Tackle your marketing challenges in 2015 with analytics

A recent marketing research piece put out by the Aberdeen Group, identifies the number one reason for not implementing better marketing technology as a lack of defined or mature  marketing process.  If your organization is looking for better marketing visibility and analytics solutions, it is imperative to configure them in line with business processes, your lead to opportunity hand off, and your funnel definitions to ensure success with these tools.

Unfortunately, many of the available marketing tools require you to align with a specific process or framework in order to successfully work as advertised.  And because every company has uniqueness in their lead management process, an out of the box solution that relies on adherence to specific parameters is almost bound to fail.  Therefore, it is understandable that organizations have defined and mature processes as a prerequisite to a reporting solution.

And while I agree that such a project can seem daunting, what is truly scary is the opportunity cost of having either inaccurate analytics on marketing performance or (gulp) no analytics at all.  Just indulge me for a moment:

Not having reporting/analytics solutions means you have no definitive or accurate understanding of which campaigns actually drive revenue. Which means you are unable to optimize marketing practice by reallocating budget into the most productive campaigns. The budget wasted on under-performing campaigns means fewer qualified leads from marketing and not driving revenue as much as possible.

Obviously, the above eludes more to how a lack of reporting and analytics limits your ability to succeed at your defined job.  More importantly though the often overlooked consequence of a lack of reporting functionality and marketing visibility is that it leaves you incredibly vulnerable.

Indulge me again: Let’s say your organization is not performing well.  You’ve posted two quarterly losses in a row.  Due to your lack of reporting insight, there is a tremendous amount of finger pointing between sales and marketing as to who’s to blame.  Your boss addresses you in a meeting and asks you to quantify your contribution to revenue.  Can you?  Can you show him the data that helps validate your contributions?

Most likely the answer is “NO”.  And without clear data to back you up, it seems the marketing organization is the first one to be blamed.  Perhaps, this is a reason for why marketing roles have such high turnover.  Keep in mind sales people can always point directly at the amount of revenue they have closed.  Regardless, of how far above or below quota it is, keep in mind it is TANGIBLE.  Marketers are not so lucky.

Without a reporting/analytical solution there is no way to justify your positive contributions to your organization.  

Therefore, the opportunity cost of postponing analytics projects is severe even in the case that it forces you to address your business processes.  It limits your ability to do your job the best way possible and it limits your company’s ability to succeed.  This affects your performance, but also puts your job at risk from a company viability standpoint.

If you’re not going to fix your reporting issues for yourself, at least do it for your kids . . . 🙂

Jay Jennison

About Jay Jennison

Jay works as a Corporate Accounts manager at Full Circle Insights and previously worked within the corporate sales division at Salesforce.com. He attended Duke University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in History and Markets and Management and focused the subject of his Master’s thesis on developmental strategy for third-world economies.