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Panicked About Marketing ROI? 3 Ways Your Org Needs to Change

Written on
Feb 4, 2014 
Author
Heather Deason Zynczak  |

ADOTAS – If you’re panicked about ROI, you’re not alone. In just the last six months, I’ve talked to literally hundreds of marketers at conferences, on sales calls and in my own network. Everyone is feeling increased pressure to show ROI, but they don’t have the data to accurately measure it. In Domo’s recent marketing survey, 82% of CMOs said they’re held accountable for ROI, but only 33% have the data they need to understand marketing’s contribution to revenue.

That has a lot of CMOs worried. Here are three ways for CMOs to overcome their data challenges and get an accurate measure of ROI:

1. Get Your Numbers Together. When I was at SAP, the IT team hated me. I called them team every week to get information on my pipeline and find out how leads were converting down the funnel. It still took them almost six months to get even a fraction of the data I needed — but that did not stop me from demanding it.  And as a result, I eventually had the data I needed to back up my decisions and prove my organization’s value.

I’ve learned as CMO that you have to set quantitative goals and establish metrics that actually measure success. Then you need to demand that your systems provide that incremental data as you approach those goals—even if it means you have an IT team that groans every time your name shows up on the caller ID. Nothing — no experience, no creativity, no team — can replace the impact of data. Half the battle is identifying your quantitative goals and then chasing the numbers, no matter what.

2. Have Data Agreement Among Execs. It’s time to put the ages old conflict between marketing and sales to bed. Organizations are moving too fast to quibble over who’s dropping the ball on leads. We need to be able to look at the same numbers, fix the issues and move forward.

And the problem isn’t just with marketing and sales. Every department needs to be on the same page. In past positions, I hated getting surprised or scolded by the finance team for going over budget or for not bringing in the leads I should have with the budget I spent. I wanted to know what they knew. I wanted to know it before we went into a meeting so I could change it or at least have a plan in place before the questions started flying. The only way to do that is to be looking at the same numbers as an entire team rather than seeing sales stats or finance metrics for the first time in an executive meeting.

3. Hire a Team with the Right Stuff. The increased pressure to tie all marketing efforts to ROI is changing everything — including our compensation structures. So we need a team behind us that is constantly analyzing for ROI, making adjustments and producing the best possible marketing results.

I’ve worked with a lot of great marketers at SAP, Oracle and here at Domo. My go-to team members are always the people who know how to measure the impact that they have on the team and on the company. It comes back to my first point about setting quantitative goals—once you know the goals you want to achieve, you can hire the data-oriented people to get you there.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Marketers’ major problem with their data has undergone a fundamental change in the last five years: what once was too difficult to obtain is now too difficult to maintain.

We all invest in data. But we’ve been trained to accept inefficiencies in how we access, consume and use the data in which we’ve already invested. We can generate more revenue and run a more efficient business when we get all our data in one place. Marketers don’t have to accept the status quo of separate systems and confusing reports; demand more from your data experience, and you’ll be on your way to getting accurate ROI on time, every time.





Heather Deason Zynczak is chief marketing officer at Domo, a  software-as-a-service (SaaS) venture started by Omniture co-founder and former CEO Josh James to redefine the business intelligence (BI) market.

With close to 20 years of industry experience, Zynczak has held executive marketing and product management positions at some of the world’s largest enterprise technology companies. She spent the last six years at SAP, where she most recently served as global vice president of marketing. In that role, she was responsible for marketing SAP’s business suite of products representing more than $3 billion in annual revenue. Prior to SAP, she spent five years at Oracle as senior director of product strategy, setting the strategic direction for more than 30 high-revenue products. Heather also led product marketing at two Silicon Valley startups and served for a number of years as a business consultant for top firms including Accenture, The Boston Consulting Group and Booz Allen Hamilton.

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