B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

78. Are We Measuring Marketing Excessively?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Attribution and measuring ROI are incredibly important elements of marketing. 

But are we being victims of measuring marketing excessively and compromising on creativity?

In this episode, I interview Matt Fleming, Director of Marketing at Loadsmart, about measuring marketing.

We talk about: 3 flaws of over-measurement, how to measure brand awareness, the worst consequence of over measuring is loss of creativity, 20% of your budget should be brand affinity.

 

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to beer of a new acceleration. My name is Anim with you, and I'm here today with Matt Fleming, Director of marketing at load smart. How are you to day smart? Doing Great, thanks, and thanks for having me on the podcast. Absolute pleasure. So today we want to speak about marketing activity and the topic is exactly how we measuring marketing excessively question mark, which is a great topic because I have been victim, or I've made my marketing people victim, of my month measuring excessively sold me to. Are Your sorts on that? But before we get into the conversation, Matt, could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about the company you represent? Lot spots. Sure thing. My Name's Matt Flemming and I lead marketing at load smart. What load smart does is loadsmarts of Technology Company in we leverage technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning and combine those with deep industry partnerships to help shippers like the Coca Cola Company is an example, and move freight across the country a little bit more efficiently. Oh, son's excellent. So so, Matt as a market are you are obviously requiring to prove the value of the activities you drive and measure the the row I have to activity. So I guess you can report to your management and to Y'all, bald as to I was successful your compings all. But do you believe that market all focusing too much in driving shot term resorts and by doing that technically compromise activts at all fundamental from brand burnding perspective, but or so outdot to me Asah, yeah, so the short answer to that and I'll give you a caveat in one second, but the short answers yes, absolutely. Let me just say up front that, because I'm sure you know there's some very like passionate views on either side of this.

So let me just say a attribution and measuring Roy are incredibly important parts of marketing. There's no way you're going to get around them. But what I'd say is what's happened over the past, call it, ten to fifteen years, is that companies are looking to attribution analysis to define their marketing playbook. So it's not so much like they're they're they're defining their marketing playbook and then using attribution analysis to kind of measure, you know, what they should be working on right or what kind of had the best return, but they're using that attribution analysis to define everything that they do. Everything that marketing should be doing is kind of defined by the attribution analysis and typically Roy is revenue, right, gross revenue, maybe in some cases margin to yeah, in my opinion is that, like that has some real fundamental flaws, even more so if you're a BEDB technology company and you have a longer sales cycle. Specifically, I think there's I think there's like three problems, I think so. Number One, taking that example of like a be to be company, you know, with a reasonable sale cycle there are likely dozens upon dozens of touch points that occur over the course of the six months sale cycle. Right in. The reality is is you probably only track at best half of them. And then I think when you combine that with the fact that the data we do track can be wildly misleading. So as an example of that, let's kind of take example of like having a PR or media relations function. How do you even measure the Roi on that. The reality is you can't even measure the traffic from the referral itself, because how many people see an article and then just go directly to your website or do a Google search? You're never going to get heavy should but we all know internally, right, that media relations in PR is kind of an important component of marketing. And then I think the last point I had on that, or kind of the last big problem with people relying too much on attribution is that the models that we actually use to measure those touch points are not scientific at all. It's literally the equivalent of sticking your finger in there and like trying to feel which way the wind blows and won't whether it's, you know, like linear right,...

