This month our team was at the SiriusDecisions Summit, where we joined marketers in conversations about using data in more innovative ways and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of marketing.
One of the challenges we heard over and over at the summit was about alignment. Marketers need a strategic approach to managing their investments and measuring performance to align across global marketing and sales organizations.
How Marketers Use Analyst Frameworks
One way that marketing organizations structure their investments by using analyst frameworks, such as those created by SiriusDecisions, IDC and others.
These frameworks provide marketing leaders with a centralized methodology to align their marketing campaigns, plans and budgets. They help shape big-picture strategies and reduce wasted funds.
The SiriusDecisions Campaign Framework
The SiriusDecisions Campaign Framework is a strategic planning and budgeting framework based around four key Program Families:
- Demand Creation
- Sales Enablement
- Market Intelligence
How Allocadia Supports Strategic Frameworks
Allocadia enables marketers to easily set budget targets and build plans that map to strategic frameworks.
First, we support functional budget target allocations. This is the traditional way of allocating budget, when budget dollars are earmarked according to regions, cost centers or teams – also known as “sending money to where the people are”.
Typically, each team within the marketing organization will build their own equivalent functional plan once the big-bucket allocations have been made by marketing leadership.
Allocadia supports this process by providing a planning workspace so that marketers can build their bottoms-up plans and see how those plans are shaping up against top-down investment targets.
Second, as an additional layer, we also support strategic budget target allocations. Here, the same dollars are also allocated according to objectives (in addition to regions, cost centers or teams) or Program Families (as defined by SiriusDecisions).
In other words, marketers can see exactly how their plans are aligning to the organization’s defined goals as those plans are built.
It’s worth noting that strategic budget allocation can be done without analytics frameworks!
Organizations can base their strategic targets on any dimensions that are important to their organization. They can be benchmarks (either internal or external ones) or go-to-market measures. Examples of these include , product, “key play” or type of spend (the latter often referred to as “media mix modeling”).
One final note: We sometimes hear from organizations that are interested in learning how their spend aligns to a strategic framework, but they’re not ready to change their existing budget or planning process.
Our answer: That’s OK! They don’t have to change those things. Organizations can start with the functional view, then layer on the strategic view when they are ready.
For a slow and steady approach, marketers can just start tagging the items in their marketing plans with one or more Program Families (or other measures) to get at least half the picture (the strategic bottoms-up plan view). Then, the next year, they can define their targets taking their own historical data into account.
That way, marketers can continue using the workflows they’re used to, while the CMO gets a strategic view of the marketing mix.