Everyone in marketing wants to become a trusted partner of the C-suite. But what's the best way to do that? That's what we'll explore in this post - we want to help you gain greater respect and job security.
To earn the trust of the C-suite, you as marketers need to first truly understand the C-suite and how they are measured. The key to earning trust is by helping them achieve their objectives.
In a recent study entitled "Measuring and Communicating Marketing Performance" by ITSMA, VisionEdge Marketing, and Forrester, it was found that the vast majority of marketers rely on activity-based metrics - which fail to tie to business outcomes.
Activity measures include stuff that's easy to measure - like website visitors, press mentions, and Facebook likes. Problem is that these simple measures don't tie to business outcomes - how do Facebook "Likes" drive revenue? Others rely on operational measures, like cost per lead, and win rates - those are more useful, because they address efficiency, but they do not tie to business outcomes either.
Our marketing activities need to answer two key questions:
That means insights into what is driving results, and data to make decisions.
One of the key problems is that most marketers are reporting on what we are doing, as opposed to helping drive business results. Your view needs to be future-based, not just past.
People often approach metrics expert Laura Patterson of VisionEdge Marketing to ask "What are the top five metrics I should be using?" However, she feels that's not the right question - because metrics need to work together and connect with each other. Metrics should not work in isolation - independent of each other. As Patterson suggests:
"Instead, you need to start building your dashboard by answering these three simple
Patterson and Julie Schwartz of ITSMA clarify those questions when they write:
"So the starting point for your dashboard is not metrics. Rather, you begin by having a conversation with senior management. You have to start from the top and work down. You also have to understand your business and the role marketing plays. You can't even begin to think about metrics until you've done this work."
Bottom line: Marketing metrics start with research on the business and the needs of the C-suite.
Who is doing it well? Some good news. The study asked for the grade the CEO would give to marketing - on how tied in they are to business results. The results were:
A - 27%
B - 38%
C - 29%
D - 6%
It was found that, for the A's, the vast majority (7 of 10) were growing market share, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. But the C's and D's were the ones without dashboards or metrics tied to business outcomes.
Three areas are needed - alignment, accountability, and analytics. Focus on these and you will earn the trust you desire.
We hope this helps you bond with your C-suite and get better job security.
Jeff Ogden is president of the sales lead generation company Find New Customers and an award-winning marketing expert. He's also the creator and host of the popular TV on the web show, Marketing Made Simple TV. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-495-9350.
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