When a marketing director stands up to report at the executive meeting, there can be some eye rolling. Executives tend not to geek out over things like retweets and Instagram likes. Even total reach, site traffic, click-through rates, and leads are losing their luster, it seems.
Luckily, we can do better: Measuring marketing's impact on the business as a whole is getting easier. As Matt Heinz, president and founder of Heinz Marketing, explains, we can (and must) embrace our responsibility to generate revenue for our organization.
A successful marketer, he has more than 15 years of experience in marketing, business development, and sales in a variety of organizations and industries. He's helped brands, including Amazon and Morgan Stanley, to deliver measurable results with sales and revenue growth, product success, and customer loyalty.
I invited Matt to Marketing Smarts to discuss his latest book, Full Funnel Marketing: Ideas to Increase Marketing's Influence on Pipeline Growth and Closed Deals, and how marketers can embrace revenue responsibility and make a dramatic impact on sales, revenue, and other traditional business metrics.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
It's time for marketers to embrace revenue responsibility (06:00) "You can't buy a beer with an MQL [Marketing Qualified Lead]. What really matters to the organization is the closed deal. Part of the theme behind the book Full Funnel Marketing is the idea that you want the marketers to embrace the end game. The marketer may not be sitting at the table when the deal gets signed, but the marketer has enormous influence on getting that to happen. So there's a whole other issue around reporting and attribution and measurement around this, but if you put those challenges aside, simply encouraging marketers to know that the lead is not the end goal, the opportunity created is not the end goal.
"The closed deal is the end goal. If you work back from there and start to triage your focus areas, triage your budget, make better decisions on where to prioritize your efforts, you may no longer care about lead volume that's up and to the right every month. You may even intentionally decrease your lead volume if that ends up generating more qualified leads into the sales organization that has a material impact well beyond what you're doing today to generate new sales."
To change your team's focus, change their compensation (08:20): "Change [marketers'] objectives, change their compensation. If the sales team at the end of the month and the end of the quarter is grinding it out to hit their number but the marketing team's at the bar celebrating because they hit their retweet goal, then something's misaligned.
"If you've got a marketing organization that is incented on marketing-attributed closed deals, then we're getting somewhere. I realize that reporting and tracking and measurement is fairly complicated on that, but let's go solve that problem. And more important than reporting is intent. If we're all in this together and we work more closely together to hit the number, you're more likely to hit the number. And if we hit the number together, then everybody wins and everybody gets rewarded. So I'm not advocating that marketing people should get paid on a commission basis, but...there should be performance incentives that are tied to sales, tied to closed deals, not tied to mid-funnel marketing metrics."
Marketing success is all about closed deals and customer-centricity (10:50): "There are two key focal points...: One is closed deals; everything pivots on driving revenue events. The second is customer-centricity; everything you do is about the customer. Great marketing isn't about products, it's about people and problems. Great content is about the outcomes your customers care about. If you don't have someone fundamentally committed to change for themselves, they will never be committed to your sales process, let alone your product or service.
"[You need a] mentality around having consistent ideas of the end goal and then a mentality of putting the prospect first, their needs first, triaging qualifying prospects based on need and commitment to change. If you have those two things in place, then you've got sales, marketing, customer service wherever they are. Executive team, you've now got everyone aligned in the same direction."
Matt and I talked about more including lead nurturing and account-based marketing, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by the MarketingProfs University "Finders Keepers" Workshop, a two-part workshop on the art and science of lead nurturing:
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Matt Heinz, founder and president of Heinz Marketing and author of several books, including Full Funnel Marketing: Ideas to Increase Marketing's Influence on Pipeline Growth and Closed Deals. Follow Matt on Twitter @HeinzMarketing.