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Marketers Want To Crunch The Numbers, But May Need Help Sweating The Details

  • Written by Terry Moffatt, Contributing Editor
  • Published in Blog

According to Demand Gen Report’s 2017 Marketing Measurement and Attribution survey, almost three-quarters of those surveyed said they want deeper metrics to show the impact on pipeline and revenue.

But when asked about the drivers that are increasing their focus on metrics, the respondents don’t seem to be paying very much attention to key details. For example, less than a third said they need to track specific investments by channel. And only 25% or less of those surveyed tapped these key drivers:

  • Specific impact on content marketing spend;
  • Activity by specific stage of the funnel;
  • Velocity, progression between funnel stages; and
  • Investments at the account level.

At first glance, it seems as if many marketers — while diggin’ the forest — have decided they don’t need to pay too much attention to the individual trees. And when we asked some friends to comment on the findings, they said that was just fine.

Nani Jansen, Director of Marketing Operations at Demandbase wrote in an email, “The most important metric that marketing teams should be focused on is the real impact on business metrics, such as increasing pipeline and revenue, and the survey shows just that.”

“In fact, 72% of respondents wanted deeper metrics to show the impact on pipeline and revenue,” she continued. “Rather than being clouded by campaign metrics, marketers should focus on revenue performance metrics, such as pipeline contribution, close rates, funnel velocity and opportunities with target accounts.”

While marketers should take care not to get too tangled up in data weeds, it does feel like many of the respondents might need to take closer looks at the details of the big picture. What’s preventing that?

The respondents pointed to a number of challenges that limit their ability to optimize marketing measurement and attribution. High on the list was a lack of resources, a problem that is reflected in the growing popularity of marketing support and concierge services.

A Little Help, Please

According to a recent Salesfusion and Demand Gen Report white paper, Sizing Up DIY Vs. Do It For Me In B2B Marketing, a growing trend among small to mid-sized firms is to engage outside experts to shorten the learning curve associated with creating, measuring and tracking campaigns within marketing automation systems. Not only are these service providers experts on related technology, but they also are skilled at the best practices around creating emails, landing pages and other marketing essentials.

However, it’s not just small companies. For example, Ascend2’s 2016Marketing Automation Trends Survey showed 63% of all organizations outsource all or part of their marketing automation strategy planning. Large companies have a long track record of doing so. Now, a growing number of SMBs are seeing how combing technology automation and services can drive more value from their technology investments.

Over on the indirect sales side of the business, channel executives are also recognizing the need to address their partners’ requests for “Do It For Me” assistance. The growing list of channel technology providers offering concierge services designed to assist a vendor’s network of partners reflects just how resource-strapped small, mid-size and even large companies are.

Concierge services are now table stakes for vendors wanting to attract and retain an effective partner network, said Kevin Hospodar, Director of Marketing at MindMatrix. “As more vendors add concierge services to their channel programs, partners expect every vendor to offer them.”

While handling some of the tasks that partners just don’t have the resources to manage, concierge services also free up channel marketers and managers from having to address a range of mundane tasks. “When vendors have concierge services in place, channel pros don’t have to support those everyday requests to help with downloading materials, updating websites or localizing a document,” Hospodar said.

DIY Still A Good Thing

Channel tech providers agree that partners shouldn’t rely too heavily on concierge services. Teaching partners “how to fish” so they can ultimately take more initiative promoting their vendors’ brands, as well as their own solutions and services, is the end-game, said Sean Wisdom, VP Channel Marketing at SproutLoud. The concierges services it offers to vendors’ partners are designed to get them familiar with the systems, experience the benefits they provide and then use them on their own.

Mike Moore, VP of Channel Strategy at Averetek, agreed that concierge services should not be designed to do all the work for the partners. “It’s important that partners have some skin in the game,” he said. “Expectation always run high. If the partners aren’t actively involved, marketing programs are almost guaranteed to disappoint.”

When you consider some of the other challenges to measuring and demonstrating marketing performance and impact reported in the 2017 Marketing Measurement And Attribution survey, it’s likely that demand for “Do It For Me” and concierge services will grow.

About a sixth of the respondents to the survey admitted that they were not sure what to measure or did not have clear KPIs. A small percentage was at an even greater disadvantage. Five percent said they don’t know where to begin.