503: Why Only 21% of Marketers Can Measure Their Revenue Impact w/ James Thomas

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to James Thomas, CMO of Allocadia.

Wouldn't it be nice to have severalthought leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast,invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping thebenefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweet fishMediacom. You're listening to the B to be growth show, a podcast dedicatedto helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniquesand strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'mJonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcomeback to the be to be growth show. Today we are joined by James Thomas, James of the CMO at Alacadia, as well as a leading industry speaker. James, welcome to the show. Great to be are. Thanks forhaving me. Should be a fun conversation. I think. I'm reallylooking forward today's conversation. A special thanks, of course, goes out to you, because I was just informed that it is a holiday up in Canadaright now, so you're taking time out of your sort of free schedule tojoin us here on the show, which is incredible. So thank you forthat. Yeah, no problem. We are going to be talking today aboutwhy only twenty one percent of marketers and measure revenue impact, and I thinkthat is a very compelling question. But before we get into it, maybeyou can tell us a little about what you and the ALLOCADIA team are upto these days. Yeah, share great. Well, L Katie is a marketingperformance management vendor and what do it? That really means is we help organizationsreally manage their marketing investments, track their plans and where they're spending moneyand really talk about the impact that they make to the organization. So wework with hundreds of customers who are really trying to be much more about notjust being creative marketers but really running a business of marketing, helping them understandquestions like how much have I spent on what, how much so I haveleft, and what's working and what's not.

And, you know, as aclouds off for a vendor, we help organizations connect their systems and youknow, it's been it's been quite right. I've been here three and a halfyears. I was actually a customer of Alla Kadia before I joined becauseI knew the pain of not having access to the information to really drive thebusiness at my fingertips. So it's been a great ride here. We havea great company based up in Vancouver BC, but customers all over the world andlooking forward to talking more about some of the survey work we've done andwhere that twenty one percent of marketers question actually came from. That's fantastic andI love the story of that. You were a customer before you actually jointhe ALLOCADIA team. I mean it's really sort of speaks to the experience thatyou had as a customer. That way it was. It was strong enoughthat, yeah, this is a company that that I really believe in andwant to dedicate sort of my professional life to word. So that's fantastic.I want let's let's just jump right in then, James, like you know, let's talk about this. Why? I can only twenty one percent ofmarketers even measure their revenue impact. Yeah, it's it. We actually did asurvey last year. It kind of come up with this number and itwas pretty startling to us to understand why marketers, you know, traditionally havereally been focused on the creative side of marketing, you know, building greatcampaigns, telling great stories, really focusing on the visuals and and tracking thingslike leads and likes and shares and follows and all of those things. Froma BB perspective, they're super important the fut but over them stop. Imean it's sound very thing that you're mentioning is like on outside. The challengethe course, is in two thousand and seventeen. That's not good enough.I mean, we are in a hyper competitive environment and we need to bereally looking at, you know, how that money we're spending is really impactingthe business. Were all in and BDB marketing really try to drive growth,trying to understand where your investment is being spent. And this no longer goodenough just to do great creative marketing. I like to say that the onesthat do that likely won't have a job in a couple of years. It'sgreat to be built beautiful campaigns, but...

...it's answering the question of the businessunderstanding the impact you're making is critical. So the survey was interesting because ittalked about how only twenty percent could, twenty one percent could measure revenue impact, and there's a lot of reasons for that. A lot of it comesdown to things like technology and around data and and really, once an organizationknows that this is important, what they'll find is that the data lives everywhere. You know, live in spreadsheets, it'll live in your earp system andlive in your crm system and it'll live, you know, in point of salesystems. For in certain organizations it's really everywhere. And so you know, the challenge that we see in most organizations is they haven't even they finallyrecognize it's a problem that they actually have to talk about the revenue. Sothat's the first barrier. The second becomes around technology and the ability to bringit all together, and then the third is really about, you know,what is the business want to hear and what is revenue impact actually mean?And so, you know, when we look at those challenges, we reallysee this need for, you know, investment in technology platforms that can bringthem all together, that can align your investments to the corporate objectives, notjust marketing objectives. And you know, if you can do all the things, you know, the organizations that do connect and do red measure impact.We've seen some incredible and really promotions by CMOS. We've seen growth increase andthose organizations that do measure rent the impact and frank you get more budget andyou can do then. You know, what we really want is then youget to do more of the fun stuff. If you can measure it revenue impact. It becomes this virtual cycle and it's been a it's been an amazingto watch some of the companies we work with do more with that, withthat budget, because they understand it better. Yeah, absolutely. And so,off the top of your head, I mean, are there what aresome things that you can think of that you know, by by tracking themetrics, by by keeping tabs on this information and assigning some numbers to tothe revenue impact? What are some things...

