Case Study: Demandbase

July 27, 2017

How Marketers at Demandbase Solved a Performance Measurement Challenge Set Out by the CMO

We fully expect Allocadia to help us build a better relationship with Finance."

– Nanneke Jansen, Director of Marketing Operations, Demandbase 

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When a company gets really good at collecting metrics around how campaigns and programs are performing, it can feel pretty satisfying for the marketing team. They understand all the touchpoints in the customer journey, and can continually drive leads for Sales based on tried and tested methods. 

That’s where Nanneke Jansen, Director of Marketing Operations at Demandbase, found herself in mid-2016. She had a hyper-focused team that could analyze marketing’s contribution to the funnel.

Then one day, the CMO asked the team, “so how much are we spending per opportunity?” They didn't have a straightforward way of answering this question.

The CMO wanted to understand how efficiently their current spend was being invested in lead generation. He wanted to know exactly how many MQLs were being created through marketing activities, right down to per webinar and per event. How much budget was being invested to generate those leads? 

Nanneke set out on a quest to find out exactly how the marketing team's program investments­ (across all of Marketing, not just ABM) were driving returns.

She reached out to Finance to see if they could retrieve the numbers they were after from their system of record. It quickly became obvious that this was not going to work. Finance tracked expenses by category (like advertising, for example), but they couldn’t track by campaign to provide the level of detail that Nanneke needed in order to show the CMO exactly how much was being spent per opportunity. 

Marketing needs to work on a cash basis so they don’t overspend, or underspend. They need to see Occurred, Forecasted and Committed cash on a real-time basis, whereas Finance’s system tracks by Invoice or POs only. Finance’s System of Record can’t anticipate budget allocations, and reallocations.  
 
This challenge led Demandbase to turn to Allocadia. Although they had great internal processes to track campaign performance, it was clear that they could not get the financial data they desired using their existing methods (spreadsheets!) without a huge increase in time and resources . Purchasing a Marketing Performance Management (MPM) solution was the natural next step.

Nanneke brought in several members of the Finance team when making the final decision to purchase an MPM solution to ensure they were comfortable with it. She was completely transparent about how the new tool was meant to help with tracking Marketing spend and earned positive reviews from Finance very early in the implementation.

With Allocadia in place, the team was finally able to track their spend per opportunity and get up-to-date data.

As Nanneke embarks on the next phase of her team’s evolution, she is confident that Allocadia will continue to strengthen ties with Finance. “We fully expect Allocadia to help us build a better relationship with Finance," she said. 

At the end of the day, not only was Nanneke able to respond to her CMO’s initial request to understand spend per opportunity, but she also opened the door to more meaningful conversations with Finance. As they continue to explore the capabilities of Allocadia, Nanneke is looking forward to helping Demandbase's marketing team predict where to invest their next dollar for maximum ROI.

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