...so like our linear attribution. First Touch, last touch, you know, middle touch. Like the point is, like there's dozens of these models, but at the end of the day it's just some product manager or a marketer somewhere being like hey, like, I think this is the way we should go. Yeah, it so like stepping off my soapbox for a sec I guess. I think because of those reasons, what ends up happening is marketing is up over focused on some activities and completely ignores others. In the bottom line is that, at least in my opinion, too many companies look to attribution as a gps when it's really supposed to be used like a compass. And Yeah, okay, that's makes sense. So what would you say? The activtet up being left to site because of that relentless requirement to measure on that tribute, and that'stribution. Sure, I think it's a lot of things tied to brand. Anything squishy. Right. Here's another example, right, like let's say you can even factor in a website redesigned into that, because it's I think it's also tied to the type of business here in so let's say, you know, we saw take the example of load smart actually. So we sell to Fortune one hundred companies, really senior people at those companies, and it's really kind of an outbound marketing motion. Yet the same time we know our website is really, really important. But how do you measure that in terms of Ouri? Right, like it's not transactional. They're not going to come to our website and do business through our website. But there's an impact. If one of our sales people, for instance, gets like the VP of supply chain, let's say it's staples, on the phone, and then that VP goes to check out our website and I can't find what they were just pitched on the phone. How do you qualify? How do you quantify that? You can't. So there's always kind of in so I one I think it's kind of tied to the type of business that you're in. But to I think there will always be things that are hard to measure, that we know like deep in our gut are wildly important and even it's logical that they're important, but because attribution can only take you so far,...

...you get stuck and I see that happening over and over again. Noun, that's time. So in jails are end then? Is that a way to measure bread a Lottess? Yeah, I think there are. You know, I think again it depends on the stage of company that you're at right in terms of what resources you can put into measuring that. I think number one, you can look at kind of organic branded searches for your company and how that trends over not over time. Hopefully you actually have like a unique company name that isn't like echo or something like that, right, but you could potentially manage kind of organic search for your brand. You can do stuff like a brand awareness surveys and, I think, perhaps to a lesser extent, just kind of thinking about the relationship that you have with your customers. You could potentially look at stuff that's similar to MPs score, so kind of like how do people actually feel about your company? Beyond just kind of being aware, and I think this is going to sound, I guess, a little bit sappy or too much pine the sky, but I think when you've really focused on brand marketing activities and specifically like building kind of brand affinity with the people you're trying to sell to, there is a buzz in the way that they engage with you. I think as an example of that, you know drifts spent a lot of time, I think, focused on brand marketing and as a result of that, you know, they were able to launch their own event and, you know, sell it to capacity. Is that a you know, like I think that's actually kind of a latent effect of them kind of spending so much time defining their brand and really focusing on it. Yeah, great, take exam put as I live done. They've done very wetter on that to be false. So a that that makes perffix sense. So in that case, do you believe that the marketels are being less creative? Seems I expected to spend mure time in doing it and then a key colle and res are driven type of approach. Absolutely definitely. I think over the past ten to fifteen years there's been a massive over focus on both tech and an analytics and as a resulted, as a result of that, I think marketing the game very transactional, right. So it was like how...

...many mq wells did you bring in? How many of those MQ wells turned to ask you, wells, how did that turn into revenue? And we came, we became like so focused on transactional mark marketing that it really came at the cost of building a brand and building affinity with that brand. And when I say that, I really want I'm talking about is like building a brand in building an authentic connection with the people that you're actually trying to sell to. And it's crazy because I think you end up having like you have marketers who know how you know. They're like a grand wizard in Marquetto or hub spot, but they don't know how to write. They can't all a story and I believe that the overfocused on analyt x has actually gotten US further from the results we want because again, right those attribution analysis are fundamentally flawed. They're only tracking the points you can track and then they're waiting those touch points very arbitral. So if anything, I think the overfocus on analytics, well it's important, it actually gets US further away from the results that we want, which is, you know, for most people, revenue. So I would you suggest you obviously again and you mentioned it a couple of times in in the conversation so far. It does depends on the type of organization. So I don't know how big is your team? A lot smart. I don't know if you're on your own. But let's say you've got a small organization. You've got someone who's got maybe you know, a CMO and two three people in the organization worldwide. Of course they won't be able to as someone with marketing operations, someone with content marketing, someone with online marketing, whatever it could be. You know at the team that you would have in the Coca Cola and know all those large organizations may have like thousands of people in marketing. So if you, if you are limited with resources, and I'm sure you'll say that, you look great at tools, and analytic is quite important. Is a part of it that you can't completely revoke from from your from your yours process. So how would you attribute the time, how much, how much should be spend on analytical driving results, commuting anything about what you are doing, versus actually, you know, being creative, thinking outside the box and making your prospect thing that you know you coming up...

