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 several thought 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 the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B to be growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back 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 for having me. Should be a fun conversation. I think. I'm really looking 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 Canada right now, so you're taking time out of your sort of free schedule to join us here on the show, which is incredible. So thank you for that. Yeah, no problem. We are going to be talking today about why only twenty one percent of marketers and measure revenue impact, and I think that is a very compelling question. But before we get into it, maybe you can tell us a little about what you and the ALLOCADIA team are up to these days. Yeah, share great. Well, L Katie is a marketing performance management vendor and what do it? That really means is we help organizations really manage their marketing investments, track their plans and where they're spending money and really talk about the impact that they make to the organization. So we work with hundreds of customers who are really trying to be much more about not just being creative marketers but really running a business of marketing, helping them understand questions like how much have I spent on what, how much so I have left, and what's working and what's not.

And, you know, as a clouds off for a vendor, we help organizations connect their systems and you know, it's been it's been quite right. I've been here three and a half years. I was actually a customer of Alla Kadia before I joined because I knew the pain of not having access to the information to really drive the business at my fingertips. So it's been a great ride here. We have a great company based up in Vancouver BC, but customers all over the world and looking forward to talking more about some of the survey work we've done and where that twenty one percent of marketers question actually came from. That's fantastic and I love the story of that. You were a customer before you actually join the ALLOCADIA team. I mean it's really sort of speaks to the experience that you had as a customer. That way it was. It was strong enough that, yeah, this is a company that that I really believe in and want 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 of marketers even measure their revenue impact. Yeah, it's it. We actually did a survey last year. It kind of come up with this number and it was pretty startling to us to understand why marketers, you know, traditionally have really been focused on the creative side of marketing, you know, building great campaigns, telling great stories, really focusing on the visuals and and tracking things like leads and likes and shares and follows and all of those things. From a BB perspective, they're super important the fut but over them stop. I mean it's sound very thing that you're mentioning is like on outside. The challenge the 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 be really looking at, you know, how that money we're spending is really impacting the 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 good enough just to do great creative marketing. I like to say that the ones that do that likely won't have a job in a couple of years. It's great to be built beautiful campaigns, but...

...it's answering the question of the business understanding the impact you're making is critical. So the survey was interesting because it talked 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 comes down to things like technology and around data and and really, once an organization knows 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 and live in your crm system and it'll live, you know, in point of sale systems. 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 finally recognize it's a problem that they actually have to talk about the revenue. So that's the first barrier. The second becomes around technology and the ability to bring it 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 really see this need for, you know, investment in technology platforms that can bring them all together, that can align your investments to the corporate objectives, not just 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 and those organizations that do measure rent the impact and frank you get more budget and you can do then. You know, what we really want is then you get 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 amazing to watch some of the companies we work with do more with that, with that budget, because they understand it better. Yeah, absolutely. And so, off the top of your head, I mean, are there what are some things that you can think of that you know, by by tracking the metrics, by by keeping tabs on this information and assigning some numbers to to the revenue impact? What are some things...

...like, okay, this campaign produced XYZ results or you know, this coupled with, you know, a facebook add you know. I mean, what are some of the metrics that people should be keeping track of, looking at because, like you said, there's so much information. I mean we have in our own company we have more information 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 tactics and thinking about these the investments you make in the programs make based on corporate objectives. So what we do is work with our customers to say, okay, what are your major objectives? Say, for example, introduce a new product or open up a new region or, you know, launch a new solution to a set of customers in a targeted market. So define that first and then what we really encourage people to do is, you know, with with 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 you probably do ten or twenty objectives to launch a new product. You might do hundreds for another one. So you thinking about the investment you make, you know, simplest tagging or making sure that you're creating a view of the data that you can say this investmentant, this percentage of this investment is for this corporate objective. So, rather than doing really bottom up tactical planning, while I could do facebook, as I got to do this campaign, I got to drive this main leads, flip the whole conversation and talk. Start talking about corporate objectives first, then marketing objectives first, and the closer your line to the corporation, the closer your lined in bb marketing, you know, sales is the most important stakeholder. Understand why you're spending money first. Then you can do a bottom up plan to map that. What you get there is 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 can you say how trade shows are converting, you know, somewhat, to revenue, but it's hard to do an individual tactic converting to revenue. And it's where a lot of people, I think, get in trouble is looking at 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 ones that you can tract better. So we really want marketers to be looking at a bigger picture, because otherwise you just get overwhelmed. And so what we've done with our customers is look at things like they call them, like a sales player or a narrative or you know, we use a serious decisions campaign framework and IDC taxonomy to give you a way to frame the conversation. Once you do that, then building up bottom AP tactics is pretty easy and and we 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 questions you're trying to answer, flip that conversation, say what would my ceo want to hear or what would my cfo want to hear, not just what my marketers want to hear. I think you can have some pretty inching conversations and have that data at your fingertips and we see some pretty amazing results with our customers who do that work up front when they plan. Yeah, and it does sort of speak to this idea of a full company alignment. I mean all you know, there's a lot of people talk about you got to align sales and marketing. Got Align sales. Right, you know, but I mean you're almost you're expanding on that idea. I mean you should, but everyone should be aligned from top to bottom. Yeah, you mean the WHO's the one who has the money? It's the CFO. So why not speak the language of the finance? And most marketers that we've talked to, at least even three or four years ago, would avoid marketing or would marketing would avoid finance and we really don't want to engage customers who aren't willing to engage with their finance counterparts. Otherwise you're just spending money and you're just giving some random number of back and you're really going to frustrate yourself. So aligned with finance, align with your executive, aligned with sales, always the most important group, and then you know. Ultimately, what that does is give marketers just that really confident they're spending the money the right way and the building the right programs and they know really quickly if it's not working. And I think that's where marketers we all know it's changing so fast out there right the pace of change, the new creative tools,...

