Orchestrating the diverse platforms, engagement sources and data types that drive demand generation campaigns is one of the most important – and most difficult – jobs in demand marketing.
Those same eclectic systems must be marshaled to collect the analytical insights necessary for optimizing two critical – and often disconnected – elements of demand generation: paid acquisition marketing processes and customer insights that drive revenue.
As a marketing ops or demand gen practitioner, you’re no longer managing a three-piece band but conducting a demand gen orchestra that can easily turn discordant amid its complexity. You’ve got a great opportunity to fine-tune the inefficiencies of paid acquisition, which is crucial but too often overlooked in favor of inbound marketing. The tuning process starts with analytics.
In paid acquisition marketing processes, robust measurement provides several big benefits:
Informed decisions when working with media partners
Analyzing marketing results from paid acquisition efforts enables you to select the partners that’ll best impact your goals. Comparative analysis will reveal which media partners perform best overall and which are best to execute specific types of lead generation campaigns. This analysis includes:
- Lead conversion rates by partner
- Lead accuracy and quality by partner
- ROI per campaign, per lead and per partner
- Media partner performance in a given industry, demographic profile, individual company, ABM program and more.
Analyzing the right data also bolsters your ability select which types of leads you need at any given time. Timely data ensures the marketing campaigns you assign to media partners don’t overlap with others recently launched, or in queue. The more granular you can be in pinpointing current gaps in your pipeline, the more explicitly you can translate those gaps into requirements for lead providers. Your partners, in turn, will capture business leads more efficiently, with less waste in your demand supply chain.
A greased marketing funnel
Precise campaign measurement and demand generation analytics provides efficient movement (lead velocity, data accuracy, data integrity) of captured prospect data from partners' systems to your internal systems, then between internal systems. It enables you to reduce friction in part by picking partners whose audience and efforts most closely match your needs, ensuring leads move through systems and processes at high velocity.
When you analyze paid acquisition marketing, you must answer these questions:
- Do your leads precisely fit your requirements (formatting, value ranges, etc.) without exception?
- Do they flow from one system to another in concerted way, enabling holistic comparison between sources, channels, tactics, targets, etc.?
- Are consistent scoring measures automated and applied across systems to avoid human intervention?
Understanding the marketing metrics that matter
Different brands have different metrics to reflect their business priorities, but robust measurement will nail down specifics such as:
- Lead conversion rates
- Time from initial contact to deal closure (and hopefully between numerous benchmarks along the way)
- ROI of lead generation spend
- Progress in expanding your brand’s footprint within key accounts as part of account-based marketing (ABM) programs
Customer analytics inform paid acquisition campaigns
You can’t just depend on the measurement of the campaigns themselves. Analyzing the prospect and customer data is invaluable in knowing how exactly to optimize your paid acquisition efforts.
When it comes to customer-centric analytics to maximize revenue, the measurements you need include:
- Most and least profitable customers by industry, geography, product line or other variable that’s critical to current campaigns
- Length of the sales cycle by any of the metrics cited above
- Best upsell/cross-sell opportunities and best timing to capture additional revenue from existing customers
- Outcomes of specific customer engagements as a predictor of future outcomes
The big question: What type of platform can provide this range of paid acquisition marketing metrics and customer insights?
Unfortunately, no system can single-handedly deliver every insight needed to orchestrate demand from the top to the bottom of the funnel.
However, accurate measurements and highly valuable insights will come from multiple systems – marketing automation, CRM, business intelligence dashboards, demand generation automation – all of which must play nicely with the other systems in your marketing tech stack to deliver the data you and your sales team need to meet mutually agreed objectives. Rip and replace is not an option; neither are proprietary data formats and APIs.
In addition to coexisting with your martech stack, your analytics tools need the flexibility to tailor presentation to the expertise and needs of the user – from data scientist to exec. That includes making data and analysis highly accessible to diverse stakeholders – because more exposure will raise your brand’s collective expertise.
Finally, measurement platforms need governance features – data protection and privacy, user access controls, versioning – that are so critical as data (especially customer data) passes between systems and even companies.
A system with these features is a tall order, to put it mildly. But the payoff will be the beautiful music of marketing-sourced pipeline and revenue growth that reflects on you as conductor of the demand generation orchestra.