If you took your company name and logo off of your marketing collateral, would the reader still know that it came from your firm? How strongly does your brand shine through in unique language, perspective, and distinct value?
You can ask the same about your marketing performance reports. Are the metrics that you use to demonstrate success unique? Do they reflect your firm’s core priorities? Without these distinctions, you may be providing a collection of data that is ultimately disconnected from decision making.
If your marketing reports don’t enable performance management, it’s time that they do. Eighty-two percent of CMOs report that their goals directly align to revenue targets. But many practitioners acknowledge that marketing performance management programs require significant tuning to link marketing results to decision making and revenue outcomes.
The window of opportunity for you to lead your marketing department toward revenue relevance is closing. I suggest that you do the following before it shuts:
- Uncover your firm’s explicit path to revenue. You might be satisfied to make your numbers, but switch your focus to supporting a revenue mix that reflects your firm’s most strategic priorities. Get in lockstep with your organization’s explicit path to revenue. Perhaps this is net new customer acquisition from a specific industry, building out the market presence of a specific segment of the product portfolio, or customer service proficiency for up-sell and renewal revenue in a specific business line.
- Propose refreshed metrics. Determine and formally propose the metrics that you will manage and publish on an ongoing basis to support those precise revenue goals. This process should be interactive — work with stakeholders to determine what data they need to make decisions. Step 1 is a true dependency; without goals that you vet and to which business leaders and their peers in marketing agree, your department will be held accountable to measure every activity and expose voluminous metrics to stakeholders that they overwhelm.
- Educate stakeholders on the methodology. Demonstrate the methods that you’ll use to build and interpret your refreshed metrics. If obtaining key data to support them is challenging and you find that reporting requires any level of subjectivity or use of proxies, ensure that your stakeholders understand that. Document and publish your methodology so that it is available on an ongoing basis for your reporting audience and any audiences with whom you share your reporting.
- Incorporate storytelling into marketing performance materials. Dashboards are data, and data is not information without context. Provide extensive value by interpreting and curating reports at every opportunity to support that critical connection between reports and decision making.
Get to it! Building insights in the name of continuous optimization and alignment — not just producing decks and reports for the sake of checking a box — lies at the heart of successful performance management.
To begin the important work of defining the metrics that reflect your organization’s strategic priorities and exposing progress against those metrics, read my latest report, Measuring Isn’t Managing: The New Rules Of Marketing Performance Orchestration.