...with the greatest compaign wants to engage with you. Yeah, so what I would say is I don't think they're mutually exclusive. Like the you know, keeping an eye on the analytics and then also being able to think creatively. I think there's a balancing act to that, right. Like I think that also plays into kind of how you think about like the budget that supports those activities, right. That was kind of my next Question Time and budget. So yeah, it kind of I'll do you spread that, because I completely understand what you're saying, but I put, you know, putting my ceu at all. I still need to get some sort of measure. I need to get to feel saying, you know, I might is driving the right thing. I made not begetting GM Qures, but all the prospective meets everything at I'm reading about my company is we are the new Ronics of you know, all the BMW or whatever I could mean a go, all those brands being associated to success and everything from a client's perspective. And well, is that that could be just through conversation, you know. At the same time, I'm sure you need to justify the tools that you are using your marketing budgets. I'm kind of trying to ask your question around. I'll do you go and get more money as a marketer without, you know, basically balancing get your sorts on that. I know you. Yeah, it's a hard question and it's a really good question, really really good, because I think that's kind of you know, it forces me to put my money where my mouth is. Right. So let me just say one thing up front, and it may not be the thing thing that you'd want to hear as a CEO. Right, right, well, there will be activities that your company should absolutely be doing that you will never be able to measure. The RLIFE. However, Huh, and that sounds scary. It should be scary, but it's just it's the way it is, and you can kind of like talk around it a little bit, you know, like Oh, like, well, maybe it will increase our conversion rate five percent on the website and that results in x many leads, x many opportunities, x many meetings, x many deals. Right, you can do that, but it really like your you're you're just trying to make yourself feel better for making that invest so,...

...yeah, maybe that's controversial, but that's kind of how I think about they're always be things that you can't measure. How does that relate to how I think about splitting budget and activity? Because at the end of the day, I think it's a compromise. Right. So how I am personally? Let me just start by saying that, like, I would right now invest more earn brand, but there's obviously pressure from my boss, there's pressure from senior leadership to focus on like demand Gen activities that are more kind of typically trackable. Right. So I'll tell you kind of how I think about it and how I like the framework I use for doing that. So what I do is I first start with figuring out, basically doing the reverse funnel math to identify, to keep the rest of it, to keep my peers and my boss and the management team happy, how many whether it's leads, mqls. You know, however, you define top of the funnel right, use the reverse funnel math to basically backtrack out what you need to be spending in, you know, a typical demanjat program right, or demand M programs across a quarter to hit that quarterly target. Yeah, assuming revenue target, that's going to take a massive chunk of change out of your budget, right, like that's just good and you have to do it because it is a compromise with other people on your team. So that's number one. So I'm using reverse funnel math to backtrack out the demand end budget and that chunk is spoken for. Then there's also, you know, the tools and tech. I need some carving that out, but typically what ends up happening is is like, after you've kind of done your funnel analysis, you've come up with your quarterly targets in terms of like what you need to hit, and then also the costs and campaigns that you know you need to run right to actually hit that target, there's going to be a chunk of budget that's left over. Almost always right, and typically the way I think about that is all go to senior management say hey, I'm signing up for this lead target, this opportunity target, this customer target. I'm going to use this amount of money to actually go out and get those leads or empty walls, however you wanted to find it. But there's this chunk of budget that's left over that I'm going to be using to build brandware, or not necessarily brand awareness, I...

