Business Leaders Not Satisfied with Marketing Success Metrics

Preliminary Findings from the ANNUITAS 2019 Demand Generation Performance Survey

Would You Change Your Marketing Team KPIs If You Could?

Receive a copy of the ANNUITAS 2019 Demand Generation Performance Survey when it becomes available by clicking here.

In 2018 we began to evaluate our own buyers as part of an internal marketing exercise. As we interviewed our buyers, we realized that more and more of the prospects reaching out to us (and partnering with us) were not marketers. Much of our ANNUITAS Perpetual Demand Generation® work was being requested by C-level and Sales leaders with revenue responsibility – not CMOs, as we had previously suspected – and they are frustrated with Marketing’s performance in and around Demand Generation.

These business leaders come armed with legitimate concerns about Demand Generation performance. These concerns were driven by a disconnect between marketing and sales when it comes to performance reporting. Why is marketing’s story so different than sales? Why is marketing hitting their targets while revenue is not growing as expected?

54.7% of our respondents described their CMOs as “Brand, PR and product-focused” while the remainder categorized them as “Demand, sales and revenue-focused.”

Our internal buyer research saw our prospects placing their CMOs into one of two categories, either Brand-Focused or Revenue-Focused. This is one of the factors that prompted us to create this study. Both types of CMOs can have impressive pedigrees, but the difference really lies in how they measure marketing performance.

Revenue-Focused CMOs (as well as the Head of Sales and the CEO) are oriented toward pipeline, sales and revenue. With a Brand-Focused CMO, Marketing and Sales performance are more likely to be measured against very different (and often conflicting) KPIs. Brand-Focused CMOs tend to rely more on activity-based metrics that have a more tenuous correlation to actual business outcomes, relying on response or engagement metrics because they’re easier to measure than closed-loop revenue-based KPIs. They also do not rely on closed/won sales to demonstrate “success.”

Additionally, these kinds of metrics go up in direct correlation with tactical activity, making them a very gratifying measure for campaign-focused teams. In other words, it’s easy to capture new leads (or drive more traffic, or send more emails, or get more Twitter followers…) if quantity is the success metric, because quality and revenue don’t come into play.

Revenue-Focused CMOs move beyond activity-based metrics and make the effort to close the loop between all of their activities as well as the sales and revenue they influence or source.

Our previous surveys focused on the marketer’s perspective, in an attempt to benchmark performance and provide context around enterprise companies (those with more than $100M in revenue) ran Demand Generation — but this disconnect between Marketing and Sales bore closer examination. So, we pointed our research in a new direction in this survey that was completed last month, and that will be released in the coming weeks. Some of the preliminary findings are shared here, in this post.

82.9% of respondents with a Brand-Focused CMO think they are measuring success on the wrong metrics.

Perceptions of marketing performance
82.9% of respondents with a “Brand, PR and Product-Focused CMO” think that Marketing is measuring success on the wrong metrics, contrasted with the “Demand, Sales and Revenue-Focused” CMO.

How do business leaders think their Marketing is performing? And does it align with how Marketing evaluates their own performance?

When you focus on the respondents that do not have a marketing role (CEO, Head of Sales, CFO, etc.), the numbers climb even more.

84.1% of Non-Marketing business leaders with a Brand-Focused CMO think that Marketing is focused on the wrong metrics, while 57.1% of Non-Marketing business leaders with a Revenue-Focused CMO think marketing is focused on the wrong metrics.

While there is a general dissatisfaction in Marketing’s overall performance regardless of the type of CMO that is driving the ship, clearly the Revenue-Focused CMO is performing better in the eyes of business leadership.

As we said in our previous studies, many organizations are still struggling to connect all of the necessary components needed to make Demand Generation a strategic growth driver. What is now clear, however, is the role that the CMO is playing in that strategy and how it can impact both Revenue as well as the perceptions of marketing performance across the organization.

It’s no wonder that the average tenure of the CMO is the shortest in the Enterprise C-Suite.

Sign up to receive a copy of the ANNUITAS 2019 Demand Generation Performance Survey when it becomes available by clicking here — and ask yourself, what type of CMO do you have? Or, what type of CMO are you?

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