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101 | Challenging Marketing Metrics: Break free from short-term metrics

40 min listen

Marketing leaders know it, yet can’t help but rely on them. 

For years, short-term metrics have become a crutch for B2B marketers when showcasing how effective campaigns are. But the trust is they're more about vanity or volume than a true demonstration of business impact. 

So, how do you start a journey away from the short-term, along a new metric-laden pathway where long-term lives? We know a couple of people who know the way. 

Listen as we step into the promised land of long-term metrics with a thrilling discussion between our Director of Data Ops and Performance, John Breedon, and Media Planning Director Anya Newton. Together they introduce the key frameworks and steps marketers should take to understand which metrics are important to them.  


View the full transcript here

John: [00:00:00] Hello, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another 

Harry: episode of the Tech Marketing Podcast. What are we talking about today, Busby? 

Jon: Uh, we are talking about challenging marketing metrics. We're talking about why everyone, you know, let's end the short-termism. And let's try and find some funny analogies for it as well while we're there.

Jon: Let's get it done. Yeah, so we are sick and tired, aren't we, of these short-term marketing metrics. Oh, yeah. Um, just fueling, just getting in the way. I'm getting angry just thinking about it. Yeah, 

John: I can tell, I can feel the anger. So I'm going to start because I can go off on a massive rant about this and it's probably not the best thing to do on a podcast, especially, you know, when you're with colleagues and professionals.

John: Um, yeah, I hate them. Short-term marketing metrics are completely pointless. But there is a reality there's a big amount of fear around it and the fact that it's a known It's like saying it's saying to a marketing person or a salesperson or any professional you can never use a PDF again You have to use some kind of digital Version and there's like what I know a PDF.

John: I know how a PDF works I know what I need to do to create a PDF to get a PDF to [00:01:00] Distribute a PDF. There's a huge amount of fear that goes around it because you're essentially saying what you know is wrong Do something different, do something bigger and better. That's a huge amount of fear for people.

John: And especially when you've got your data up to do. I don't think anybody has the time to suddenly turn around and go, yeah, I'm just going to ignore everything that I get at the moment, I'm going to find a new bit to analyze and a new way to look at things. So, yeah, anyway, sorry, I'm ranting. 

Jon: So, joining us on the podcast today is

John Breeden, our DataOps Director.

Jon: Who has an opinion on this on short term marketing metrics, but we're also joined in the studio by Anya. So Anya, why don't you do a quick intro into this? Is this your 

Anya: first podcast? This is my first podcast. Yes. So thanks guys for inviting 

Jon: me. This is what happens all the time whenever we get John on the podcast.

Jon: But Anya, tell us a little bit about your role as 

Anya: well. So I am a media planning director. I work on the media team here at Together. I think I've been here for about three and a half years now, but I've been working in B2B agency roles for about 20 years. [00:02:00] So yeah, I've talked about clicks and click-through rate a lot 

Jon: in those years.

Jon: Are you tired of talking about click-through rates? Is that, let's bring on onto the topic today. So yeah, are you tired about it? 

Anya: Yeah, I mean I think As you say, John, it's, it is challenging to just move away from the metrics that we talk about all the time, particularly when you have media campaigns live, they are the immediate tangible things that you can identify and look at and, and clients are under pressure to evidence performance quickly at some level and, you know, we can debate whether.

Anya: That's the right type of performance, but we are still asked to report on that sort of thing. And I think, I guess, from my perspective, when we're building out media plans, if we're focused on those very short-term metrics, we miss the impact of a significant amount of What we're actually doing. So we think about the average click-through [00:03:00] rate, which is 0.

Anya: 1 per cent on a good day, that's over 99 per cent of exposure that we're not even considering or analyzing. So I don't think, although the industry has talked about the click-through rate. Maybe going away, I don't think it's going to go immediately, but I do think we need to think about more meaningful metrics, things that better evidence business impact.

Jon: Do you think, do we think short, when we talk about short-term metrics, let's be specific, like what metrics do we think are short term? Click-through rate was one. What are the metrics out there that? I think 

Anya: it's those metrics that are focused on sort of the immediate engagement. So it's a click, it's an engagement, it's a view.

