Perhaps we should start by asking ourselves how and why metrics really matter. As entrepreneurs, the metrics we do (or don’t) report also send powerful signals about how we view our business impact and set expectations for how we intend to contribute to the business. If the metrics we offer are too limited, we risk misleading or under-educating our colleagues in other functions about marketing’s full role and impact. Incomplete metrics signal a marketing function with limited impact on business growth and transformation.
Creating a marketing roadmap can often serve as the tonic for foreshadowing what you’ll measure and signals how you’ll contribute.
The first thing to identify is what information is the most valuable. The goal is to ensure you’re taking a comprehensive view of business impact. It’s crucial to ask yourself whether the metrics impact the income statement or the balance sheet (e.g., brand equity value as an asset) and identify which metrics are historical (e.g., last quarter) or forward-looking (e.g., expected customer lifetime value). It is also worth noting whether they are single period (e.g., a demand-generation campaign) or multi-period (e.g., an improved in-market testing capability that will pay off over multiple time horizons).
Plan out your roadmap in a way which questions the ROI of your marketing efforts, what impacts customer satisfaction, the future capabilities and also impact on the enterprise as a whole.
Additionally, campaign metrics need to be supplemented by other metrics with broader enterprise applicability. By far the dominant ones we see are sales and customer satisfaction (e.g., revenue growth, net promoter score). This seems to be where the majority of today’s marketers are concentrating their efforts, according to data collected from our ongoing monthly survey of CMOs.
It also goes without saying that the digital era has transformed marketing. The competition for consumer attention places a premium on building strong, compelling brands. Brands drive growth, engage stakeholders (customers, employees, investors, and partners), and are key financial assets for the enterprise. New engagement channels, such as social media, reduce the costs of brand-building, and advancements in artificial intelligence and analytics make fine-tuned targeting easier. Marketers should be measuring the value of brands as long-term assets for the enterprise — whether it’s the master brand, individual brands, or the brand portfolio. Relevant metrics include brand awareness, consideration, and preference; perceptions of brand quality and differentiation; brand affinity, personality and associations; and brand equity value.
When we talk of capabilities worth analysing within your marketing roadmap, we are referring to improving the quality of customer/market knowledge and embedding it more deeply into adjacent business processes; reducing the costs of customer acquisition (e.g., by enhancing e-commerce capabilities); and improving customer profitability and customer lifetime value (CLV) (e.g., by improving engagement capabilities and reducing churn).
Furthermore, marketing has so much diverse reach due to the multiple streaming fashion in which it manifests itself. Today, marketing creates value beyond the boundaries of its function, and the enterprise stage is where to measure its comprehensive impact. Corporate strategy teams leverage customer and market insight to inform choices about the market segments in which to participate and the sources of differentiation in which to invest. Sales and customer success teams leverage account-based marketing programs to retain and grow account revenues. In its full scope, marketing impacts growth rates, valuation multiples, and hence enterprise value, so as marketing activities become more enmeshed with other functions, it’s increasingly important to articulate this value.
In conclusion, a marketing roadmap reduces risks and opens your capabilities to the value of activities around brand, capability-building, and enablement of other functions’ work across the enterprise. Even if full realisation of the roadmap is a long way off, articulating metrics will reveal marketing’s model for delivering business impact.