Marketing should always serve the business.
It should go without saying, but unfortunately this is not always the case. As marketers, we have been spoiled by years of fast growth and good economy. We have developed marketing strategies and tools, set up internal marketing goals, adjusted our marketing strategy to better meat our marketing goals, and all was well.
Everything changed in 2007. The economy tanked, and the effects of that prolonged recession (whether we’re facing a second recession or not) are still felt. Belts were tightened, budgets slashed, and as marketers, we suddenly faced a demand we never faced before (or at least not as strongly): to align marketing programs with business goals.
The new economy dictates that marketing must now serve the business – its existence can only be justified if it serves to promote the business goals of the entire organization. The toughest demand from marketers? They should be able to clearly demonstrate that their efforts advance the business’ bottom line.
Marketing ROI must be clear, measurable, and it must be shown in business terms, not in marketing terms. In other words, what we marketers now need is not marketing strategy to achieve marketing objectives, but rather marketing strategy to achieve BUSINESS objectives.
This is not a semantic difference.
The good news? Marketing automation helps with marketing accountability. Implementing marketing automation solutions helps marketers not just to get more value out of lead generation campaigns, but also to demonstrate that value to the CEO and CFO. Marketing automation solutions enable us to gain better visibility into our campaigns (whether successful or not) and increase the quality of the leads we provide to sales.
Just as importantly, marketing automation helps us to actually REDUCE the cost of our campaigns by helping us identify the leads that are sales-ready vs. leads that require more nurturing. Making sure that the expensive sales resource gets involved only with leads that are truly sales-ready means significant cost reduction per campaign.
Marketing automation enables marketers to track every lead to every campaign, nurture that lead until they are sales ready, and then follow them through the sales cycle. This creates a clear and demonstrable picture of a marketing campaign’s effectiveness that can be communicated in business terms.
Marketing does not have to be a bottomless cost center, forever engaging in expensive campaigns but failing to demonstrate their effectiveness. Marketing can and should be aligned with the organization’s long-term business goals and use its resources to enable and promote the execution of the organization’s long-term business strategy.Google+