Anya: Maybe those volume metrics, even topper funnel leads, you know, these big. Numbers that we can deliver through our campaigns and actually we can and are [00:04:00] asked to report on as evidence of performance don't necessarily, in fact, they don't evidence business impact. They serve a purpose, a short-term purpose to, I guess, show initial engagement, but they don't go much further than that.

Anya: I think 

John: John, I think he's right. I kind of classify them as short-term metrics of those that you can control in the buying model. So a cost per click, you're buying based on your clicks, the CPM, you're buying based on the impressions when you've got an estimated, uh, click through rate that you're going to achieve, the number of leads that you buy from content syndication, um, those valency metrics, you're kind of buying at that level.

John: So I'm going to invest a million dollars. million pounds, 5, 000 pounds, whatever it may be, you've got an expectation of what you're going to get out of it, but it doesn't tell you the impact of the business. So it doesn't say, excuse me, it doesn't say spending that million dollars is going to pay off in sales or revenue or brand awareness, or there's so many different things to consider from the larger point.

John: And it's really difficult because things like [00:05:00] that are really hard to quantify. To do, we did a while ago with a client, we did media brand and demand gen. And trying to understand the impact of that because they were working, there were separate isolated campaigns, but we made them work together because we're really good at our jobs.

John: But there was also additional advertising from the consumer brand going on and it had a halo effect on the results. But it took so much time to go and find that out and see the, the correlation between all of the different activity that most people are like, I just don't have the time to do that. And I don't have the time for the sales cycle to complete to do that.

John: I think it's trying to say, look, we're comfortable with the metrics that we're buying on. CPM, CPC, number of leads, whatever it may be. But how do we think about the future a little bit and say, well, yeah, I'm going to still report on my metrics. I'm still going to go down those metrics. The short-term ism for the time being, because you can't just switch it off overnight, but start to take maybe 20 percent of your time, 20 percent of your thought process, 20 percent of the strategy and see what, how can we.

John: So in six months [00:06:00] without saying to the CMO, I'm going to generate a million dollars in sales, don't see, you don't need to set that you're just kind of saying quietly to yourself, how am I going to evolve this setting that strategy in place now, while you're still delivering the day to day metrics and then look at it in six months and say, ah, we believe we delivered 2.

John: 5 million because of these reasons, because of these things that we tracked because of this activity, and we spent a few days, a couple of weeks, maybe a month every now and then just looking at that one campaign. Yeah. It's changing the idea because then you can go back to the CMO and said, ah, great, we spent this, we delivered this from those vanity metrics from those initial metrics that the business is comfortable with.

John: But did you also know I'm pretty confident to 99. 5 percent that we generated 2. 5 million in sales. Mm. But, um, and that, yeah. 

Jon: You've highlighted though one of the biggest problems in B two B mark in B two B marketing really is attribution. Mm-hmm., like where do 

John: we start? I hate the questions directed at me [00:07:00] 

Jon: I, so, right.

Jon: 'cause how could, how do you know if you've generated $2.4 million or $220 to $2.4 million? How do you even, how can you attribute that? And if you don't have that data, you have to fall back on 

John: the short-term metrics. Yes. So there's a. I'm going to take a simple way, forget the reporting, forget the attribution, forget the tactic codes and lead codes and UTM parameters and page views and everything else that you do to track as you go through the stage.

John: First of all, kind of work backwards. How long is your sales cycle? At the moment, Theory Venture Capitalist, a dude from Theory Venture Capitalist is saying that there's a 24 to 25 percent increase in the time it takes to complete the sales cycle in 2023. There's a lot of reasons for that. But it kind of rings true to what we see from our clients and what we see from the industry.

John: Work it back. If your sales cycle is three months. Okay. So now it's four months. So now it's four months. Well, say three, four months, whatever you [00:08:00] want to do, expand your timeframe out a little bit. Don't be too specific. Just get a rough idea. So we're now in the month when I'm just going to say September.

John: We're going to count four months back, July, June, wow. I can't go backwards in months. Uh, July, May, June, May, June, right? Temporal arithmetic. Yeah, sorry. It's a challenge. It's, it's really in my head today. So all of the sales that you've kind of done around this time, around say September, take all of the sales data and look at what activity you had going on around May and June.

