What Does Your Go-to-Market Footprint Look Like?
For those of you short on time, this post offers marketing leads and owners a way to assess their organization’s go-to-market alignment and efforts with a brief, interactive diagnostic tool, which you can find here. For the rest of us, the following 700 words lays it all out!
We treasure what we measure as the saying goes. On the one hand marketing is becoming bigger and badder than ever before – from strategy, to social medial, to mar-tech – the tools, time and investment that product and services firms are investing into marketing is considerable. On the other hand it can still be fairly hard to measure marketing as a function, though anything digital shows promise at least in terms of measuring interest and conversion for a given channel. Talk with most marketing leads and they will tell you stories about the pressure they feel from management and peers to “show ROI”. From my own experience, it’s a one-two punch…first measure it, then do something about it … and then wash, rinse, repeat. For the latter, we offer our Go-to-Market Playbook for some guidance, but let’s takes this one step at a time and focus on measuring marketing.
For starters, we want to know ‘how we’re doing?”, then we want to see ‘where we’re going?” – both imply a set of usable measures and metrics by which to guide us. There was a time where high-level measures drove investment – e.g., if you were in Tech or Financial Services, you might spend 3-4% of your revenues on big “M” marketing; if you were a utility, less than 1%. The fundamental question in all cases is what should spend money on and to what end.. what’s does $1 spent get you in revenue and margin at the end of the day? (important note: figuring that out for an industry or company is about testing what works).
Today there are multiple tools for measuring pieces of marketing, especially when it comes to content marketing, social media and websites. Ever major social media platform has its own analytics (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn), most of which are free. And you can access tools like websitegrader.com for a free website assessment that tells you how strong your website is as an optimized marketing tool…alas, it does not tell you “actuals” but rather rates how well you’re set up to succeed – e.g., is your site truly mobile ready? All of these offer pieces of the marketing puzzle which comes in many parts: PR, e-mail campaigns, webinars, events, video, advertising, social media, direct mail … the list goes on.
But what about the total picture? According to Forrester (and as re-reported by Marketo, another tools and analytics provider), “76% of B2B marketing professionals agree or strongly agree that their ‘ability to track marketing ROI gives marketing more respect’.” A number of firms have spring up to provide ‘therapy’ in the form of consulting and tools for marketing leads who struggle to justify their budgets, map out ROI and show how much revenue and margin individual or combined marketing programs really produce. You can see some of those shops here and here. As you might expect, they are often trying to flip what has become a reversal of focus, from “quantity” to “quality”, from “activity” to “results” … I think it’s fair to say that internal customers, like the CEO, pay less attention to lead generation and website conversion rates or isolated brand studies and much more attention to revenue and profitability. They key, of course, is to show how it’s all linked.
But before you go out and engage a bunch of outside help, whether people or software, it’s often helpful to look inside your company and take stock of how your own executives and teams think you’re doing. One tool that I’ve found useful for that exercise is Accuiti, offered by The Sustena Group. This self-assessment takes just a few minutes to complete. It collects and then combines individual executives’ input (CEO, COO, CRO, and CMO, among others) to show that company’s go-to-market footprint across 8 categories that work from in the inside out, starting with the mission, brand, and value proposition, moving through the creation and distribution of activities and content to key audiences, all the way to the effectiveness of various marketing and sales programs on the top line.
Lots to do think about… and then do, hope this helps!
* This blog series comes from my own ideas and work with clients. Full permission to share.