Measurement is often a main reason that many clients cite for investing in marketing automation. Yet, when the rubber meets the road, too many organizations end up shying away from the metrics that matter.
This year, in the age of Revenue Performance Management, we have several clients that are beginning to dedicate resources to make reporting and benchmarking a top priority for marketing and sales operations teams. These folks are in hot demand and are transforming marketing’s reputation from “making things look pretty” to “results-driven decision making”. It's a big cultural transformation and certainly doesn’t happen overnight. But, naturally we became curious about which reports are the most popular these days.
First, we surveyed the community to get the pulse on what reports they reviewed regularly on a monthly basis. No major surprises here. In fact, we were impressed to see that more than 20% of the respondents say they were looking at revenue results and funnel performance as part of their monthly reporting cadence.
Then, we wanted to see if marketers were doing what they said they were doing by looking at their behavior. We took a look at all of the report runs for the month of April 2012 and broke it down by report type and percentage of clients that accessed the various reports in that month. This is where it gets interesting. Most marketers are still focused on simple response metrics – even more than they care to admit. And, while a group of marketers claim to be reviewing their campaign impact in terms of strategic measures such as funnel performance and revenue results - they're not quite living up to the standards they have set for themselves just yet.
What gives? Why do marketers continuously shy away from the key marketing metrics that can get them a seat at the executive table discussions? The metrics that can secure their budget and improve their career standing? It's no wonder that 73% of CEOs think that marketers lack business credibility.
Is it because the challenge of accessibility and visibility is still too great? Given the advancements in automation around data management, systems integration, improved reporting standards, and the rise of marketing operations process and discipline – it is hard to believe this is still the primary cause. Are we just addicted to the simple marketing metrics more than we are willing to admit? Of course, the usual “confidence in the data” will be mentioned by many. However, if you aren’t even looking at the data as a first step to determine how to improve confidence - how can you ever expect to get there?
Maybe,it simply comes down to fear. Fear of change, fear of unknown, fear of failure. In many cases – committing to reviewing campaign performance in light of strategic marketing measures is like committing to lose that last 10 pounds. We all know it is the right thing to do – but change is hard. It really is.
For you change agents out there that are looking to help break down the walls of fear in your organization, may I recommend Chip Heath’s Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard if you haven’t read it already.
For all you marketers that want to get savvy with your reporting and measurement – I encourage you to check out the measurement courses offered via Eloqua University.
What are the key marketing metrics for your decision-making process?
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