John: Who are you targeting? Do you believe that there was any activity going on with those accounts? Do you believe there was anything that you were targeting with those individuals? And see if there was a correlation. What products were sold? Were you promoting those products in your marketing activity? What solutions were bought into?

John: You know, when did those conversations happen? And just get a rough idea. That's like a first step. And just look at it as a big picture. You don't need to go into detail. You're not yet asked to quantify, well, [00:09:00] you're saying two and a half million dollars of sales generated in September. What did you do to deliver it?

John: Just get an idea if that's what's working. The next stage is then look at the account level. Cause you've got this data. You've got the information on the customers that are buying the contacts that are engaging with you. Take those accounts, just the names of those accounts and see who engaged. From those accounts around the time that you run your activity, you marketing ops team should be able to help give them the list of accounts and just say, I don't know anyone that engaged with these activities, these emails, this web, the, the paid media activity, content syndication, LinkedIn, whatever it may be, and just see if you're correlating it's, you can always give it to other people to do.

John: You've just got to ask the right questions because it's very rare. These people will come together to give you those answers. Just get an idea. It doesn't have to be exact. What it has to give is a flavor of, for those people that you targeted for the strategy that you had in place and the accounts that you know, you engaged with, did you actually make a difference?

John: Did you sell any of that product? Did you sell any of that [00:10:00] solution? And it starts to give you a feeling because you know, your jobs, you know, what you're doing and you know, your organization starts to give you a feeling of. Either, Ooh, no, that's weird. None of the match and none of the accounts that I engage with actually bought anything that happens.

John: Go a bit further back and see. Yeah. If they did, you're like, great. I'm starting to get an understanding, just an unquantifiable gut feeling of what's going 

Jon: on. And so what you're, what that makes me think of, tell me if this is right, is really just sharing data between marketing and sales. Yeah, because a lot of that, a lot of what you're talking about there will exist in the CRM.

Jon: Yep. Not necessarily in your Marquette or Marketing Automation Platform. So it's just about bringing those two together and mapping it out. Yeah. What would be the next step once, once you've got a feeling? Like how would someone move forward 

John: with that? I think then you start to quantify the activity that you're doing.
John: You've got to get more detailed. You've got the impressions and the clips and the click-through rate and everything else that you're doing, the leads that you generated, [00:11:00] then try and look at those sales. What part did sales have to play? Unless you're a huge organization and you're CMO globally of an organization that does.

John: millions and millions of dollars a month. You should be able to, even in that case, just take a small segment, take a country or a geo or whatever it may be and try to say, well, what did sales interact with in these, where did sales get on board? It's not just a report that says sales called sales engaged.

John: The lead was created at X. Try and use a CRM system to see what. Did they email? Did they call them? Did they have a meeting with them? Did they request how, where do we get these leads from? Did they come in from, I want to talk to somebody. Did they come in with sales outreach? Did they come in with marketing that had an idea of what they want?

John: I just get an idea of where those sales came from. That's your first step because it starts to give you a focus on, well, where do I need to focus my efforts? So you're building 

Jon: like a manual attribution model, 

John: I guess. Kind of, you're just getting, you're trying to build up that gut feeling because often you're reliant on people feeding in and the reality is marketing a task to deliver.

John: The upfront lead side of [00:12:00] things, they're tasked to deliver interest and brand and engagement in the idea of your product, but they're getting much more involved now they have to, because the funnel is not linear anymore. They have to get more involved with the whole stage and sales are saying, well, we generated this lead and, you know, we're doing our job and they're trying to make sure that the business sees the value in each of those teams and each of those individuals, and you're not trying to discount that, what you're just trying to get is a realistic understanding, sales getting all their leads from marketing.

John: Okay, yes, no, maybe possibly whatever. And what difference is that going to make? Where do I focus my efforts? Why have these people bought this product? And you could just say, Oh, well, actually 80 percent will repeat customers. Ooh. So we're doing really well in brand awareness and reliability and everything else that we need to do to existing customers.

John: We need to work on our new business, but they're all new business. Great. And our existing customers not bought a thing. Ooh, that's problematic. We need to focus on our existing customers. It just gives you a bit of a gut feeling. Based on actual data, instead of what people are telling you, you're kind of doing the research yourself.

