It’s All About the Marketing Portfolio

At a SiriusDecisions event last week John Neeson told an interesting story about a CFO at one of the SD conferences.  In the presentation, John was showing off the SiriusDecisions waterfall (some of us call it the funnel) and explaining it to the audience.  After the meeting, the CFO approached John and asks him to show the waterfall slide again.  “Now how do I pick which two marketing programs we should invest in?  We don’t need so many and I’d like to pick the top two and eliminate all the rest.”  “No offense,” John replies, “but I think your part of the problem. That’s like saying which two stocks should I put all my savings in.”

I have to agree with that.  Just like your stock portfolio, companies must have a portfolio of marketing programs to spread risk and optimize opportunity. Even more importantly, the portfolio of programs or a set of programs can all work together and influence the customer journey.  So it’s not about picking the top two and eliminating all the rest, it’s about selecting the set of campaigns that work to create greater traction and velocity in the customer journey.

Even more important is keeping campaigns current and fresh.  Sometimes a set of campaigns can be productive for a very long time but often times they change as the company’s product set evolves, the sales channels change, or perhaps market conditions change.  In any case, I think it works well to think about your marketing campaigns is as a portfolio of investments which you manage to optimize the customer journey.

This is approach is supported by Full Circle Insights where we allow you to access the data to compare results from a portfolio of marketing campaigns. Even your sales campaigns and partner campaigns can be measured in comparison.

So the next time your CFO asks, “do we have run all these campaigns?”  Use the financial portfolio analogy.  It works.

Bonnie Crater

About Bonnie Crater

Bonnie is a 5-time VP of Marketing at Genesys, Netscape, Oracle (Network Computer Inc.), Stratify, and VoiceObjects. While valuing the creative side of marketing, Bonnie's real love is marketing operations -- measuring marketing investments and determining investment optimization. Now as CEO of Full Circle Insights, Bonnie is working to help fellow marketers get the data needed to succeed. In 2000, Bonnie was named one of the “Top 20 Female Executives in Silicon Valley” by San Jose Magazine. Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.