Heading into 2023, B2B SaaS CFOs are doubling down on using performance metrics to guide the 2023 operating budget. A key question is what metrics they use to help evaluate the Marketing budget, and what metrics they wish they had from Marketing to help inform budget allocation and investment decisions.
Chris Golec, the founder, and CEO of intent data and account-based program platform leader Demandbase has recently launched his new company, Channel99 which is purpose-built to help bridge the gap between Marketing performance metrics that Marketing is currently capturing and those performance metrics that Finance leaders would like to see that help inform their budget allocation and investment analysis.
We started the conversation with Chris on the evolution of B2B Marketing over the last ten years. In the early 2010s, Marketing Automation platforms enabled broader and more frequent outreach to their target buyers, and then Account-Based programs started to evolve in the 2015 - 2020 timeframe to increase the "quality of Marketing outreach. Chris predicts that moving into 2023 and beyond, B2B Marketing organizations will be held to more "performance-centric" measurements that focus on the ultimate outcomes of pipeline and revenue ($) that the CFO uses to evaluate return on investment for all Marketing program investments.
We dove into the megatrends that Chris mentioned early in the podcast, and the impact of Marketing Automation, Intent Data, and Account-Based Marketing programs. Chris highlighted, though self-admittedly from a biased perspective that these investments did increase the Return on Marketing investment, but most companies do not have the infrastructure to measure the impact of Marketing investments down to the last mile of pipeline and revenue ($).
When asked if Marketing is using metrics to inform decisions, Chris highlighted that the majority of Marketing performance measurements (metrics) are primarily department focused, and not linked to the ultimate outcomes that CFO and CEO are most interested in - Pipeline and Revenue generated. One quick action to change this reality is for the CEO and CFO to require Marketing leaders to measure the ultimate outcomes in dollars...not activity, engagement, and leads.
Chris shared his premise that one reason that Marketing does not provide more granular "finance performance metrics" to the CFO is the lack of easy-to-use infrastructure that can measure dollars invested in high-priority target accounts that fit the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) through to revenue generated.
Another key requirement to capturing and generating good Marketing ROI performance metrics is to start with understanding discretionary program spending on things like paid and organic search and understanding not only the engagement levels, but the engagement levels with accounts in their target market (ICP) and then pulling the thread all the way through to revenue.
If you are a "performance" centric B2B Marketer or a Finance leader trying to better understand the return on Marketing investment, the conversation with Chris Golec is highly informative and thought-provoking!!!