There’s a whirlwind of activity a CMO must understand, prioritize and manage today:
- Define and manage the customer journey.
- Build and maintain the marketing pipeline.
- Build and maintain a technology stack.
- Establish and communicate the company’s and the marketing team’s vision.
Without a defined planning process to create strong alignment with other internal teams, marketing can find itself brilliantly executing in the wrong areas.
Recently, Craig Moore, Service Director, Marketing Operations Strategies at SiriusDecisions, joined me for Executing the CMO’s Vision: Turning Marketing Dreams into Business Impact to discuss these themes. This was the first in our #RunMarketing webinar series, and I’ve recapped our best tips below.
Define a Common Set of Assumptions
Most marketers think of strategic planning with a great deal of dread. Feelings range from surprise upon learning the business financial targets, to frustration in determining specific objectives, to being overwhelmed with tight planning deadlines – leaving most marketers wanting to focus solely on execution. But that doesn’t make marketing successful over the long-term.
The first step in SiriusDecisions’ marketing planning process is strategic alignment. All senior executives – plus marketing, sales and product leaders – come to a shared understanding on vision, growth, strategy and important revenue, profit and market share objectives. This common set of assumptions could include:
- How do you plan to grow? Are you growing into new markets, attaining new buyers, introducing new offerings or acquiring new customers?
- Where’s the revenue coming from? Do you understand where it’s coming from by segment and how marketing will participate in driving that revenue?
- What out-of-campaign efforts is marketing covering? Among branding efforts, user conferences, analyst relations, creative services and more, are you setting expectations as to what exactly marketing will cover?
Set Marketing’s Goals
Once this is place, then you can go to the next phase – setting marketing’s goals. Top leaders in product management, solution marketing and customer marketing agree on marketing’s role to drive and influence revenue for the company.
This is an essential phase to rank efforts based on ROI and create a “marketing will or will not” list based on the highest to lowest company benefit.
See more detail about how Craig applied this process for a fictional company in the full webinar recording.
Two Reporting Requirements
Too often, the question “Is our investment in marketing paying off?” is answered with a number of leads or followers generated. Answers like these tell us about activity, not about business impact.
To provide CMOs with the measurement data they need to answer executive leaders’ and marketers’ questions, we’ve identified four different metric classes:
- Activity: Counting actions taken (emails sent, calls made, etc.)
- Output: Identifying intermediate stages to a goal (proposals, inquiries, MQLs, etc.)
- Impact: Overall impact marketing is having on an organization (revenue, market share, profitability, etc.)
- Readiness: Are you ready to scale? Do you have the people, technology and resources in place and optimized for maximum performance?
“Run” and “Do” Marketing
Marketers today have 2 jobs:
- “Do” Marketing: The execution or “front office,” customer-facing marketing designed to create results.
- “Run” Marketing: The “back office”, where strategy, planning and ideas come together.
World-class marketers must merge both of these jobs to successfully execute the CMO’s vision.
Unfortunately, with manual Excel spreadsheets, disconnected PowerPoints or back of the napkin calculations, that means marketers spend more time “running” than “doing” marketing.
At Allocadia, we want marketers to spend more time “doing” marketing. That’s where marketing performance management (MPM) technology comes in. MPM allows marketers to manage marketing investments, create a marketing plan, and measure what was spent compared to the business results achieved.
This information helps every level of the marketing organization make smarter marketing decisions. Without “running” marketing, you’ll never be able to successfully “do” marketing.