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Marketing: from cost center to revenue generator

Marketing Performance Management

spotONvision’s survey on B2B marketing performance management

Increasingly marketing directors are being measured based on performance metrics but only a few marketers can prove their value through numbers. To gain better insight in today’s state of affairs in B2B marketing performance and the challenges marketers face, spotONvision conducted a survey. Adwin Gerritsen, a spotONvision senior consultant, explains what exactly marketing performance management (MPM) entails, why it is important and what was most remarkable about the survey.

What is marketing performance management?

“Marketing performance management is a collective term for processes and systems that support a marketer in measuring marketing activities. It’s the only way to effectively measure results. Consider how KPIs are determined and how dashboard are used to show results in a relevant manner. What is the goal? To gain insight into how marketing strategy can be optimised.”

Why is measuring marketing so important?

“It is important to be able to show which added value marketing brings to company results and how marketing investments lead to more revenue. If this can be demonstrated, marketing will no longer be seen as a cost carrier but as a department that significantly contributes to the profitability of the organisation.”

“Besides, it is important that marketers work in an increasingly efficient and effective manner, reaching better results with less effort. To do so, you need essential and correct data at your fingertips on how to increase the ROI of each marketing campaign, as well as the marketing department as a whole.”

Why did spotONvision conduct this survey?

“One of the insights from the 2014 B2B Marketing Forum – the annual forum that spotONvision organises for the B2B marketing community – is that many B2B marketers find it difficult to determine relevant metrics and KPIs for their department. spotONvision conducted this survey to learn more about how B2B organisations currently deal with MPM and which challenges they experience. These insights are being used to develop roadmaps and tools that help marketers in improving marketing performance, one of spotONvision’s newest propositions.”

How did spotONvision approach the survey?

“We interviewed marketing executives from 26 leading B2B companies in the Netherlands. These were selected based on their organisational profile and industry. This gave us insight into the best practices and specific challenges of each sector, such as IT, Financial Services, Utilities, Media & Telecommunication, Technology and Professional Services.”

“During the interviews we spoke, among other things, about marketing context, the key marketing activities and how marketing budgets are determined. We also went more in-depth on marketing performance processes and reports, roles and responsibilities, KPIs and metrics, and how technology is applied in measuring performance.”

What did you discover?

“One of the more interesting discoveries was that most marketing executives aren’t judged by marketing’s contribution to the ‘sales pipeline’. It seems that B2B marketing is not yet considered a discipline that directly impacts company results. We also learned that marketing executives are inclined to take the lead and that they strive to bring marketing to a higher level in their organisation. A challenge they face is how to convince stakeholders, and how to secure the necessary budget to realise optimisation projects.”