Is Attribution the Key to Professional Success?

by Oct 23, 20180 comments

Why is it that the average tenure of a CMO is so much less than other C-suite executives?

According to the CMO Impact Study, over 40% of CMOs have been in their roles for less than two years and 70% less than four years. There is much speculation as to why marketers have a shorter lifespan than their executive colleagues, but one stat from the Marketing Performance Management Survey, 2017 particularly caught my attention and could be related: only 23% of marketers earn top ratings from their C-suite on proving impact, value, and contribution to revenue. Think about that: just two out of 10 marketing leaders are making a solid connection between marketing activity and profitable growth and in that process, communicating the ROI of their salary. On the flip side, this same study shows an alarming 38% of marketers earn average or below average ratings from their CEO’s—those who focus on the internal agency approach and create campaigns on demand vs. aligning activity with organizational objectives. Likely, these are the marketers whose salaries are viewed as a corporate expense.

As CMOs struggle to quantify and communicate the value of marketing, it also creates a credibility gap with their superiors. Given this information, perhaps the limited incumbency of CMOs isn’t that surprising.

So what’s the answer? How can marketing leaders reverse the trends, build confidence, demonstrate value, and increase position longevity?

Delivering Metrics that Matter

As marketers, we all have our go-to reports—those that help us gain an understanding of campaign performance, answer fundamental questions, and guide our next steps. However, are our stock metrics the ones we should be communicating upward? In a recent Marketo webinar, Lori Wizdo, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, recommended aligning the report with the business objective of the stakeholder who’s receiving it. For example:

Stakeholder Meaningful Metrics Corresponding Reports
CEO / Board Member / Investor ●      Revenue projections

●      ROI of money invested in marketing

●      Revenue report

●      Revenue by channel—full path

Executive VP/ VP of Sales ●      Contribution to pipeline ●      Revenue report

●      Pipeline report

CFO ●      Return on marketing investment

●      Cost per lead

●      Revenue by channel—full path
CMO / VP Marketing / Marketing department ●      Campaign performance

●      Best lead sources

●      Cost per lead

●      Contribution to pipeline

●      Revenue by channel/campaign/content

●      Opps/pipeline by channel/campaign/content

●      MQLs by channel/campaign/content

Sales Directors ●      Volume of sales-qualified leads ●      SQLs by channel/campaign

●      SQLs by BDR/SDR/sales channel

Sales Reps ●      Qualified leads

●      Content consumed

●      SQLs by sales touchpoint type (eg., email, call, chat)

●      Touchpoints by content (gated and ungated)

(Source: Lori Wizdo, Forrester Research. Note: some reports listed may be exclusive to Bizible.)

Prioritization of Attribution Tools

Granted, reporting by stakeholder requires more sophistication in analytical tools, which many marketers lack. According to The Marketing Measurement and Attribution Survey,  52% of marketers are manually generating reports using excel spreadsheets, 54% use their marketing automation system, 51% rely on reports from their CRM, 63% use web analytics, while only 15% are using a dedicated attribution solution.

In today’s complex marketing environment comprised of multiple channels, devices, and touchpoints, manually-generated reports from siloed data sources are time-consuming, open to inaccuracies, and can lead a marketer to incorrect conclusions. 58% of marketers say their current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance “needs improvement or worse” but the good news is marketers also recognize the need for more sophisticated solutions. How do you know if you’re ready for a more advanced tool? Marketers surveyed in The Marketing Measurement and Attribution Survey reported the top drivers for investing in a dedicated attribution tool as follows:

  • 70% desire to show marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue
  • 67% want to demonstrate ROI from all marketing investments
  • 38% seek to improve marketing and sales alignment
  • 27% hope to gain actionable insights into buyer interests

The Attribution Ripple Effect

Naturally, when marketers are more informed, they make better decisions: more strategic spending, focused campaign adjustments, enhanced customer experiences, and efficiencies in staffing, to name a few. Moreover, when marketing is optimized, the organization benefits—more efficient use of resources and more leads fueling the sales pipeline, both of which lead to exponential growth—for the organization and for marketing leaders.

Want to dive deeper into the benefits of attribution? Please join Perkuto and Marketo for our Marketing Impact Talk, “Leveraging Attribution for Better Results” touring Canada this Fall. Registration is free—reserve your seat:  Montreal: October 11, 2018 | Toronto: October 18, 2018 | Vancouver: October 23, 2018 | Calgary: October 24, 2018

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