...like, okay, this campaign producedXYZ results or you know, this coupled with, you know, a facebookadd you know. I mean, what are some of the metrics that peopleshould be keeping track of, looking at because, like you said, there'sso much information. I mean we have in our own company we have moreinformation floating around the crm than when you know what to do with sometimes.Yeah, the first thing we recommend is stop thinking about this just marketing tacticsand thinking about these the investments you make in the programs make based on corporateobjectives. So what we do is work with our customers to say, okay, what are your major objectives? Say, for example, introduce a new productor open up a new region or, you know, launch a new solutionto a set of customers in a targeted market. So define that firstand then what we really encourage people to do is, you know, withwith the use of our technology, but you could do with other technologies,is really assign the activities they're driving within that objectives. So thinking about youprobably do ten or twenty objectives to launch a new product. You might dohundreds for another one. So you thinking about the investment you make, youknow, simplest tagging or making sure that you're creating a view of the datathat you can say this investmentant, this percentage of this investment is for thiscorporate objective. So, rather than doing really bottom up tactical planning, whileI could do facebook, as I got to do this campaign, I gotto drive this main leads, flip the whole conversation and talk. Start talkingabout corporate objectives first, then marketing objectives first, and the closer your lineto the corporation, the closer your lined in bb marketing, you know,sales is the most important stakeholder. Understand why you're spending money first. Thenyou can do a bottom up plan to map that. What you get thereis is full view of being able to answer questions like, you know,how much did I spend on trade shows? Is An interesting conversation. You canyou say how trade shows are converting, you know, somewhat, to revenue, but it's hard to do an individual tactic converting to revenue. Andit's where a lot of people, I think, get in trouble is lookingat this tactic, this campaign drove this...

...result. It doesn't work that way. But this set of activities that are aligned towards an objective are the onesthat you can tract better. So we really want marketers to be looking ata bigger picture, because otherwise you just get overwhelmed. And so what we'vedone with our customers is look at things like they call them, like asales player or a narrative or you know, we use a serious decisions campaign frameworkand IDC taxonomy to give you a way to frame the conversation. Onceyou do that, then building up bottom AP tactics is pretty easy and andwe also thinks like the you know, tagging your investment by a customer journey, and so I've talked about a lot of things. It's actually pretty complex. But if you think about this from the beginning and what the business questionsyou're trying to answer, flip that conversation, say what would my ceo want tohear or what would my cfo want to hear, not just what mymarketers want to hear. I think you can have some pretty inching conversations andhave that data at your fingertips and we see some pretty amazing results with ourcustomers who do that work up front when they plan. Yeah, and itdoes sort of speak to this idea of a full company alignment. I meanall you know, there's a lot of people talk about you got to alignsales and marketing. Got Align sales. Right, you know, but Imean you're almost you're expanding on that idea. I mean you should, but everyoneshould be aligned from top to bottom. Yeah, you mean the WHO's theone who has the money? It's the CFO. So why not speakthe language of the finance? And most marketers that we've talked to, atleast even three or four years ago, would avoid marketing or would marketing wouldavoid finance and we really don't want to engage customers who aren't willing to engagewith their finance counterparts. Otherwise you're just spending money and you're just giving somerandom number of back and you're really going to frustrate yourself. So aligned withfinance, align with your executive, aligned with sales, always the most importantgroup, and then you know. Ultimately, what that does is give marketers justthat really confident they're spending the money the right way and the building theright programs and they know really quickly if it's not working. And I thinkthat's where marketers we all know it's changing so fast out there right the paceof change, the new creative tools,...

...how social media is impacting the conversationand what worked even a year ago does necessarily work today, and that's whymakes marking really a hard job. It's even hard if you don't know what'sworking on what's not, and that's that's pretty frustrating for people and I thinkwhy you see like cmotor ten year being one of the lowest in the sweetsee sweet because they don't really understand the impact they're driving to the business andand it's a much bigger challenge than that. So that's a really interesting point and, James, I also wanted to I wanted to talk about this idea. We had exchange a few emails a little bit before the show, butthis idea that there is a difference between running marketing and doing marketing, orrun marketing and doing marketing. Yeah, yeah, it's one of the thingsthat we struggled with early on is a company is explaining why you needed todo this, and so we often look at this whole challenge of marketers essentiallyhave two jobs. That's it. One is to do marketing, the creativeside. All of the social the website, the campaigns, the events, theoffline, the digital billboards, all those things are the activities of doingmarketing and that's worth technology is like marketing. Automation systems come in and really thecore systems that run the creative side of marketing. So you've got theadobe marketing clouds and Marquettos and eloquis and the hundreds of other technologies aligned tohelp you do that. On the other side is what we call running marketing. So that's really about the planning, the investment and really measuring results andthat's the we're really were marketing perform runs, management fits in and and things arereally simple way for marketers to understand that they need to do both andthat effective marketing in two thousand and seventeen requires those two systems to work togetherin a synchronous fashion. So you know you want to be planning your system, planning your programs, aligning to objectives you want to make, you're managingyour investments properly, working with finance to make sure you have the right budget, then you go execute. So you...

