Last week, Fournaise Marketing Group released an updated survey covering CEO’s opinions of marketers. The big headline from the study is that most CEOs think marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of the business and can’t communicate their results in a business-quantifiable way. And, 3 in 4 CEOs want marketers to become 100% ROI focused.
But, does focusing on ROI really lead to better decision making? At Eloqua’s recent Road To Revenue Tour events, conversations around measurement often focused on the challenges and barriers to this type of reporting: data quality, systems integration, and enforcing process and operational standards. Can overcoming these challenges pay off in terms of creating more demand and driving revenue growth that our CEOs can appreciate?
So, we investigated the campaign performance of companies that are doing closed-loop reporting and compared their results with those that are not.
First, we created a benchmark index of those companies that regularly report on revenue performance as part of their campaign results. Then, we compared their results with those companies that are only focused on measuring campaign engagement. We focused on top-of-the-funnel growth measures (attracting visitors, engaging visitors, and keeping buyers engaged) for this analysis to keep it an apples-to-apples comparison. Sure enough, when we looked at the monthly average growth rate of unique website visitors, unique visitor to campaign response conversion, and overall growth of the active contact database – the Eloqua Closed-Loop Reporting Benchmark Index had superior results. In fact, the CLR Benchmark Index generated almost 2.5x the average monthly campaign responses than companies that did not focus on revenue.
It was also interesting to see what the Eloqua Closed-Loop Reporting Benchmark Index companies were doing differently in terms of campaign execution and follow-up. These companies have:
(1) over 3x as many average monthly landing pages activated. It appears these companies are engaging with their buyers at every opportunity and are likely testing creative regularly.
(2) 3x the sales reps enabled with communication tools from marketing. Perhaps this isn’t much of a surprise at all, as these companies have to drive tight alignment across sales and marketing in order to close that loop in the first place.
(3) only slightly improved email response rates – for example, 10% email effectiveness rate v. 8%. This could indicate that while email is important, it is not their only driver of overall campaign effectiveness.
We think this initial analysis demonstrates that paying attention to revenue impact really does drive improved buyer engagement at all stages of the buying process. At a minimum, modern marketing success certainly requires a commitment to measurement beyond email open rates. Closing the loop is certainly not a small undertaking – but we believe that it enables a level of reporting that informs the best decision-making for improvement at every stage of the buying process.
By reporting on campaign performance in terms of revenue impact - we can make the right decisions that generate more demand for the business, we earn the right to secure more budget, and ultimately we gain business credibility with our executive team. Let’s show our CEOs that what marketing does really matters!
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