Business Marketing June 30, 2014

What You Really Need to Know From Marketing at the Board Meeting

It’s funny. Finance, production and sales present spreadsheets, sometimes in great detail at the board meeting – and then there’s marketing. Marketing is the commonly accepted key to growth and customer innovation so you need to know what’s happening, by the numbers.

So here’s a look at what your marketing director or marketing manager should really be reporting on at the board meeting.

What you need from the marketing director – qualitative

  1. Customer insight and feedback – on how connected the value propositions are to customers. This can include trending topics, behaviours of customers – popular website pages, discussions in social media groups on LinkedIn, feedback from customers via customer service and sales and any new research that you’ve done yourself or has been done by the market place.

  2. To be in tune with their contribution: You need the marketing director to demonstrate that they are really in tune with how they are contributing to revenue, and understand the whole sales and marketing funnel, from top to bottom.

  3. Sales and marketing alignment: They need to have to have a very tight partnership with sales. Look at the handoff between marketing and sales. Is everyone on the same page with the quality of the leads? What are your expectations around marketing leads and how sales deal with these leads. It is most important that sales and marketing both agree what a marketing qualified lead (MQL) is.

  4. Making a real difference: Ask for an update on anything we’ve done to make it obvious to the rest of the world that we are unique and better than the competition, balanced with an update on what the competition has done.

  5. An overview on what’s happening: Sounds odd, but knowing what marketing is doing is really helpful. This way you can all be clear with and have proper justification of all marketing activities. This makes sure some of your board members don’t look to cut marketing budget without clear vision because they don’t feel they’re getting value.
  6. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – and the progress being made towards them.

  7. Competitor analysis: You need to keep an eye on your competition. Do our own magic quadrant and see who’s positioned better than you, why and how and what’s new? What new customer service initiatives are happening. How is technology disrupting your market?

    And finally the simple but clear question...

  8. If the marketing team had a bigger budget, would it be possible to generate more leads and increase revenue? I wonder if the answer is yes? Where would they invest, how will you measure the impact on revenues, how can they report on the success. Could you achieve new heights, if you increased investment in marketing, rather than just do what you’ve always done?

What you need from the marketing director – quantitative

Marketing has changed. It used to be that you knew half your marketing budget worked, but you just didn’t know which half. Now you can know in far more detail.

It’s important that when marketing does report that it’s consistent. The board needs to have data it can track and monitor for performance, trends, ROI and to identify what really works.

Top to bottom picture of the funnel: where are leads coming from, what are the sources and what is the return in sales revenue for each source.

Make sure your marketing reports to the board on:

  • Cost per lead, by source – source examples could be email, content advertising, social media, telemarketing, website, sales

  • How do leads convert through the funnel. There should also be a month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, or year-over-year overlay so we can see how these metrics are trending.

  • How many leads are flowing through the funnel and how many drop out? What can you learn from conversion assists (what always makes a difference – is it an online demos, webinar or maybe a particular piece of great content that is read).

  • What is our conversion rate for someone that enters the funnel into sale? (Conversion Rate)

  • What is the Cost of Acquiring a Customer? (CAC) And how is that trending?

  • Life time value of a customer (and per source if you can do it)

  • ARR and MRR: Annual Recurring revenues and monthly recurring revenues – or you might measure by sales flow per customer per month

  • Growth in organic search on the website

Remember too, to map assists for offline activities with online. For example, if you have an event. People will register online maybe? See then who attends and who doesn’t. What are the sales of each prospect or conversion to MQL. Are events a good assist in conversion? Are they a good net new lead generator? Or are they an expensive mistake? You need to know!

The marketing report – the metrics

A good dashboard can help marketing demonstrate what’s happening and they’re doing – and of course how much in control they are.

But try and make marketing stick to the same metrics and maybe only add or lose one or two metrics per month.

You need to be consistent. Not being consistent is a clear indicator marketing is either not in control, or just choosing which metrics they use in order to sweep poor performance under the carpet.

Let us know how your marketing team reports?

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