Understanding Shared Marketing Objectives For Marketers
Marketing objectives should be aligned with business objectives to provide business growth. Marketers should understand the key metrics that define business growth and be able to translate these into marketing goals. This can be done by understanding the relationship between marketing efforts and profit by looking at previous data sets or secondary research conducted by third parties.
Top-level executives in a company will set business goals for the entire organization. These are generally broad and provide direction to where the business should be going in terms of product development, positioning, market lead and so on. Some examples of business goals include:
- Increase revenue by 20%
- Increase market share by 15%
- Reduce cost by 10%
Each department feeds its own objectives from the global objective and will set up KPIs (key performance indicators), to measure its success against and assess if their final performance contributed to the overall business goals. In this article, we use sales and marketing as an example of two departments that have objectives which usually work alongside each other.
The sales team will set up contributing objectives. For example, to achieve a 20% increase in revenue and translate this figure into actual sales figures, the objective might transform and become:
- Increase MRR (monthly recurring revenue) by 5% each quarter
After analyzing this goal, looking at previous patterns that lead consumers to become customers that impact the MRR, the marketing team can set up objectives and targets that will likely convert into an MRRs. For this, they need to understand the sales process and how the marketing efforts will impact this figure. At the end of this analysis, the objective might now have transformed for the digital marketing team to become: #
- Generate 15% more leads in the quarter and qualify at least 70% of these leads.
This could be the main objective divided into smaller objectives that would be more specific and truly follow the SMART objective model.
The definition of the key metrics used will depend on the main goals, departments and available data sets. More examples of business KPIs include:
Profit, cost, cost of good sold, day sales outstanding, sales by region and number of customers. These are high level and not always the most specific.
Some sales KPIs might be customer churn rate, contact volume by channels, customer lifetime value (CLV), customer acquisition cost, customer retention.
Some marketing KPIs might be: returning visitors, brand awareness, return on marketing investment, web traffic source, CLV, cost per acquisition (CPA), CTR, conversion rate.
By understanding the value of the lead generated, marketing is capable of tracking the impact of each marketing effort. Using the different performance tools available online, such as Google Analytics, CMS performance analytics, page analytics, form submission, clicks, lead generation, etc., the digital marketing department can pull out information on how many leads was created by channels, and how these lead transformed into the marketing and sales funnels.
Tracking metrics that relate directly to sales and profit facilitate the measurement of the impact of marketing on the overall business. When tracking metrics you can find out what the ROI of one campaign was on a specific date, how many leads were generated, how many of them were converted into customers, how much they brought in revenue, and does this compare to the original investment made to put this marketing effort together?
This exercise can be trickier for digital content marketing strategies as the metrics are more distant from actual sales, i.e. shares, likes, comments, etc. The important process is to be able to track the metrics across visitors, how many were converted, the traffic source and the amount of the conversion, in order to be able to attribute this conversion to marketing. CRM and CMS platform that work together help marketers track this data to report on this data.
Relationships between Sales And Marketing Departments…
The definition of the marketing and sales qualified lead is organization-specific as only they know what criteria a lead shows when converting. But there is a general definition of each stage:
- Lead: Inquiry, referral, or other information, obtained through advertisements or other means that identifies a potential customer.
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): Lead with shown interest in the product by performing a set of actions such as visiting the website, interacting with content, etc.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A lead that has shown strong interest in buying the product by performing a set of actions defined as qualifying for a sale.
To qualify a lead as an MQL, a marketer need to analyze historical data on the channels, actions, and patterns that brought the contact to convert into a customer. This is a co-owned effort between sales and marketing, as sales being directly involved with the customer has knowledge of the points that convinced them to convert.
Some companies have lead scoring set up in order to attribute points to leads and set thresholds (scores) that define a lead as marketing or sales qualified. The key moment of this cycle is the qualification of the lead from marketing to sales. When marketing teams qualify leads for sales, it means that these contacts have grasped a good enough impression of the brand and product to enter into a more aggressive sales process. If the lead has been qualified too early, the sales effort will be perceived as too early or aggressive and the contact might step away.
Think, for example, about an intrusive email that is very targeted and brings you back to the e-commerce site, when you were simply browsing and searching for nothing in particular. It is usually annoying and doesn’t trigger a good brand experience. Thus if a lead is not correctly qualified, sales teams might lose time and effort trying to bring them through the funnel to convert and not get any success due to premature lead qualification.
Sales and marketing should agree when a lead is ready to be qualified and what sales need in terms of information.
I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.
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