A new year is a great time to renew your brand by creating and executing an effective marketing plan. As the year unfolds, you’ll be planning, achieving, optimizing and evaluating your marketing plan. To do your job effectively, you have to generate and monitor specific types of marketing funnel metrics so you can develop plans, set targets, measure progress and prove value. In addition to that, you’ll need to collaborate with your colleagues in sales to make the most out of your metrics. Let’s take a look at the role metrics play in each of those activities:
1. Planning: Funnel metrics are essential for planning because they allow you to set a baseline for marketing investments by looking at past performance. Whether you’re creating an annual plan or making adjustments during the year, you’ll need to be able to quantify past performance to develop an effective plan. You’ll need to know the volume of leads at each funnel stage, conversion rates between funnel stages and velocity rates to gauge the speed of progress between stages.
You’ll also need metrics on average deal sizes, insight into campaign performance by type, etc. For example, say you’re trying to figure out how many leads you need to generate to hit a revenue target. With the metrics just described, you can work backward using the “reverse waterfall” method to figure it out.
2. Achieving: Once you’ve created a marketing plan, you’ll need to set targets for the next quarter and closely monitor ROI relative to your annual objectives. An at-a-glance view of volume and conversion/velocity rates for marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales accepted leads (SALs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) is a must to efficiently monitor progress.
Another essential metric for this activity is opportunity coverage: a forward-looking evaluation of revenue potential compared to the current opportunity-to-closed-won conversation rate. This metric describes the business in the pipeline relative to revenue goals for the period being evaluated. It’s valuable because it provides insight into the volume of opportunities that will be needed for each quarter on an ongoing basis.
3. Optimizing: Funnel metrics allow marketing to investigate and optimize lead quality. Marketers can use metrics to understand how lead quality might be affecting operations and revenue, looking at data over time to identify patterns. With the right metrics, marketers can drill down by campaign types, look at overall program performance and evaluate integrated campaign components to gauge performance.
With out-of-the-box and customizable campaign attribution models, you can optimize your marketing mix using single-touch and multiple-touch attribution models. A tool that enables creation of custom attribution models based on the sales cycle and goals can be an ideal way to gain insight to make smart, targeted decisions.
4. Evaluating: In this critical activity, you evaluate strategic program performance and identify contributions to the organization’s success with regular reports using CRM data, which is credible throughout the organization. These metrics tell you what impact you’re creating overall and which campaigns are most effectively providing the right deal sizes, conversation rates, velocity rates and revenue.
A set of focused funnel metrics and campaign attribution metrics for evaluation purposes can give you critical data about types of investments, such as industry conferences. Are they yielding enough opportunities to justify the expense? Are less expensive campaigns like webinars a better investment? Ultimately, these metrics describe the value marketing adds.
5. Collaborating: This activity is about creating transparency and a close working relationship with colleagues and partners. It’s a best practice to establish a regular reporting cadence and schedule meetings with the sales team and other partners so that everyone can view the data and discuss the results. Regular meetings are a great way to discover issues early and share ideas.
Creating a hyper-transparent environment is one key to working together successfully. Enabling a “safe space” for experimentation is also a critical element. Not every campaign succeeds, but sometimes taking a risk can bring in big rewards. Marketing teams that have the tools they need to closely monitor metrics and share them with colleagues can take calculated risks — while still having the room for course correction when needed.
A new year is a great time to make a fresh start. As a marketer, you have a huge scope of responsibilities, but with the right marketing metrics, you can surface insights and demonstrate the valuable contributions marketing makes to the organization’s success. So, if renewing your brand is one of your New Year’s resolutions, keep metrics in mind and we’ll get you started.
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.