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IDC Analyst Stresses Critical Role Of Marketing Performance Measurement

Since marketing is now included in weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting and strategic planning process meetings, Marketing Performance Measurement (MPM) processes are becoming an essential tool to create a well-communicated cadence with sales and corporate management.

According to a recent presentation by Michael Gerard, vice president of research, executive advisory group & CMO of advisory practice at IDC, MPM process is imperative to communication, collaboration, and coordination within marketing. As part of the recent IDC webinar titled "Marketing Performance Measurement 2.0," Gerard highlighted the elements of an effective MPM process and its relevance to success alignment between marketing and sales.

"Having corporate level objectives not only keeps the marketing teams eye on the ball for revenue, market share, and profit, but it also sends a very strong message to the CFO, and CEO that marketing is thinking about the bottom line," Gerard said.

Demonstrating the evolution of MPM processes, Gerard pointed out that most companies have graduated to the use of dashboards with metrics in place for lead management as part of the MPM 2.0 environment. As organizations graduate to the 3.0 environment, IDC research shows companies will migrate to “a single source of data and deep intelligence on user behavior needs.” Gerard also added that companies more advanced in MPM processes have the ability to demonstrate marketing’s level of contribution and produce results in real-time.

Gerard cautioned that the MPM process requires time and nurturing. "Don't hesitate to do it manually first....Get the process down, then automate," he suggested. As a guideline for the first version of a MPM process, Gerard said a nine to 12 month period is typically required. IDC’s best practices guidelines suggested kick-off meeting, development of definitions, short and long-term strategy development, and dashboard mock-ups as some of the typical stages within the development.

Definitions, data availability and quality, metrics selection, cause and effect determination, linkage of marketing metrics with corporate objectives, concerns of accountability, and shifting organizational structure were cited by IDC as some of the challenges that come along with creating a MPM process.

Other potential areas of improvement around MPM processes, Gerard suggested some of the following areas:

  • Marketing Asset Management—Factoring in customers’ preferred methods;

  • Channel Marketing—Including the management of global messaging;

  • Customer Advocacy—Measuring customer satisfaction and likelihood to purchase;

  • Sales & Marketing Alignment—Tracking the acceptance rate of marketing leads by sales, and measuring the percentage of sales pipeline leads generated from marketing activities as well as marketing enhanced leads.