adoption

Elements of user interface that you control are vital to the success of your marketing platform adoption & ROI.  You are developing the materials in order to be a simple, effective shortcut for your marketers while you provide them a healthy freedom within a framework.  Your goal is to make available a path to success in record time.  Saving your participants time will save your budget.  Making the items easy to navigate and locate will be one of the top contributers to user adoption success.

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The #1 Cost-Saving Strategy That 99% of Marketers Overlook

I’ve enjoyed working in B2B marketing for the last fifteen years. And I’ve seen it all, from online behaviour analysis to lead nurturing; from personalized messaging to social media marketing.  Some of these trends have provided dramatic traction for B2B marketers and some have been less impressive.

But in recent years, as companies have pressed for a tangible demonstration of ROI for their marketing spend, I have wondered about the metrics of the marketing ‘deliverable’, and whether or not companies aren’t perhaps missing something critical.

What vs. How

As marketers, we spend a lot of time evaluating ‘what’ we do in the marketplace and hardly focus on the ‘how’ – in other words, the ‘creative & strategy’ versus ‘operations & processes’. And if we were to take a survey of the most experienced marketers around the world, I’m fairly certain that they would say they’ve made their career on the ‘what’.

And here’s where I see a gaping hole.

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Grade A-Marketers Measure Results

Marketing is under pressure to deliver results and drive business outcomes. But how are they doing? Research shows that measuring marketing’s performance is an area of major frustration for the C-Suite and a significant challenge for most marketers. In fact, according to the ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing (VEM) just completed study, most marketers are dissatisfied with their MPM capabilities. On average, marketers award their marketing organization’s ability to manage its performance a 5.6 on a scale of 10.

In August 2012, ITSMA and VisionEdge Marketing conducted a Marketing Performance Management Survey with 405 marketers to assess marketing’s performance with regards to how they use data, metrics, and analytics. With more than a decade of industry ‘talk’ on the topic of marketing accountability,  this research shows that only a few exceptional marketers have cracked the code.

Those few marketers whose leadership team assigned them ‘A’ grade for their ability to demonstrate their impact to the business have adopted six principles of Marketing Performance Management to increase marketing ROI and contribution. They are:

  • Alignment
  • Accountability
  • Analytics
  • Automation
  • Alliances
  • Assessment

The A-list marketers VisionEdge has identified are able to show how marketing can benefit the organization: 96% say they can prove the direct link between business goals and marketing activities; 91% say it’s clear to the management how marketing impacts the business; and 90% say that marketing can measure and benchmark their results. That is another important takeaway from the study – the A category use statistics as a basis for important decisions, and are more mature when it comes to adoption of Marketing Automation systems.

The survey identified several characteristics in the organization of successful marketers:

  • Empower Marketing Operations
  • Implement integration and interoperability initiatives
  • Institutionalize marketing standards
  • Establish formal partners within IT, sales, and finance
  • Regularly benchmark to drive performance innovation

For more information, there is an abbreviated summary available for free download.

How Product Information Management Systems Reduce Costs

In my last post, I discussed the growing importance of effective product information management (PIM), particularly for large enterprises with extensive product portfolios. Product data is required by many business functions and technology systems across the enterprise, and as a result, most organizations have product information spread across numerous information systems.

This approach to PIM creates duplicative and inefficient work processes, generates excessive costs, increases marketing cycle time, and leads to a lack of confidence in the accuracy of product information.

In response to these challenges, a growing number of enterprises are turning to dedicated software applications to streamline product information management processes and tasks. These technologies are typically called product information management systems (PIMS), and if properly deployed, they can provide several important operational and financial benefits. In this post, I’ll describe how a robust PIMS can reduce costs; in my next post, I’ll discuss how a PIMS can help enterprises market more effectively and grow revenues.

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Marketing Automation Increases Lead Generation Efficiency

Marketers who use a Marketing Automation system generate more leads, is one of the results from the Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study by the Lenskold Group. The marketers reviewed reported an increase in six key outcomes, with 6 in 10 reporting increased quantity and quality of leads and close to half reporting increases in the Percent of Leads Accepted by Sales and the Total Marketing Revenue Contribution.

The 2012 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study examined how integrated Marketing Automation, strengths in key competencies and the use of ROI metrics influence marketing performance and key lead generation outcomes. The results were drawn from 373 B2B lead generation marketers with responsibilities to generate leads for a sales organization or external channel partner. The research study provides guidance on what is necessary to achieve effective and efficient lead generation marketing. Read More…

Creating a Marketing Performance Management Policy

Today’s marketers are under relentless pressure to obtain data, prove ROI and justify decisions. Marketers even have to go so far as to justify choices that haven’t been made yet, hence the momentum behind predictive analytics. It would seem we are in the the singular pursuit of measurement. So far this year, at every conference, event and customer meeting I’ve attended the question of ‘How do we show ROI?’ has surfaced.

Many marketers we work with have functional responsibilities and therefore their measures often reflect their role. As a result, the measures are frequently independent of each other and it’s difficult for marketing to truly demonstrate its impact and value. For example, social media marketers may be measuring mentions, sentiment, or traffic back to the website (hopefully you have moved beyond likes, and followers as your core metrics of success). Website/content marketers may be measuring the most popular pages or content downloads (hopefully you have moved beyond number of new items posted to the site in some period). SEO marketers may be measuring traffic and search engine ranking (hopefully you have moved beyond pages indexed or the number of backlinks). Email marketers may be measuring open and delivery rates (hopefully you have moved beyond counting the number of campaigns deployed). Asking the question, ‘How to measure the ROI of these tactics?’ is the wrong question. Read More…

Brands Seek Proof for Facebook ROI

Brand owners such as Unilever, Ford and Coca-Cola are still attempting to fully prove the payback from using Facebook, but remain confident in the potential it provides to engage consumers. Recent research by Facebook covering 63 ad campaigns found a majority yielded three times the original expenditure, whereas only a single case delivered a return below one times the initial outlay.

A campaign run on behalf of Suave, the beauty range manufactured by fast-moving consumer goods group Unilever, generated $8.41 for every dollar spent, according to these figures. Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer at Unilever, told the Wall Street Journal this return on investment (ROI) was ‘impressive’, but warned Facebook’s ‘journey’ had just begun:

As a businessman and marketer, ultimately, you care about ROI. At the end of the day, you will get the early adopters of the large companies who can see [Facebook] as a big trend but you won’t get sustained businesses without people understanding how ROI is concerned. Read More…

Marketers Should Focus More On ROI, CEOs Say

About 3 in 4 CEOs globally say they want marketers to become fully focused on ROI, according to a Fournaise Marketing Group survey released in July 2012. A similar proportion think marketers misunderstand the real meaning of the words ‘results’, ‘ROI’ and ‘performance’. The upshot of this is that 8 in 10 CEOs believe marketers are disconnected from companies’ financial realities, and as a result, the same proportion claim they do not trust and are not very impressed by the work done by marketers.

CEOs’ concerns regarding marketers’ focus on ROI finds some basis in marketers’ own perceptions. According to a March 2012 report from Columbia University and the New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA), 57% of senior marketers say they don’t base their marketing budgets on any ROI analysis. In fact, roughly two-thirds report establishing their marketing budgets in part on historical spending, and 28% on gut instincts. And when looking at specific spending decisions, 21% say they use financial metrics for little or none of the decisions, while 7% are making most or all of the decisions absent any metrics at all. Read More…