John: You're just trying to get [00:13:00] something that gives you a realistic gut feeling. 

Jon: So how do you take that gut feeling and execute it, Anya? Like, how does that, how do we turn something that John's described there into... A plan that marketing can take and execute on that's not based on short term metrics. 

Anya: Yeah, I mean, I guess I come at it from a slightly different angle because I'm a little further up the funnel in the paid media space, but I totally agree.

Anya: It's about trying to correlate activities with, I guess, cause and effect things that you've done with things that happen. The gut instinct, I think, from a. paid media perspective does tend to be need, you know, you might go into a planning situation where, you know, you think that a certain piece of activity will have a positive impact on, let's say, brand search uplift.

Anya: something like that. And without a data point to evidence that you might use industry research, some other piece to, I guess, to convince [00:14:00] and rationalize why you might want to do a certain thing in paid media. I think in terms of them planning, what we're trying to do is almost set up a test to validate that gut instinct.

Anya: So isolating a piece of activity at a point in time or over a period in time, and then building a set of Metrics and KPIs around that piece of activity to understand whether your gut instinct was correct and I guess kind of investing further as a 

John: consequence. Almost can it be replicated kind of did the, did that strategy work?

John: Can we use it again in the future? Can we, yeah. 

Anya: Sorry. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. 

Jon: It feels strange to be talking about gut instinct from John. You run a data rock team, like the team that likes to be data driven. And now we're talking about instinct. Like how do we reconcile those two 

John: mindsets?

John: Ooh. Okay. So again, got a bit of a very [00:15:00] strong opinion on this one. Any data person that relies solely on the results they're given is. short sighted, it is not the right approach because I can sit here, I can go into a client CRM system and I can build a case to justify any argument they want to put forward.

John: And the more data you have, the easier it is to customize and tweak the reason why something happened. The result of something happening, you could, I can go in and say, well, actually I know sales say they contacted those leads first, but I'm pretty sure. I'm 70 percent sure no one's going to ask me for evidence that marketing reached out to them through a brand awareness campaign, and we think we can attribute it back to that company.

John: So I'm going to take that sales to marketing. You can change data to however you go down.

John: A specific rabbit hole based on the person and their bias. They don't know it, it's their unconscious bias on what they want to see and how they put forward that data and what you have to do is take the context of the situation. So the strategy that was put forward, we can give you all [00:16:00] of the results of every campaign that we ever run for anyone.

John: But the reality is if we don't understand

John: the context of the strategy that Anja and her team are putting in place, the reasons why, what was the gut feeling and the brief that was given to them at the beginning, we're targeting very specific people. We're not sending a massive campaign that targets every individual and then analyzing the results.

John: It's always got a bias. So you have to take that context. You have to understand. what you're planning to do versus the results that you're getting. So taking data in isolation is a fruitless exercise. You need to understand the context of what's going 

Jon: on. Is it like the famous Henry Ford quote, which he never said.

Jon: If you ask people what they wanted. Yes. Then they'd say a faster horse. Yep. So are we saying we'd, you're saying we'd miss the car. Yes. If we just looked at 

John: the data. I'm gonna, a recent example that I think is quite clever, um, is the actor Ryan Reynolds. Okay. So he sold his mobile phone company for millions and millions [00:17:00] of pounds.

John: By the way, who doesn't love Ryan Reynolds? Yeah, no, I know. No, 

Jon: let's just, can we just get the Ryan Reynolds 

John: love out for a second? We do love Ryan Reynolds. And the fact that he's really intelligent and really good at marketing is, if you look at the data. Yeah, an ad was performed very limited paid ads.

John: There were some paid ads for a mobile phone company. For Mint Mobile. For Mint Mobile. Very limited paid ads. They did, you know, they weren't silly about it. They did a lot of paid activity. But it was built around Ryan Reynolds. His followers, his reach, his awareness, and the people that knew him, and his humor.

John: So if you look at the data, you invested very little. You changed a company to be worth over a billion dollars and yay, everyone can do this. It wasn't. It was fundamental on Ryan Reynolds, his brand, his personality, and his humor. So you have to take the creative side into it. You have to take the strategy on how they're targeting.

