This is an expansion of an earlier post of the process steps involved in tying marketing investment to revenue and is a viewpoint from someone with real operational experience as head of marketing.
- Get CEO/GM and head of sales buy in to your objective which is to tie marketing investment to revenue. While this sounds like a very easy thing to say, the challenge in this implementation is the length of time it will take before you will see a measurable impact that your CEO and head of sales will see. You need to nip the misperception that buying technology is a panacea for instant connection to new revenue by comparing the length of time it took the company to implement the company’s CRM system to the length of time it will take to integrate a marketing automation platform with that system. The CMO should broker this conversation augmented with 3rd party data (or person) illustrating the time it will take to pull off this new process. The risk of skipping this step is a perception of fuzzy ROI and slipping into old marketing habits where marketing is seen as a cost center, not a revenue center.
- Outline the demand generation process – involve sales and brief CEO on outcome – get help externally with a disinterested 3rd party that can facilitate and thus be removed from any emotion of outcome, own the conversations, and broker potentially tense conversations amongst multiple, global parties. A helpful process here is a six-sigma workout process for those familiar with the process. This will involve defining lead steps, defining inboundand outbound inquiry handling by both sales and marketing, and will involve different nuances globally and touchpoints in prospect to customer conversion. Assigning one owner to this process is key.
- Pick a vendor (Eloqua, Marketo, Aprimo, Neolane, Hubspot, Infusionsoft) to implement the process – there are many articles that exist today on pros/cons of systems so I won’t go into a deep explanation here. However, like the earlier step, involve the head of sales and CEO on the outcome. 3rd party data can help in this vendor selection or leveraging a disinterested 3rd party can also be helpful to speed the process up.
- Aggressively implement and scope out timeline for implementation of your marketing automation platform – this timeline has to be the guideline for the head of sales and CEO to understand and work with. The phases of implementation are vendor selection (phase 0), vendor integration (phase 1), entering campaigns including SEO keygroups (phase 2), and then PAYOFF, see the marketing impact on revenue.
The key themes to consider in this process is to communicate early and often, iterate once you’ve selected a vendor early and often, re-communicate, and reiterate. Keep involving your CEO and head of sales and leverage external help – there are others that have lived this battle before, so you should be no different. Expect the process to be a journey and not a destination and you’ll be on the path to success in tying marketing investment to impact.