If you’re like many marketers, defending your budget to the C-suite can feel like answering a pop quiz on a book you forgot to read…in Greek. First of all, executives don’t care about “soft” metrics like brand awareness, impressions, or followers on social media — even though those metrics help marketers improve performance, your CEO is more concerned with pipeline, revenue, and profit. They’re asking questions like:
- How much faster are we growing now vs. last quarter, or now vs. last year?
- How much profit was made last quarter vs. last year?
- How much revenue and profit do you forecast for the next quarter?
- How can you trust your answers to the above questions?
In short, they’re looking for robust reporting and metrics — and you should be too. If you can’t draw the connection between your marketing and the bottom line, it’s nearly impossible to defend your budget. But it’s not just about securing next quarter’s marketing spend. If you can’t answer those questions, it’s also difficult to test and improve your performance.
To help marketers confidently answer questions from the C-suite, and continually refine their strategies, we’ve compiled our most essential marketing reports in one place — The Essential 8: Top Reports That Every Marketer Needs. Here’s a brief rundown of our essential eight, but be sure to download the ebook for a full explanation (and examples!).
1) TOFU Lead Analysis
“TOFU,” or “Top-of-Funnel” metrics are the first metrics you use to evaluate a program. Actual opportunities (leads who have been accepted by the sales team, and are being actively worked) take a while to develop, but until then, you’ll want to measure program investment, percent of new names, total successes, total targets, investment per target, and average demographic score. Using marketing automation, TOFU lead analysis helps you answer questions like:
1. Which programs bring in targets or leads most cost-effectively?
2. Where are we exhausting our lists?
3. Which programs are bringing in the highly qualified leads?
2) MOFU Opportunity Analysis
Once those opportunities form, you’ll want to use “MOFU,” or “Middle-of-Funnel” metrics to determine whether your programs are worth the investment.Through tools like Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Analytics, you can track metrics like:
• Program costs and successes
• New names
• Investment per opportunity created
• Pipeline created
• Revenue won
• Pipeline to cost
• Opportunities won
• Investment per opportunity created
3) Program Channel Performance
Analyzing channel performance helps you see which channel is best for creating opportunities and targets (targets are leads who are qualified by sales, but aren’t opportunities yet). You can run this type of channel performance report in Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics, determining the number of targets you’ve created per channel, as well as cost per target, percentage of targets who become opportunities, and the number of days it takes to create opportunities.
4) Group by Vendor/Channel for More Insights
If you’re running a lot of paid programs, you’ll need insight into how different vendors compare to one another. Unfortunately, examining each program line by line makes it hard to see the big picture. By examining your paid program vendors side-by-side, consolidating the data across vendor and channel, you’ll get a much clearer idea of which vendors to keep using, and which aren’t worth your time.
5) Content Program Performance
Paid programs allow you to send content to leads in a vendor’s database — leads who fit your criteria, but aren’t already in your list. Of course, certain content will work best for certain audiences, and you don’t want to waste your paid send with content that misses the mark. That’s why, whether you’re running a content syndication program or a sponsored email list, it’s crucial to know how that content is performing.
6) Content Impact
Content marketing can be a rough sell on the C-suite, which is why you’ll also want to measure the impact of your content across all of your marketing. Using a tool like Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics, you can track opportunities, pipeline, and revenue — that’s right, the metrics your CEO probably cares about most. This also tells you which content is driving prospects to become customers, which will help you plan your next round of content assets.
7) Opportunity Influence
Today, it’s expected that marketing will “touch” a prospect multiple times before he or she becomes a customer. In B2B sales, a typical buying committee has between five and 21 people — that’s a lot of people for marketers to reach! Tracking opportunity influence helps you determine all of marketing’s touches throughout the lead lifecycle, which in turn gives you an accurate picture of how your marketing investments lead to sales.
8) Pipeline to Investment
To dial in deeper to all of your marketing programs, you’ll want to track the investment and opportunities created from each channel. You also want to track your pipeline divided by investment — or your pipeline-to-invest ratio — so you know what works and what doesn’t. Your company will need to define its own “acceptable” range of ratios, indicating which investments you should repeat, and which should be either avoided or adjusted.
Are you running all eight of these essential reports? Get the full low-down in our new ebook, and let us know what you think: