It’s 2018 and the time is ripe for an open conversation on driving demand vs leads and the ROI of marketing investment. As I talk to CEO’s, marketing leaders and colleagues, I still hear a lot of the old lexicon. I hear marketers promising to deliver MQLs and establishing KPIs around that. I hear talk of technology as a panacea for all evil. Delivering and proving ROI/attribution for marketing initiatives and on and on. While some of the above holds true for a B2C marketers, for the rest I have one word – STOP.
Before we get into what the conversation needs to be about, I will list some thoughts and tips.
- Research over the last several years has shown that CMOs, in small to mid-size companies that get hired on the platform of delivering repeatable/scalable growth/ROI dashboards go through an 18-24 months revolving door.
- Tip: CMOs that succeed are those that are domain experts and where focus of the role and the CEO/CMO relationship is to drive towards building brand, establishing marketing dominance through AR/PR and driving partner and customer engagements.
- Unless your solution is a low ASV offering, search is not the channel to drive leads cost effectively.
- Tip: Note the emphasis on low ASV, leads and cost effectiveness. The buyer is no longer a singular person, nor searching on Google(emphasis on SEM) or providing accurate information on any capture form to create a meaningful lead. Re-evaluate your SEM effectiveness or potential given your domain and space and be realistic.
- Myriad technology offerings about learning buyer persona, creating ‘similar’ pools should not be viewed as lead generation channels. Trying to prove ROI of view through conversions and attribution analysis gets lost in translation and results in analysis paralysis.
- Tip: Defense is not a strategy. If as a B2B marketer you have to prove effectiveness of every channel you are already on thin ice. Your leadership team either gets it or they don’t. A momentary respite when quarterly revenues are good will not change their perceptions unless you start talking the right vocabulary and setting expectations from the get go.
So that said, what do we promise to deliver or strive towards? How do we show the effectiveness of our investment?
- Always start with the revenue targets for sales and the pipeline needed to deliver to those. An evaluation of the sources of leads through Organic, Event, ABM content Syndication peppered with SEM if it works for your domain, will define the total lead pool accessible. It’s that simple.
- Design campaigns and implement technologies that prioritize those leads based on company fit, behavior and timeliness and type of action. Then measure the effectiveness of those leads and your SDR KPIs to drive towards your pipeline goals. This is where the art and science comes in. This is what defines and sets apart your marketing initiatives from any other company.
- Continue to refine and measure and integrate across all the channels. The best results are achieved through integrated efforts and while any number of MQLs can be bought, the engagement and prioritization of the leads and their conversion is what will make you successful.
I will expand more into the details behind each of these in my future articles. Till then stay warm and as you go about your list of New Year resolutions, add one more!