B2B Marketing Blog

How To Use Marketing Attribution Data In Your Next Board Meeting

By Andrew Nguyen
Sep 21, 2017
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The contents of a board meetings should be carefully chosen by marketing executives who strive for a greater stake in the organization.

Understanding the big picture, having a vision or plan for growth, and showing accountability to financial metrics are a few ways marketing executives can excel during board meetings.

In this post we show you how to use revenue data and marketing attribution successfully in your next board meeting.

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Show Good Financial Performance

With the maturing landscape of marketing technology it is now easier to measure marketing impact on revenue across channels and segments. This makes financial information less time consuming to surface and improves the level of representation that marketing has in financial reporting. After all, the CEO, sales team, success team, and finance team all speak in terms of revenue. So should marketing.

To show the financial performance of marketing, focus on cash flow and the questions:

What’s been achieved? In other words, the sales outcome of the execution. And it should be closely related to how last year's goals were met or exceeded.

Start with a complete picture, from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel. Marketing executives can use multi-touch attribution and first-touch tracking to report the following critical metrics.

  • Revenue by channel

  • Pipeline and sales opportunities generated by channel (multi-touch attribution model)

  • Leads generated by channel (Multi-touch attribution model)

  • Upsells (post opportunity creation marketing attribution)

  • Revenue by channel (multi-touch attribution)

  • MQL conversion rate and SQL conversion rate

  • Offline revenue influence (attribution for offline channels like events and mailers)

This is a retrospective and should be focused on how effective marketing budget was spent. What exceeded expectations or performed poorly? What was the strategy, ROI or revenue goal, and the actuals?

With proper cost reporting and the implementation of multi-touch marketing attribution, marketing executives can anchor their board meeting on a key value driver: cash flow.

Connect Marketing Actions To The Value Drivers

The board wants to know that the marketing leader understands what drives competitive advantage and is able to build it. During the board meeting the CMO should focus heavily on where the company is in the competitive landscape and what direction the company needs to move in order to further separate themselves from the competition.

Marketing is well positioned to address and contribute to multiple value drivers. There are a variety of value drivers including cash flow, reliable financial data, customer diversity, barriers to competitive entry, and growth potential.

To address customer diversity marketing executives can work with their peers in product and customer success. They can ask for trending and demographic information to show customer diversity. If there is a lack of customer diversity this is a great opportunity for you to explain how you will go after certain segments or demographics.

For barriers to competitive entry, marketing can improve brand awareness and brand preference. Measuring brand preference, companies must survey people using a method that is consistent and minimizes too much bias in the results. You want to show that people’s preferences are increasingly going towards your brand instead of competitors. And if you can’t show it, you’ll want to define a plan of attack to improve brand preference.

Content, proprietary databases, training programs, intellectual property rights and exclusive agreements are a few of the competitive advantages that marketing can build through partnerships, customer marketing, customer success, content marketing, and product marketing. What you built and plan on building should be included in board presentations.

To connect marketing actions to value drivers in a quantitative way, you can use a data warehouse to connect multiple data sources. Bizible’s Data Warehouse allows marketing executives to connect revenue data to other data sources across their organization to learn and discover how marketing performance is connected to other areas of the business.

For example you can connect brand preference data, revenue and marketing attribution data, product and customer data, and market data to identify emerging opportunities and synergies found across verticals, departments, or segments.

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Show Marketing Impact That is Cross Functional

Marketing permeates throughout the entire organization so marketing executives should be well prepared to show their cross-functional impact.

Starting with the sales team you should consider the retrospective on how marketing assisted sales and the plan for continued support. Marketing can assist sales in a variety of ways, for example, marketing can gather feedback from sales reps and account executives for the purposes of identifying problems in the customer journey.

Activity in the CRM, like phone calls and emails from sales reps, can receive revenue credit with Bizible’s Sales Activity Tracking. This enables you to get a high level view of marketing and sales activity and how it all relates to the bottom line. For example, you can see what percentage of revenue, or pipeline, is attributed to engagement with sales reps in comparison to engagement with marketing content or campaigns. The tracking allows you understand the proportion of engagement prospects do with sales versus engagement prospects do with marketing. You can compare these proportions across various stages of the customer journey or market segment.  

This information can help marketing executives and sales leaders to coordinate their actions and understand what’s working and what’s falling short of expectations. When there is heavy sales engagement but low conversion rates, or revenue, you are able to detect it and address it.

It can also help you estimate required resources for hitting a growth target because you can see how much sales engagement is needed to close or convert a prospect. Beyond sales, marketing can support the product team and customer success team too.

Creating A Vision And Plan That Addresses Growth Potential

Showing the growth potential of the company is a great way for marketing executives to show they understand the business and the direction it needs to take. The growth plan may be long term, e.g. have a 3-5 year horizon, or shorter term.  Whichever it may be, you should have a plan that includes the strategic outline, required investments, operational plan, and estimated return on investment.

Marketing attribution can provide a realistic estimate of revenue and ROI because it distributes revenue credit across your marketing channels, and across time. You can see trends and it serves as a basis for setting expectations.

For estimating both the required investment and the time table for when that investment converts into revenue and profit you can use Bizible’s Revenue Planner.

Revenue Planner feeds all touchpoints data into a machine learning algorithm underneath its spreadsheet-like UI to create investment plans for marketing budgets. Users can enter a growth target dollar amount and see the spend or number of leads required to hit that target without using unreliable, simplistic calculations based on average deal size, or average number of persons on a deal.

Revenue Planner allows marketing executives to show the kind of accountability to numbers and metrics that is typically associated with the finance department. With marketing attribution and predictive modeling for revenue the marketing function can operate with a clear understanding of risk.

Marketing executives can show they understand how to reach corporate goals by speaking in terms of risks and consistency in financial performance.

Put in Place Metrics and Show Accountability To Them

Putting in place metrics and being accountable to them is not typically done for marketing executives because marketing is hard to measure. But as we’ve explored in this post, this is changing.

Marketing can set clear, measurable revenue goals and understand the requirements to hit them with the help of predictive modeling and marketing attribution across the entire customer journey. Marketing can connect customer loyalty, sales activity, brand preference, upsells, and share of market data to revenue and creating new metrics. This shows that you are a leader within marketing and across the organization.

By putting in place new metrics with marketing attribution and revenue planning your marketing team can have clearer goals and greater autonomy. They can see their targets and they have tools to track their progress and learn how to improve.

With transparency into revenue generating activities, marketing leaders have an easier time showing the logic behind marketing actions. The board wants to understand why something happened and why something will happen. With a focus on marketing measurement, you can address this in stride.

The CMO's Guide To Marketing Attribution  Learn why marketing attribution is a critical technology for growth and  transparency into marketing performance.  Download Now

Topics: Marketing Analytics, B2B Marketing, marketing ROI

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