John: And he targeted through his own followers, through the network of people. His vodka brand did the same. He did, he did... Which, by the way, 

Jon: is dreadful vodka. Not vodka, gin. 

John: Gin, sorry. Yeah, come on, with it. I have not tried it, so I can't comment. But you've got to, again, you've got to take it into the context. So I can go in and say, well, you can spend...[00:18:00] 

John: 5 million and turn your company into a billion dollars. Great. And everyone's going to, yeah. How'd you do it? Well, you need Ryan Reynolds and he won't do it because it's not his, you've got to give him, you know, 30 percent share of your company. There's so much. It's just, it's not easy to hang on for you.

John: All right. 

Harry: Yeah. Statistically data wise, the football team that's at the top of the league. If you want to take a stat to measure that is the team that gets the most corners. But if you start training your team to get the most corners, they're not gonna win, you know, especially getting those 

John: goals Yeah, we are making it sound more complicated than it is now.

John: That's yeah. I'm afraid of that. Sorry 

Jon: So using that analogy what you're saying is we can't be more like Ryan Reynolds. It won't Well, you've got more success, you're alright. Yes, I know, I know. But if we're more like Ryan Reynolds, it's not, you 

John: can't win. I think what Harry's saying is if you listen to the data, on its own, you will make more corners, but you can't win.

John: If you take the context and the reality, you know, corners are important to be [00:19:00] league from a league perspective, but actually to win, you need to score goals. So you've got to take the context. Data is not 100 percent is not always right. It needs context. But 

Jon: let's come back to something. I mean, Anna, you mentioned we are further up the funnel, like our media activity is further up the funnel.

Jon: Like is the funnel still relevant? 

Anya: I guess if we're describing a funnel as a movement from awareness through to conversion, then Yes, it is or not conversion as the case may be, it is still relevant, but I think it's just changed so much. It's I mean, so digital now and I think for brands, it's extremely difficult because a lot of that engagement is just happens without any direct contact with them.

Anya: You know, you have, it's very difficult to understand where your prospects are in the buying cycle. They are researching you. They are expecting to find useful and relevant information about [00:20:00] you and about their pain points. And they're hoping to do that without. Possibly ever talking to you. So I think the funnel is still relevant in as much as there is obviously a buyer journey, but it's just very different to that traditional model that, you know, we would have looked at years ago, I guess.

Anya: Yeah, 

John: I completely agree. I it's Gartner. So we've done for a while. It's not linear. You're not going from unknown to MQL to SQL, whatever. Gartner refer to it now as looping. Okay. And in reality, we've seen it. I'll go into it in a minute, but it's, you've got multiple people doing multiple things at the same time, all around this idea.

John: So you're trying to engage with multiple people doing multiple things at different parts of the buyer journey, and then they're coming together and they're doing their research depending on where you talk or who you talk to and where you look. It's anywhere between 40 percent and 96 percent of buyers do not talk to sales anymore.

John: And it, you know. Depending, yeah, depending on [00:21:00] which stat you want to quote. Depending on which stat you want to quote. They all seem to have disappeared today because I wanted to get one that was going to use, and they've all quietly gone, Ooh, we're not going to, we're going, we're not going to say it's a stat.

John: We're just getting like, people don't want to talk to people. We get that. I think there is an expectation. There's a huge pressure from when you talk to sales that you've got to buy and you've got to justify and the conversations and everything else. So they want to do their own research. So marketing needs to kind of step in giving the information.

John: Information drives purchase. But you've got to get information or all of these different stages for all of these different buyers. And one random example, about two years ago, we ran a very long, multiple campaigns for a client and there was a lot of different elements to it. It was different types of activity, you know, brand awareness, demand generation, that we're all considerate of each other, considerate of different audiences and everything else.

John: And we found this weird thing at the end of it. There was limited nurture. There was limited push for information. There was a lot of information that the client had available. There was work done to kind of [00:22:00] Tidy it up and make it more relevant and all that other kind of stuff in the background But the media was doing its thing and it was ongoing thing for 12 months at the end of the 12 months We found certain accounts that bought

John: Based on the people that engaged we could see a trend where junior people Started to engage with content. They started to download and give their details online research only, not contacting sales. They did not want to be called and they started to do that research two or three months before. Then you'd see maybe more middle management.

