Ep. 85 | The New Marketing Dashboard

Is your marketing dashboard full of open rate, click thru rate, social shares, brand awareness and other “important” marketing data points? Does any of it make sense to your CFO if she were to look at it?

While all the above are, indeed, important marketing metrics, they only make sense if you know how they relate to leads, closed/won deals, and revenue. My favorite Matt Heinz quote is you can’t buy a beer with an MQL.

So, what marketing KPI’s and metrics do you need to know that show how Marketing is moving the needle and meeting exceeding your business objectives?

In this Rethink Marketing conversation, Matt Heinz talks about customer lifetime value, the new marketing dashboard, the four pillars of the B2B MarTech stack, and looking for marketing’s elusive silver bullet. Matt is often recognized as among the Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management and Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.

The New Marketing Dashboard

Act-On: What is your top list of things you need to do to start thinking about it from a reporting and measuring standpoint?

Matt: I don’t think about it as sales versus marketing. The way I start to think about that now, both for my business, as we grow, as well as with clients, is I kind of erased that line to say, OK, starting as an acquisition unit, what do I care about? Well, I care about closed deals. I care about: How many of my target accounts am I closing? Whether you’ve named those accounts or whether you say, ‘I’m looking for companies that have these six attributes, and I want to close as many of those as possible’ … because I know that if they have these six attributes, they’re far more likely to see those long lifetime-value prospects.

There are closed deals, there are target account closed deals, and then there are some metrics behind that around pipeline created. In my business, I have two metrics around pipeline: I look at qualified opportunities created and I also look at a quarterly price opportunity metric. Because once I get an opportunity priced, based on our process, I know what my conversion rate is on those priced opportunities. And it’s been pretty consistent for a couple years. Those numbers I can put in front of our sales effort and say, ‘All right, if we get to that number, then I know that X percent’s going to close, and I know that that’s going to help us hit our number for the next quarter,’ or whatever I’m looking at.

We’re doing content. We’ve got a blog, we’ve got a podcast, we’re doing our campaigns. We’ve got metrics and ways that we’re managing operational efforts. But my marketing metrics don’t have anything to do with those. On my scorecard, it is closed deals, target accounts closed, opportunities created, and priced opportunities created per quarter. And that’s it. That’s what it rolls up to. And I figure if those are metrics that if I was the CFO, if I was the CEO, that’s the scorecard I care about. I think from a marketer’s standpoint that’s a good starting point. Again, separate your operational dashboard from your executive dashboard. Make sure you’re managing them both actively, but make sure you know your audience and what they need to hear and what they care about to prove your worth.

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The Silver Bullet

Matt: One of our directors has been famous ‒ or infamous. I’ve heard him say a couple different times that everybody’s looking for the silver bullet. There’s only one silver bullet. It is Coors Light. And on a hot summer day when you’re working in the yard, it is cool and refreshing. But that’s its job. There is no silver bullet that is going to make marketing easier. If anything, look, marketing is getting harder. I use that CEB stat that [there are] 6.8 members on average of the internal buying committee. When CEB published the book The Challenger Customer, that number was 5.4. In the space of 15 months their research said it went from 5.4 to 6.8. Think about the orders of magnitude and complexity that made.

So our marketing is not getting easier, it’s getting harder. And the likelihood that there’s going to be a silver bullet, or a single initiative, or some new shiny object that is going to make it all simpler or make all the rest of it go away ‒ it’s a fool’s errand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your arms around this. It doesn’t mean that you can’t put a smart strategy in place that is customer centric, that integrates sales and marketing into one cohesive buying journey, that moves the needle for you. And keep in mind that sometimes you and your competitors are running away from the bear, and you just have to run faster. You don’t have to do this perfectly. You need to do it good enough. And I think that there’s an awful lot that marketers can do. Perfect is the enemy of good in so many cases.

And I think there’s an awful lot that marketers can do to start to move the needle, to have an impact, to create better clarity for their prospects, to create better impact in organizations, and to create more separation and differentiation from their competitors, that can make an enormous difference in their impact and results in 2017.

Act-On: I love it. My dad used to have this saying: ‘People are people.’ You never have a single profile of a salesperson because there’s really never a single profile of a buyer. I think that’s kind of what makes our job difficult, because people are different, their journeys are different, and how we hold their attention is different. And in some respects there are a lot of just really interesting new innovative ideas that I think are helping make some things easier. But it is hard. But you’ve made me inspired at the end there. Any final food for thought? 

Matt: I think more than anything, go listen to your CFO. The more you can align the way you talk, the way you position marketing’s impact … We have enamored ourselves with acronyms and the nomenclature within marketing that no one else understands or cares about. Our job is not to get the rest of the organization to care about our acronyms. Our job is to drive value to the business. In terms of the way we prioritize, and the way we think, and the way we communicate back to the organization, go find out the way the business thinks, go learn the way the business talks, and that becomes your compass.