Use Benchmarks to Ground Marketing Progress

Accountability is the latest imperative for B2B marketing. The rise of digital marketing, aided by the use of lead management software and other technologies designed for business users, has provided access to measurement tools previously unavailable. Measuring response is no longer confined to eyeballs and passive exposure, but can be refined by any number of online behaviors. Marketers can now easily benchmark results well beyond the opens and click-thrus generated by their email campaigns. Lead Scoring enables you to see a full view of the relationship you’re building with prospects across their entire buying process. Marketing automation solutions collect information from a variety of touch points including website pages, form field submissions, campaign responses and more.

What marketers need to determine is which data will best demonstrate their accountability for budget spend in relation to the achievement of company objectives. One set of data could be built by aggregating the overall increase in lead score that resulted from the initial clicks produced by the campaign. If the score increased by 5 points for clicking a link in your email message, but the average result for those who clicked through was 15 points higher due to their engagement with other related content, marketers can show additional impact to lead quality.

Take that scenario further to measure how many Leads become qualified by marketing during the campaign and how many of them are accepted by sales. Even better, with a holistic marketing automation platform and CRM integration, marketers have the ability to benchmark the changes to the disposition of those Leads as they move through the purchasing process. A benchmark can also be applied for the number of Leads that sales is returning for nurturing due to a lack of sales readiness. Marketers then have the information they need to refine their qualification process to increase the percentage of leads that are accepted by sales.

Benchmarking that used to take hours of manual compilation and analysis can now be produced by an automated process that provides real-time statistical insight to key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs can significantly impact how marketers apply science to the art of marketing for process improvement.

Obviously the escalating amount of data available can be overwhelming. Marketers need to make sure they choose their benchmarks wisely. The key is to select measurements that drive true improvements across the sales cycle. With improved accountability for marketing performance across the marketing funnel and throughout the sales pipeline, alignment between marketing and sales can become as holistic as the technology integration that supports them.