...like to say brand affinity, brand affinity with the people were trying to sell to. You know, that could be roughly twenty, two thirty percent of the budget. Typically it's closer to twenty. And the other thing I would say there is that what we do is we were in abm shop, right, so where account based, marketing, Account Bass sales. So what new is when I when we talk about those brand activities, right, depending on the platform, you can get a glimpse into what companies are actually engaging with that brand content. Right. So, for instance, Linkedin, if I run sponsored video and target it to the prospects and companies that were actively trying to get into I can see whether or not those companies engage with the content. So that's kind of how I think about it. You know, start with the demand, Jen figure out the targets that you need to hit to one hit your revenue number, but to keep everyone happy, you know, carve out what you need for tools, but then, kind of with that chunk of budget that's left over, I would dedicate that to brand and, to be honest, like, if I didn't have to make those compromises, I'd probably invest even more in brand, simply because not to like, you know, go on a diet tribe. But if you think about it, contents becoming more saturated. Ad Budgets are going up, compounding roughly twenty percent year over year. So like those typical like demand employs or play book, you know that demand gend playbook is rapidly becoming stale and more expensive. So I would actually argue that, you know, going into the next five years, a company's ability to generate demand is actually going to be infinitely better or more efficient by do it by building brand and building brand affinity, then it would be trying to do any typical marketing playbook, you know, like gated content, Gavid Webinar ad supporting that stuff like that. Yeah, I talked a lot. I hope that makes sense. That makes perfect sense, I think. I think you know you're right, just kind of to de fitting you of good t when you group, when you go insight is show up and the websites you write. I mean the difficulty of the topic today is that I think you can of need to measure some stuff because you can't get away with it. But I think what we're saying is that, look, you still need to think about your brand. You need to think about the...

...longer term. Don't just get because if not, will everybody will do email campaigns, which is kind of a little bit dead now, but very easy to manage, very easy to measure the result. Someone respond to the email. What are interested? If they don't respond, well, technically they're not interested. But I think, I think you can of eat the nail on the end with the with the way to go about it. And and I guess for me, from my personal perspective, which is may not be the perspective of all the audience, what I really wanted to get from you today is you know what sort of percentage of budgets, percentage of time would you be allocating the brand, and I think if we were to get a rough number, I would be around twenty persons, just like a fifth of time and the fifth of the of the budget, which, you know, kind of makes sense to me. You know, it's it's it's it's important, I think, to invest. May Be thinking about it from a different perspective because operatic is a company that I started. You know, I was there from day one. So the name operatics the brand really mean something to me. So I want the brand to do well and the brand to thrive. And may be different when you are in an organization it is a bit larger and people may not say it in some perspective, but twenty person seems fair and I think that's that's emissively what we are trying to do. I've said that already on a few on a few episodes, but you know, it's it's kind of refreshing because I was probably on the opposite side thinking, you know, brand Pia, what's the point? You know our new complas, realize it's use less. Up until the point I started to get into conversation with prospect that I was meeting at events or even people emailing me and saying, look, just would like to really interested to work with the products which just you know, we cannot validated the references and stuff. We already spoke to people. Lots of people speak about you, guys, and there is a good vibes around you. There is a buzz around you, but I just don't know if I can afford your services. So I wanted to speak to you and see if, you know, I made too small and made the right size to work with you. Petickuly, people approaching you saying or...

...you seem to be doing so great that I don't know if I've got enough money for you. You see, it's got to be very expensive for the reason that I believe you're delivery, and that's from a perspective. Is Actually is Brent and and we started that really three years ago to get that sort of feedback, and they keep on going since and but yeah, it's it's a lot of work to be done. It's a lot for us. It's community building. We're going to be walking on our website this year as well because, you know, we've done a lot of things that are offline, if you will, that are not really as you mentioned with your example, with staples, you can't find them online. So we need to be more consistent. So we do know those things, but that twenty percent seems fail and I think you you, you, you ready the NAT on Tetz. That twin so much. If anyone a fologians would like to carry on the conversation, Weise you out of the pot. Get a note of decision today with what's the best way to get in touch with you? Yeah, sure, so people can find me on linkedin or shoot me an email. My linkedin is forward slash MC Fleming. Feel free to pick me there. I love talking about this kind of stuff. Alternatively, if you want to reach me up by email, you can hit me up at Matthew Dot Fleming, with one M at load smartcom. That's one enough food where. Thank you very much for you insight today, met it was a great pleasure to have you on the show. It was a pleasure to be on. Thanks for having me. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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