“What’s wrong with your marketing math?”
This is the question we aimed to answer in our recent webinar with Jay Baer. You probably know Jay as the founder of Convince & Convert, a best-selling author, a keynote speaker, and one of the cohosts of the Social Pros Podcast. In other words, Jay is an expert at all things marketing. In this webinar, he breaks down the problems with how B2B marketers are measuring success and shares five tactical steps you can take to solve them.
Watch the webinar recording below, or read on to learn more.
How Can You Prove Your Marketing Matters?
Jay kicked off the webinar by asking a challenging question: how important is marketing to the success of your organization?
Attendees weighed in in real-time, and the results are noteworthy. 80.5% of viewers believe that marketing is very important or critical to their company’s success. Not too surprising, especially coming from B2B marketers.
But here’s where things get tricky. Simply perceiving marketing to be critical to the success of our organizations doesn’t make it true.
Jay puts it this way: “Different people in each company have different perceptions about marketing’s role and how important marketing is to the overall outcomes of the business.”
But your revenue numbers aren’t based on perception. They’re based on real, measurable outcomes.
According to Forrester, 77% of global B2B marketing decision-makers in 2017 said that lacking the ability to measure results is one of their top marketing concerns. That’s up 19% from the previous year, showing that marketers have measurement on their minds.
We can all agree that marketing matters and that measurement is a priority. So why do so many organizations struggle to prove that their marketing efforts are having an impact?
The way Jay Baer sees it, there are two main problems with the way marketers approach measurement.
Problem #1: Shallow Measurement
Shallow measurement is what happens when you only pay attention to vanity metrics. Teams practicing shallow measurement tend to put a much greater emphasis on quantity than on quality. But these metrics — like the number of leads your team generated or the click-through rate of your latest ad campaign — are not always tied to business outcomes.
“We see some marketers measuring here at the top of the classic ‘awareness, interest, decision, and action’ funnel,” Jay explains. “So, some marketers tend to only measure their ability to effectuate awareness and interest.”
Here’s a shocking statistic from Forrester: “52% of global B2B marketing decision-makers stop measurement at MQL production.”
In other words, they generate leads, qualify them, hand them off to sales — and that’s it. They aren’t held accountable for those leads progressing through the funnel and eventually becoming customers.
But things are changing for the better. About one-third of B2B marketers are now measured by their team’s ability to generate pipeline and revenue.
Problem #2: Measurement Without Attribution
Measuring your success throughout the entire funnel is a step in the right direction, but marketers can’t stop there. Not only is it important to show marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue, but you also should be able to demonstrate which activities and campaigns had the most influence.
As Jay puts it, “When you are unable to use attribution reliably in your marketing, you are by definition saying yes to your own biases.”
The solution is to find an attribution model — or multiple models — that works for you. Check out this blog post for a breakdown of the different types of attribution and how each one works.
The bottom line is that you need an unbiased way to demonstrate the impact of each marketing and sales touchpoint, activity, campaign, and program. When you have these numbers, you can understand what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll be empowered to make smarter decisions.
How to Build a Culture of Measurement
Okay, enough with the problems. How do we solve them and get our sales and marketing teams on the same page? Jay suggests five tactics for building a culture of measurement at your B2B organization.
- Start with your leadership.
“You have to have smart marketing leaders and smart sales leaders who are okay with sharing credit,” Jay says. To see the quickest time to value, shifting the way you measure marketing success has to be a top-down initiative, and it has to come from both marketing and sales.
- Sales and marketing must attend one another’s meetings.
Next time you’re planning a marketing initiative, invite a stakeholder from your sales team to the meeting. On the flip side, make sure someone from marketing attends every sales meeting. It’s amazing what kinds of insights you’ll get from your sales counterparts when you give them a seat at the table.
- Go on “ride alongs.”
Jay recommends that all marketers take one day a quarter to shadow someone from their sales team, and vice versa. Sit in on your AEs’ sales calls, watch your SDRs write prospecting emails, and embed yourself into their day-to-day reality. Similarly, have each rep live a day in the life of a marketer, helping to create content and manage campaigns. Jay explains, “It is a real eye opener for salespeople when they really have a sense of what goes into creating some of these sales development materials. It goes a long way.”
- Create clear SLAs and quotas.
“You have to have joint SLAs, and you have to have performance quotas that both sides commit to,” Jay says. For example, you should set clear guidelines for how many times your SDRs will follow up with an inbound account and how many contacts from each account they need to reach out to. On the marketing side, it’s important to set expectations around what kind of support you can provide for each type of lead and each tier of target ABM accounts.
- Invest in an attribution tool.
The best way to understand the true impact of your marketing is by using an attribution model that works for you. By removing the guesswork and biases from your measurement, you can demonstrate how each of your marketing efforts is contributing to pipeline and revenue.
Which challenges do you face with your marketing math? To learn more about how to solve these problems with measurement and attribution, watch the full webinar above.