...can imagine a figure eight loop.And if you go to our website at all, Kadiacom, you'll see alot of information on it and that eventually you want to be spend more timedoing marketing then you do running marketing. But if you don't run marketing properly, you actually don't get to do great marketing. So check it out.Is a lot of research on there to give you a sense of what itlooks like and we've helped build like a our marketing technology stack around the wholerun marketing and do marketing concept and frank we had a really fun campaign.We've got this Hashtag run marketing. If you go check that out on twitter. You'll see a lot of stories. You'll see a lot of customers tellinghow they run marketing and and wow, it's really freed them up to bea better marketer overall. Yeah, yeah, so, James, can I letme ask you then? I mean because we have even in this interview, touched a little on how quickly the landscape of marketing can change and evolve, especially these days. You made the point that something that might have beensuccessful you're go may not necessarily work anymore because things are changing so quickly.How you do you have any advice then, for people that are trying to runtheir marketing, do their marketing effectively, but, you know, sort ofcoming up with with a strategy that works long term while also, youknow, realizing that that the you know, the landscape can constantly be changing.Yeah, to be this really comes down to building the credibility in yourmarketing team, and we are marketing program and by that I mean credibility,being able to answer those questions from the CFO and CEO about where you're spendinga money and being really honest with them, being super transparent, saying this collectionof activities has driven this type of impact. We tried five things thatdidn't work. We weren't afraid to try them. We invested this way.We didn't work, so we're going to do less of them and I find, you know, I've talked to a couple of my CEO Moo counterparts aboutthe concept of transparency and marketing before was kind of this black art that wewere kind of keeping things under the radar.

We didn't want to talk about someof the results that we had. We wanted to make sure that weprotected our assets and and make sure that we were able to experiment all wewant. And you watch marketing. Even ten years ago we didn't have tojustify a span. We just have to justify more viewers and more revenue.You know, we didn't know I for a profitable Nott and, like Isaid, those times really changed. So once you get credibility, then youcan do a lot of experimentation and we've done experimentation with lots to be tobe technologies. I'm not a huge team here, but I've got to investin things like predictively scoring and we're doing a lot of work around a canaccount base marketing and we're doing work and you know, in lots to workin social media, but trying new things constantly, because you want to beable to experiment. But if you don't, you know, I know in mypast I didn't necessarily this information of my fingertips. So I was reallymandated what to do, and there is nothing worse as a marketer being mandatedwhat to do and go back to what you we used to work in thepast and and that's kind of why I brought in Ala Katia, my lastcompany, to give me credibility and give me the confidence that I knew whatwas was working and what wasn't. And then, once you do that,you get the ability to be creative again, and that's really what we want todo as marketers. We don't want to be buried in spreadsheets tracking yourfinancial data. We actually want to know, no enough of that, you know, to to be great marketers, and I think that when you dothose two things together, it becomes a lot more fun of a job again. Yeah, well, and if there are any marketers out there who lovebeing buried in spreadsheets and these, drop us a line. We can exactlypeople on him on the Alcadia team. Yeah, so amazing. What peopleto do? We had one company at it to show US their thirty sevenTAB spreadsheet that used them on marketing. On My oh my God, dude, that's just you got it. You're better than that. That's out somemore fun. Yeah, absolutely. I mean you know that people get in. People get into marketing for, I would say, more often than not, you know, to be part of the kind of side now you haveto be able to crunch the numbers, you have to be able to haveto do this suff that's not quite as entertaining. But, like you said, if you can free up more time...

...to to get to the fun stuff, you know, that's that's, I think, where the passion is.Yeah, thank totally agreet so, James, thank you so much again for yourfor your time for your wisdom on the show. If any of ourlisteners are interested in connecting with you, finding out a little bit more abouttoday's episode or even what you and the Alla Katia team are up to movingforward, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Surewell, as I mentioned on our website, allow Katiacom so all see a diacomis a great place to start. We're really active on twitter and welove to engage with you there. So at allow Katie on twitter and myhandle is Jay Thomas underscore forty four. If you want to interact with meat directly, perfect. All right. Thanks again, James. Have agreat rest of your day and enjoyed this. Thanks very much. Great to talkto you. To ensure that you never miss an episode of the BTob Growth Show, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. Ifyou or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B tob growthshow, email me at Jonathan at sweet fish Mediacom. Let us know.We love connecting with be to be executives and we love sharing their wisdom andperspective with our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (1637)