Marketing Reporting Matters to the C-Level

True story: a newly minted Director of Marketing starts his job at a large conglomerate. He brings a shrewd understanding of the importance of connecting Marketing to revenue, and immediately makes an effort to align with Sales and gauge how well the two departments are working together. He conducts a survey to check how the Sales division perceives Marketing’s contribution to their efforts. The results are abysmal. 

The director sets a goal to improve the working relationship with Sales in order to connect Marketing to revenue outcomes/ closed opportunities. As the relationship between Sales and Marketing improves, the director makes a point of showing how marketing directly supports the efforts of sales. As a result of his efforts, he is able to communicate marketing’s contribution to revenue and grows marketing’s budget by 20% year over year for three years in a row. The company’s revenue grows alongside the clout of his expanding Marketing team: further surveys reveal that the Sales division perceives Marketing as being a critical contributor to the company’s top line.

What was the secret of the Director’s success?

Marketers need to speak the language of revenue to get the resources required to thrive in a buyer-empowered marketplace. To use the old adage, money talks, and conversations about budget are much more constructive when everyone is speaking on the same terms. Using Attribution Reporting, the Director quantified his Marketing team’s contribution to revenue and – because all stakeholders were all on the same page – everybody listened

Why is reporting so game-changing for Marketing teams? Let’s take a closer look.

B2B Marketing Data is Complex

B2B marketing efforts have traditionally focused on branding and general advertising to gain exposure and reach markets. With companies making major marketing technology investments to cater to the empowered buyer, the stakes are much higher. Today’s B2B consumer has access to product and service information, reviews, and competitor options all at the touch of a mobile phone; as such, tech and data-driven approaches to customer engagement are basic conditions for success.

B2B Marketers must go beyond the tactical metrics of impressions, opens, and clicks and make specific connections between marketing investments and revenue. How many deals were closed as a result of a trade show, banner ad, or content play? It’s great when an ad goes viral, but did it actually generate revenue?

The B2B buyer journey is complex: multiple stakeholders are often involved in identifying problems and evaluating solutions. The purchasing pathway is almost never linear and often takes extensive periods of consideration. If your marketing reporting doesn’t reflect a complex buyer journey, you’re likely missing out on opportunities to optimize your pipeline and increase sales.

Marketers can gain real insight on their contribution to revenue by reporting strategically on their entire repertoire of campaigns and investments. Surprisingly, few companies use intelligent key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of their Marketing investments. Recent reports indicate that “only one in four marketers is confident they can quantify ROI.” In our experience, there are three KPIs that provide the best data for marketing teams to prove and improve their impact on the pipeline:

Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), Lead Velocity, and Lead Conversion. Attribution reporting provides ROMI, funnel reporting provides lead velocity and lead conversion ratios.

Attribution Reporting Proves Marketing’s Impact

Attribution Reporting should rank high on any Marketing Team’s to-do list; it provides ROMI, a big-picture perspective on exactly how much revenue is connected to top of funnel marketing investments. It’s the metric that enables marketers to manage their efforts: by understanding which leads brought sales, and how those leads were acquired in the first place, marketing teams can put their energy where it matters most.

The success of an Attribution Reporting system largely rests on establishing business processes that connect marketing leads with sales revenue. This can be a challenge in companies where Sales and Marketing teams are not aligned with one another. A marketing campaign may generate hundreds of new leads, but if the organization does not have a process to identify which closed opportunities were sourced from those leads – any attempt at calculating ROMI will be rendered ineffective.

By implementing business processes that connect Sales opportunities to Marketing activities that generated them, companies can gain visibility into what investments make the best contribution to their top line. 

Learn more about Attribution Reporting with our free guide.

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Full Funnel Reporting Drives Marketing Optimization

Marketing leaders can get deeper insight on their lead generation campaigns and further optimize their content development through funnel reporting. Full Funnel Reporting provides Lead Velocity and Lead Conversion metrics: KPIs that tell marketers how quickly leads are moving through different funnel stages, and how many of those leads drop off or convert through the funnel. 

With Lead Velocity and Lead Conversion KPIs, marketing professionals can project and measure the buyer journey – information that is critical where content marketing is involved. Whether it is a product page, case study, article, testimonials or an e-book, empowered B2B buyers seek specific types of knowledge at different points of their purchasing journey. 

Knowing what influences your buyers most can drive future marketing campaigns and further content development. What was the top piece of content your marketing qualified leads looked at? What are buyers reading the most before making a purchase? Are your buyers stalling at a certain stage? What kinds of content might increase conversion rates?

Being able to answer these questions – and having the data to back it up – can help marketing teams determine where to focus, try new tactics, and problem solve. 

Speak the Language of Revenue

Clear, explicit connections between Marketing and sales enables Marketing leaders to speak the language of revenue and make a greater impact on C-Level decisions and business goals. Attribution and Full Funnel Reporting quantifies the value of marketing activities, making the buyer journey visible, and further optimization possible.  

The modern buyer journey is increasingly complex. Establishing funnel reporting systems that track the buyer journey and connecting Marketing to revenue is essential to enabling companies to excel and thrive in today’s marketplace.