8 Data Demons Blocking CMOs’ Path to Marketing ROI
In this dog-eat-dog, data-centric world, many of today’s CMOs want the ability to easily measure and show how their teams are delivering ROI. But what’s preventing them from actually doing that?
According to Nadim Hossain, CEO and Co-Founder of BrightFunnel, it’s because of “Bad Data,” which generally falls into one of eight categories: Account Hierarchy and Duplicates, Opportunity Segmentation, Orphaned Leads (Lead-to-Account Matching), Missing Contact Roles on Opportunities, Lack of Campaign Data, Lack of Consistent Campaign “Success” Definitions, Changing Funnel Stages, or Missing Cost Information. In this article, Hossain breaks down these eight data demons and offers solutions to help CMOs overcome reporting challenges and start proving ROI.
CMOs aren’t fully satisfied with current marketing performance metrics.
“According to John Neeson Co-Founder and Managing Director of SiriusDecisions, four years ago, the #1 CMO priority was ‘the need for greater ROI.'” And this is still the case today: “In their 2016 CMO Study, Sirius Decisions found that CMOs still wanted to ‘improve their competencies through measurement.'” Long story short, CMOs want better metrics than they’re getting now — period.
Does data have to be perfect?
Hossain states, “This is an area where you want to aim for good enough … with respect to the quality of your account data.” While we agree that there is no such thing as achieving 100% data quality – “good enough” data should not be a goal. Proving Marketing ROI starts with clean, de-duped, and accurate contact data. Every customer record matters and “good enough” will ultimately end up costing you time and money. If you’re like most companies, 15 – 20% of your CRM database is erroneous or unusable, and data quality issues are costing your business 12% of revenue each year. If you’re willing to accept bad data you have to accept that your data will fail you. If you accept that your data will fail you, you better brace yourself for the impact.
Put rules in place to standardize data entry practices.
“Yes, it requires some work to sit down with your team, Sales, and Finance and agree upon a set of rules that makes sense for crediting marketing influence. But that is the work you have to do anyway if you want to have credible metrics.” Whether it’s deciding to exclude renewals and upsells or deciding which campaigns can influence certain opportunities, just make sure everyone is on the same page.
Use “Fuzzy Matching” to associate Orphan Leads with Accounts.
For every 1 Contact that’s associated with an account, there are another 1.6 Orphan leads that don’t have a home in the CRM. But instead of manually converting all of your Leads into Contact-on-Accounts in your CRM, you can use “fuzzy matching” as you’re creating your marketing ROI reports. This is your quickest, easiest solution.
Don’t count on Sales to do data entry for Marketing.
“On average, sales reps attach 1.2 Contact Roles per Opportunity. But those same opportunities have an average of 5 influential Contacts and another 8 Orphan Leads, for a total of 13 people.” Reporting at the Account level allows you to capture every influencer — and doesn’t force Sales to waste time on manual data entry that they’re probably not going to do, anyway.
Digitally track your marketing campaign data.
Use a marketing automation platform, such as Marketo or Eloqua, to keep track of the campaign data necessary for ROI reporting. Building a team of marketing operations experts will only help you get to a good reporting place faster.
Decide what a campaign “success” really looks like across the board.
When you hold a webinar, is it enough to have someone register, or should they be watching it, too? Decide what you want to count as a success, and then go back and fix your data so that it all adds up accurately: “create and apply campaign success rules after the fact rather than wishing for a time machine to take you back to your initial MAP implementation.”
Define your MQLs and SQLs — and then keep defining them as you grow.
Don’t get stuck trying to go back and fix your old data by applying your new rules. Your funnel stage definitions will change as you charge forward, but your data should remain the same if you want to gain helpful insights from it as you go: “Optimize for the future, but don’t let past definitions gt in the way of accurate analysis.”
Always keep track of your campaign costs.
“To have the ‘I’ in ROI you need to track the cost of your marketing efforts.” This sounds fairly obvious, but a lot of companies don’t record the numbers for a wide variety of reasons. But, if you want to show the Board that you’re spending allocated funds wisely, it’s important to keep track of costs: “That’s why you get paid the big bucks. Make a judgment call on a consistent policy. Does it really matter if that show cost $30K or $35K? Probably not. It’s more important to show that you’re tracking costs and holding people accountable to do so.”
As a CMO, are you fully satisfied with the marketing performance metrics you’re able to report to the Board?
As a senior B2B marketer, are able to report all the ROI metrics that the Executive team is asking for?
For most B2B marketers, the answers to both of the above questions is a resounding “No.” In fact, according to John Neeson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of SiriusDecisions, four years ago, the #1 CMO priority was “the need for greater ROI.” Not much has changed in four years. In their 2016 CMO Study, Sirius Decisions found that CMOs still wanted to “improve their competencies through measurement.” But this time, it’s supported by a parallel organizational goal to create a marketing operations competency (I’ve previously written about the Rise of Marketing Ops).
CMOs have become aware that to achieve the promise of closed-loop reporting, they must build the marketing operations muscle required to align people, process, and technology to deliver marketing ROI metrics…