Tag Archives: Marketing Measurement

Big Data and Analytics: Five Foundational Elements

In my previous post, I explained what b-to-b marketers can gain from using advanced analytics. But because many marketers lack the foundation for planning, implementing and using big data, adoption of advanced analytics remains low. Without putting in place the required elements for an analytics foundation, marketers will continue to find that fulfilling the promise of big data’s benefits is out of reach. To get the most leverage from their analytics efforts, organizations must first ensure the following five elements are in place:

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Why Bother With Advanced Analytics?

There’s no shortage of discussion about the possibilities of big data and advanced analytics for today’s b-to-b marketers. Sales and marketing analytics covers a spectrum of data and techniques, from historical to exploratory to predictive analysis. Historical analysis, which examines past activities or results across a range of categories, is used to report on marketing and sales performance, monitor process compliance and improve future effectiveness. Exploratory analysis conducts what-if analysis to identify scenarios that may result in improved outcomes. Predictive analysis uses the outputs of historical and exploratory analysis to anticipate outcomes and find the best ways to improve effectiveness. Big data plays a role in all three forms of analysis, although more so in exploratory and predictive analysis.

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How to Tell the Real Story of Marketing’s Impact This Year

Now that we’re closing in on the end of the quarter, and for many organizations the end of the fiscal year, let’s take a moment to reflect on our marketing results. Looking back at everything you did, what would you say made the biggest impact on financial results? How do you know? Yes, this is a loaded question, and it’s getting harder to answer. For many of our clients, 2013 saw a shift away from marketers focusing exclusively on demand creation toward more balanced support for reputation, sales enablement and market intelligence objectives, along with demand creation. Many of these efforts involved account-based work such as helping sales source demand in target accounts and providing post-sale customer experience support. In 2014, this shift will accelerate, as non-demand-creation activity becomes an accepted part of marketing’s charter. Even for companies that focus mainly on demand creation, there’s change: We see a shift to maintaining marketing involvement way before and long after the lead goes to sales, based on customer preference for continued online interactions.

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The Top Five Characteristics of High-Performance Marketing

Many b-to-b CMOs find themselves in a tricky position. The evolution of the buyer’s journey means that many CMOs and their teams are taking on an expanded scope of responsibilities to reach empowered buyers who are conducting their own research before talking to sales. At the same time, marketing is still struggling to prove its value in many organizations, which typically focus on sales and product management. As Jay Gaines, vice president and group director at SiriusDecisions, explained in a recent webcast, the only solution for CMOs is to lead a high-performance marketing function. Here’s our earlier post describing Jay’s take on what high-performance marketing isn’t. Now, the top five characteristics of true high-performance marketing:

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Breaking Down Marketing Silos

As I pass the one-month mark of my tenure as a research analyst for SiriusDecisions’ Strategic Communications Management service, I’ve found myself reflecting on the amazing amount of change that has happened in marketing in only a few years, and how those changes have reshaped the modern marketing organization. What was once a relatively stable and homogenous business function is now a collection of deeply etched specialties that often struggle to speak the same language. SiriusDecisions was founded on the need to align marketing with sales; today, we need to work hard just to align marketing with marketing.

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B2B Brand and the Revenue Imperative

Over the past year, I have met every Friday afternoon with my esteemed colleague Ross Graber – research director for our Marketing Operations Strategies service ­– every Friday afternoon for a sometimes painful, always thought-provoking discussion on b-to-b brand measurement. One result of these discussions was a new framework, introduced at last month’s SiriusDecisions Summit, that is designed to help organizations operationalize their approach to gathering brand insights. The framework took what is usually an expensive annual outsourced exercise and turned it into something that organizations can implement on their own as a sort of joint venture between brand managers and marketing operations.

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A Modeled Approach to Marketing’s Contribution

As we provide benchmark studies for SiriusDecisions clients, we often see organizations struggle to measure marketing’s contribution to, and influence on, sales pipeline. As a first step toward capturing these key performance indicators, we walk clients through a model that breaks down typical marketing contribution and mix based on three go-to-market strategies: direct enterprise accounts, inside commercial accounts, and small-and-medium-sized business (SMB)/channel accounts.

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Data Measures Activities, Too

Do your marketing reports measure contact activities (e.g. number of contacts generated from a webinar)? Do your marketing tactics use contact activity to generate the target list (e.g. contacts who downloaded certain assets)? Does your scoring model use contact activity to help prioritize leads? If you’re like most marketers, the answer to all these questions is “yes.” Why, then, do most marketing operations teams neglect to include or discuss contact activity data when embarking upon a data quality, data management or data governance project? Why focus only on field-based data?

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Marketing Measurement Snake Oil

The Web is littered with prescriptions for what your marketing measurement needs to be like and look like. There’s way too much bad advice being dispensed from sources that you’d expect to be credible. Whether this advice is well intentioned or simply snake oil, b-to-b marketers need to be able to spot bad measurement advice and reject it. Here are some common flavors.

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