Contemporary B2B Marketing analytics can help marketers to set and surpass goals, improve their marketing programs and understand the impact of their marketing efforts when it comes to driving revenue. But it’s not just about accountability and improvement. According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, marketing analytics can also be a competitive differentiator.
Of the companies surveyed, 76% of those who rated themselves as advanced based on their use integration of marketing tools, technologies and analytics were much more likely to enjoy a favorable market position relative to their competitors. Only 25% of those companies who reported that they were just beginning to integrate these tools reported the same thing.
To take a closer look at what makes marketing analytics so valuable, and how B2B marketers can better implement processes for tracking and managing their data, Isaac Payne, Senior Marketing Analyst at Salesforce Pardot walked us through best practices in his webinar presentation The Rise of the Data Driven Marketer.
What’s holding marketers back?
With all the benefits of implementing marketing analytics, why don’t more B2B Marketers do so? A Forrester study this year, examined the reasons that marketers might have trouble integrating marketing analytics into their strategy. The study found three primary roadblocks.
As cliched as this may sound, the volume of data that is generated as a byproduct of modern marketing efforts can be nearly overwhelming for some B2B Marketers. On average, B2B marketers are using 9.4 unique channels to market to prospects, and with each of these channels, the amount of data is actually growing exponentially. To make matters more complicated, it’s not always easy to identify the right way to structure and managing data at that scale.
The second thing that the Forrester study found is a disconnect between teams, and a lack of cohesion in both the type of technology, and the processes. Siloed working styles, and how marketing technologies actually work to produce the data that teams want to track can cause a disconnect even in companies with good tech adoption.
Perhaps the most disruptive thing that the Forrester study identified however, is a lack of cohesion from the c-suite right down to the marketing and sales teams about the role that marketing should and does play within the business, and the metrics that should be measured.
How do you fix these issues?
The first and most critical step is to work with leadership teams to align around the desired goals and expectations of marketing within your business. It may sound self-explanatory, but it is necessary to understand and identify not just the metrics but also the responsibilities of your marketing team and ensure that everyone – from the C-Suite to Sales Reps is on board with that understanding.
At Salesforce, we constantly align and realign as the goals of the business shift, as targets change, and as we grow as a company. These things will have an effect on marketing’s responsibilities, targets and metrics, so it’s necessary to view this as an ongoing process, rather than a static one.
At Salesforce, the marketing team is stratified into several groups. From Sales Enablement to Content creation to Lead generation, we specialize into functions that work together as a whole to achieve our larger goals and targets. Within this ecosystem, the Campaigns team is responsible for working to drive revenue, and that is the main goal of all of our marketing efforts.
To get to that level, we have the specific role of driving and nurturing quality leads for our business. We work with our Sales teams to set yearly, quarterly, and monthly targets to identify attributable goals. It’s an evolving process in which we constantly make assumptions, and then based on whether they prove correct or incorrect, we adjust them. This is absolutely where you have to start when it comes to analytics. None of the charts and figures matter without a concerted agreement among all of your teams – marketing, sales and the c-suite about what the goals for your business should be.
Where does technology fit in?
Technology is an important part of managing and measuring these processes. But before you can implement a platform or software, you need to build out a schema outlining how that technology will help you achieve your goals, and what the process for using it should be.
We start at a very basic level at Salesforce, looking at how a campaign is supposed to work on an aggregate level, as well as at the detailed individual level.
Because we, like most marketers, operate our campaigns across platforms and channels, we needed to have a good idea of how different channels were working, and from there we created a systematic layer of values that represent the channels that we’re actually using. Doing this helped us identify the activities that were most valuable when assigning a score and a grade within our automation system.
From there, you can begin to set goals, identify the metrics that carry the most weight towards those goals, track those specific KPIs, and then distribute, analyze and act on your data.
Find out more about how we manage our data and analytics here at Salesforce and how you can better leverage marketing analytics in your business by watching the complete webinar presentation: The Rise of the Data Driven Marketer, hosted by Isaac Payne Senior Marketing Analyst at Salesforce Pardot, and join us at the B2B Marketing Trailblazer Outpost for more marketing tips and tricks.