by: Joseph Mann
In case you missed the news, the top priority for marketers in 2007 is to quantify the value of marketing programs and investments, according to the CMO Council's Marketing Outlook 2007 survey. 44% of respondents said this was their primary goal in 2007, a change from 2006 where the emphasis was on building sales.
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I agree that it is critical to be able to quantify the value of marketing investments and certainly that methodologies need to be put in place to do that, but is it possible that the pendulum has shifted too far in the opposite direction? After all, without lead generation and sales you won't be around long to enough to worry about quantifying the value of your investments.
Perhaps the point is that seeking to quantify marketing ROI, if done well, gives senior leadership and the marketing team the decision-making tools to adjust initiatives in mid-stream — potentially saving a troubled program and driving even better performance from programs that are already doing well. It ensures that all marketing programs are lead generators and (ultimately) sale closers. And there is evidence of other compelling reasons to optimize the lead generation process with marketing ROI measurement: in companies that are "lead generation optimization leaders" — companies characterized by the tight integration of sales and marketing groups in which high-quality leads are delivered to the sales force and higher conversion rates of leads to first calls — there are higher win rates, more sales people making quotas and faster ramp-up for new sales people than in other companies
What's the bad news? Most companies do not fall into this group. In fact, one report found that only about 8% of companies are defined as "Lead Generation Optimization (LGO) Leaders." I guess we all need something to shoot for!