...how social media is impacting the conversation and what worked even a year ago does necessarily work today, and that's why makes marking really a hard job. It's even hard if you don't know what's working on what's not, and that's that's pretty frustrating for people and I think why you see like cmotor ten year being one of the lowest in the sweet see sweet because they don't really understand the impact they're driving to the business and and 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, but this idea that there is a difference between running marketing and doing marketing, or run marketing and doing marketing. Yeah, yeah, it's one of the things that we struggled with early on is a company is explaining why you needed to do this, and so we often look at this whole challenge of marketers essentially have two jobs. That's it. One is to do marketing, the creative side. All of the social the website, the campaigns, the events, the offline, the digital billboards, all those things are the activities of doing marketing and that's worth technology is like marketing. Automation systems come in and really the core systems that run the creative side of marketing. So you've got the adobe marketing clouds and Marquettos and eloquis and the hundreds of other technologies aligned to help 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 and that's the we're really were marketing perform runs, management fits in and and things are really simple way for marketers to understand that they need to do both and that effective marketing in two thousand and seventeen requires those two systems to work together in 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 managing your 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 a lot of information on it and that eventually you want to be spend more time doing 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 it looks like and we've helped build like a our marketing technology stack around the whole run 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 telling how they run marketing and and wow, it's really freed them up to be a better marketer overall. Yeah, yeah, so, James, can I let me 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 been successful 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 run their marketing, do their marketing effectively, but, you know, sort of coming up with with a strategy that works long term while also, you know, realizing that that the you know, the landscape can constantly be changing. Yeah, to be this really comes down to building the credibility in your marketing 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 spending a money and being really honest with them, being super transparent, saying this collection of activities has driven this type of impact. We tried five things that didn'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 about the concept of transparency and marketing before was kind of this black art that we were kind of keeping things under the radar.

We didn't want to talk about some of the results that we had. We wanted to make sure that we protected our assets and and make sure that we were able to experiment all we want. And you watch marketing. Even ten years ago we didn't have to justify 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 I said, those times really changed. So once you get credibility, then you can do a lot of experimentation and we've done experimentation with lots to be to be technologies. I'm not a huge team here, but I've got to invest in things like predictively scoring and we're doing a lot of work around a can account base marketing and we're doing work and you know, in lots to work in social media, but trying new things constantly, because you want to be able to experiment. But if you don't, you know, I know in my past I didn't necessarily this information of my fingertips. So I was really mandated what to do, and there is nothing worse as a marketer being mandated what to do and go back to what you we used to work in the past and and that's kind of why I brought in Ala Katia, my last company, to give me credibility and give me the confidence that I knew what was 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 to do as marketers. We don't want to be buried in spreadsheets tracking your financial data. We actually want to know, no enough of that, you know, to to be great marketers, and I think that when you do those two things together, it becomes a lot more fun of a job again. Yeah, well, and if there are any marketers out there who love being buried in spreadsheets and these, drop us a line. We can exactly people on him on the Alcadia team. Yeah, so amazing. What people to do? We had one company at it to show US their thirty seven TAB 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 some more 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 have to be able to crunch the numbers, you have to be able to have to 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 your for your time for your wisdom on the show. If any of our listeners are interested in connecting with you, finding out a little bit more about today's episode or even what you and the Alla Katia team are up to moving forward, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Sure well, as I mentioned on our website, allow Katiacom so all see a diacom is a great place to start. We're really active on twitter and we love to engage with you there. So at allow Katie on twitter and my handle is Jay Thomas underscore forty four. If you want to interact with me at directly, perfect. All right. Thanks again, James. Have a great rest of your day and enjoyed this. Thanks very much. Great to talk to you. To ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob 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. If you or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B tob growth show, 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 and perspective with our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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