How Marketers Can Address the Pressure to Prove Impact
Marketers are facing added pressure not only to deliver results but to prove they’ve delivered them. It’s the age of marketing measurement.
Joe McNeill, CRO, Influ2, which describes itself as empowering marketers to prove sales, told Street Fight how marketers can do just that in a time of slimming budgets.
Why is the pressure so high right now for marketers to target and prove the impact of spend? And what evidence is there of that pressure?
Not too long ago, marketers were in a budget-rich environment where they were pushed for growth at all costs. Now with inflation staying put and a looming recession, we’re in a budget-tight environment where every dollar of spend is met with increased scrutiny.
Under pressure to prove value, many marketing teams are having to shift their mindset away from one that was narrowly focused on the volume of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or concurrent growth initiatives. A high number of MQLs who do not turn into long-term value customers distracts sales development representatives and wastes their time. It is also ultimately a waste in ad spend.
Every board meeting and quarter business review is evidence of this shift. Marketers who were once only accountable to or leaning on “swim lane metrics” are now being asked to prove how much revenue their spend is driving.
How can you ensure your messaging is reaching the right audience?
Marketers can ensure their messaging is reaching the right audience by focusing on the platforms and mediums where they can prove it. Marketers can provide sales with an engagement report on each individual decision-maker to better understand and converse with them on a personal level. Without contact-level insights on how each decision maker is engaging with ads — on what channels and with what messages — it is nearly impossible for sales teams to leverage marketing’s efforts to influence revenue.
Today, most buying decisions have an average of 11 people involved, so it is also imperative to develop relationships with multiple decision-makers simultaneously to ensure messaging lands in front of the right audience.
When the message does reach the right audience, how can you measure the impact?
To clearly understand and measure the impact of your ads, marketers should link ad engagement metrics to specific contacts within your customer relationship management software (CRM) and A/B test your prospecting conversion rates on the audiences who engaged with your ads versus the audience who has not.
Then, marketers can evaluate a) the number of new opportunities they have influenced, b) the extent to which this influence has increased conversion rates for sales development, c) the impact on the deals velocity and overall closing rate, and d) the effectiveness of retention and upselling programs.
The only challenge on this path is to attribute a new opportunity or further deal progress to the advertising program, as a lot of advertising efforts fall flat due to high-level reporting or imprecise targeting. Marketers are better positioned when they can understand all the key touchpoints that influence a deal at the person-based level, and work hand-in-hand with sales along the sales cycle toward deal closing.
How do measurement challenges vary across channels? Why isn’t focusing on measurement a self-reinforcing mechanism that privileges more easily measurable tactics?
There are inherently challenges with measuring across all channels. With that said, if marketers focus on influence and not single source attribution it creates a more logical way to build a measurement framework, allowing for more alignment within the commercial organization
I believe it is a self-reinforcing mechanism that privileges more easily measurable tactics. This is also a healthy and sustainable motion. However, it requires a lot of discipline while creating a new layer of accountability and pressure that may not have existed before.
How is your work at Influ2 related to these challenges?
We align marketing’s digital advertising programs with the sales process and then measure the impact on pipeline and revenue. For too long, digital advertising has been a marketing channel which takes a lot of spend, executives hate, and everyone jokes it doesn’t work.
This long-running and not funny joke is primarily because there has never been a way to measure its effectiveness, outside of form fills. In short, Influ2 arms marketing departments with ads that drive sales and most importantly — we can prove it.