It’s essential for marketers to be able to provide strategic reporting that demonstrates their impact on revenue. Many marketers focus exclusively on tactical reporting, such as email performance metrics. Tactical reporting is necessary too since activities that improve awareness, influence, and reputation are critical to brand building. But revenue performance metrics, e.g., “We invested $X in this campaign, which generated $XX in revenue,” are a must today.
CFOs and CEOs are now demanding reports on revenue performance as evidence of marketing’s contributions, not only to keep track of returns on their investment in marketing department activities, but because those metrics are critical to understanding the overall health and performance of the business. This is where things get dicey for marketers who are used to focusing on tactical reporting.
Marketers who generate tactical metrics exclusively need to up their measurement game to succeed in the modern practice of marketing. Why? Because marketing organizations that can accurately report their pipeline and revenue contribution and influence are in a better position to make the business case for increasing program budgets and headcount to grow and accelerate their positive impact on business performance.
A Shared Framework and Role-Based Dashboards
To build credibility beyond marketing, marketers must work within a framework shared by colleagues and embrace a single source of data truth. To prove their impact, marketers are showing numbers now, but the problem is that too many focus on tactical metrics, which just don’t have much meaning outside of the marketing department. So, when they’re asked to justify marketing spend, they end up tap-dancing around the topic, trying to convince skeptics that tactical metrics demonstrate ROI.
Data isn’t scarce — it’s streaming in from Google Analytics, Salesforce, Marketo and other sources. But with that raw material and a pressing need to show value, marketers with little experience in strategic reporting may misinterpret signals. It’s not that they lack data — they lack the resulting insights gleaned from the data, which is required to provide accurate and actionable guidance to senior management.
With the right marketing analytics product in your martech stack, marketers can create KPIs that clearly demonstrate their strategic value to the organization. By using data from the revenue system of record — the CRM system — marketers can align more closely with sales and show strategic impact by attributing pipeline and revenue contributions to specific marketing campaigns.
Look for a solution that provides dashboards designed for specific audiences, including marketing operations, which needs better visibility into channel, vendor, and program performance, and marketing executives who require insight on marketing mix and campaign performance across channels, geographies, and product lines. With dashboards that deliver access to unified reporting and complete visibility into historical data, marketers can move from a rearview mirror perspective to real-time and predictive analytics.
Know Your Value, Show Your Value
Research by Proof Analytics revealed that 94 percent of surveyed executives don’t fully understand the value marketing delivers. That’s an appalling statistic, but it’s also an enormous opportunity to turn things around and reclaim marketing’s seat at the strategy table. To realize that opportunity, marketers must commit to generating strategic reporting.
Marketing executives must fully understand and effectively communicate the value they deliver. With dashboards that provide tactical and strategic reporting, intuitive data visualization, custom reporting tools, and expert support, they can get the insights they need to demonstrate their contribution to revenue generation.
Tactical metrics are necessary but insufficient when it comes to demonstrating marketing’s contributions. By expanding your capabilities beyond tactical metrics to strategic reporting, you can confidently explain to the executive team how marketing investments produce revenue at every stage of the funnel. And that’s what expands budgets and keeps CMOs on the job.