Quality Data Leads to Quality ROI
“We start with financial inputs across the world, connect the data to actions our teams are doing, and then we’re working to show the best kind of results we can.”
- Jeremie Audran, Senior Director of Global Marketing Operations, Hitachi Vantara
Two years ago, as the new Director of Global Marketing Operations, Jeremie Audran introduced Allocadia’s Marketing Performance Management (MPM) platform at Hitachi Vantara (then Hitachi Data Systems). We published a case study detailing their success. But there is always room for improvement, and over the past couple years Hitachi Vantara has continued to pursue and achieve greater success and efficiency.
Hitachi Vantara provides information technology infrastructure, analytics, content, and cloud solutions and services to Fortune 100 and Fortune Global 100 enterprises. During the first integration with Allocadia, Audran instituted a new process and framework for marketing planning and budgeting, and met with each marketing team to define long-term KPIs, goals, and realistic milestones that would all align with the overall marketing investment and business strategy.
As a global team, their budget is massive and requires consistent monitoring and maintenance. It's not enough to align marketing plans to corporate goals at the start, these investments need to be managed regularly to ensure that they are continually aligned.
The Butterfly Effect - Every Source of Data Matters
The introduction of Allocadia’s MPM platform revealed issues with the Hitachi marketing department’s approach to budgets and ROI. For example, a marketer given $100,000 for an activity might only spend $96,000 and leave $4,000 sitting on the table. Those were missed opportunities to reinvest in another project and optimize investment. Although results were being measured well, Hitachi realized they weren’t properly educating teams on the importance of keeping investment data up to date.
Data points from every field marketer need to come together to show true ROI. If data is not entered properly - or not entered at all - it affects the global marketing budget and greatly impacts the business as a whole. A small issue in one budget causes a ripple effect across an entire organization’s investment data and the accuracy of their ROI measurements. It was essential for the Hitachi marketing department to demonstrate how global data integrated to reflect not just the impact of various campaigns, but the total marketing impact on pipeline and revenue.
Hitachi Vantara’s Method for Accurate Data
The overhaul has been a major change management process for teams to learn why they need to be consistently diligent with their budgets. Hitachi’s new system for success is a combination of Allocadia and Salesforce Einstein within their technology stack. All revenue and budget data is plotted in Allocadia by campaign and pushed into Salesforce every evening. This procedure allows them to delve into errors and investigate potential data inaccuracies such as campaigns with massive revenue but no investment attached. Hitachi can review the cost, how it was allocated, and how effective the campaign or marketing activity was - they are measuring not just return on investment but return on intent.
Proper data entry leads to proper reports and a well executed dashboard. Audran is proud that now “I can tell you on a monthly basis where we spent our budget, allowing us to adjust spending and be a nimbler marketing organization.” Without quality data, marketing organizations are making potentially disastrous decisions on where to invest their funds - something Audran and his team work to avoid. Clean data and reporting is also important to the regional managers and directors that are reviewing the dashboards to gain an overview of marketing pipeline and revenue impact.
Journey of Our Dollars - The True R of ROI
Marketing teams need to understand how each of their data points culminates in broader reporting outcomes and helps optimize the entire organization. The average field marketer working at a global behemoth like Hitachi Vantara may think their budget is inconsequential in relation to the organization’s impressive scale. But it is incredibly important as their programs and data are associated with global initiatives - there is no such thing as a trivial budget matter.
Hitachi Vantara has the right people, processes, and technology in place; now is the time to move forward with improvements and continue to optimize. Audran’s goal is to have everyone working in harmony, creating a clear visualization of their effectiveness as a global marketing organization. “We start with financial inputs across the world, connect the data to actions our teams are doing, and then we’re working to show the best kind of results we can.”