John: They would get involved from the same organization and we did some specifics to look at those individuals to say, well, where are they based? Are they in the same region, same country, whatever it may be. And then another few weeks later you get senior, they've been given the details. So you've got three different levels of people taking their time because I think the organization.

John: That they were targeting were more linear in their approach. It was more old school in how they bought their products and solution everything else. But you have the juniors doing the research, the middle management, qualifying and quantifying what they said is true, and then seniors going, Hmm, we're gonna talk to these people and I just wanna make [00:23:00] sure I'm right.

John: Mm-hmm. . So you start to see the impact where, yes, you've got a lead. Yes. In 

Jon: was this particular client and what sp were they enterprise? What space were they in without giving away their name. 

John: Professional services. 

Jon: Could you buy them on a credit card or would you require an invoice, a very large 

John: invoice to buy them?

John: Very large invoice. Okay. I'll come back to why that's relevant in a sec. Sorry, John. Yeah. Very large invoice. I mean, yeah, it was a bigger thing. It was a bigger offering that they were giving. It wasn't short term. And you could, anyway, but the idea was it wasn't linear. And when you looked at the content they were engaging with at the start, it was stupidly down the phone.

John: You were thinking like, this is, they've MQL. I'm going to get them to sales. Oh my God. They're going to talk. Oh wait, no. It's the assistant. Um, it's not going to work. So you apply your lead scoring and it's not, it's there, but it's not quite there, but I've delivered an MQL. So I've done my job two months, three months later, you get, I've got another MQL, I've done my job.

John: And then two or three months later, another MQL, I've done my job, but actually it took all three. It took that time and all three and understanding the client happened to have the right information available for those audiences and that, and, and the plan [00:24:00] and the strategy obviously that we did helped move that along, but yeah.

Jon: Does. So I'm going to throw a curveball in here, right? So, what you're describing there feels a bit like what, what I would describe as the PLG movement, right? The product led growth movement. Okay. Which is, you know, you penetrate an organization with, at a small level, at a lower level, and let's give an example, right?

Jon: Rather than an enterprise buying SharePoint across the whole business, right? Which is a big enterprise sale. You know, they might buy a small collaborative solution, Right. Let's say. You know, Monday or Smartsheet or Teamwork or something. The other ones are available. And they're buying one team and then the next team goes, Oh, that's interesting.

Jon: And they're buying that team and then the next team goes, Oh, that's interesting. And so you end up with this proliferation of the product across the organization until it gets to a point where the COO has to pick up a phone and say, We've got to talk. Like what you're describing there feels a little bit like product led growth, but for marketing.

Jon: A little bit. In enterprise sales, like is there, there is still going to be some things [00:25:00] you can't buy like a large enterprise product. piecemeal on a credit card, really. Like, how can we re I'm trying to reconcile this. How can we replicate that? In marketing. Like, is that, is that what 

John: your, sort of? But it's, if you take the smaller product, a hardware product, for example, you can buy and test it, or that didn't work for me.

John: I'm going to try something else that's fine. There's less risk. If you're looking at millions of pounds worth of hardware, investment or software investment, or organization services, whatever. And it's a huge risk. So you've got to, you've got to limit the risk. You've got to give that information. The information drives the purchase, but you can't just think up until the point of MQL, I've done my job as marketing because the only way they're going to convert is the right information that they find on their own.

John: It's not enabling sales, it's enabling sales and the potential customer. So I'm going to share with you what it means for me. There's a big thing, especially in enterprise and services and enterprise products. There's a tendency to not give pricing. Yeah. 

Jon: Yeah. We've talked about this. How long have we got on the podcast?

John: Yeah. I know. Um, [00:26:00] this tendency to not give pricing, especially in the world that we're in where, you know, anywhere from 60 to 96 percent of people don't want to talk to sales. If they can't set expectation on how much this will cost them, worst case scenario, then they're applying their own logic. They know they're looking at worst case, then why would they talk to you?

John: Because they're opening up a conversation. And sales in desperate times can get really hungry and really hounding and they can chase you. They got your details. I just don't want them to call me. I just want an expectation. Is this a million? Is it 50 million? Because my budget is somewhere in between. And if you're saying it's 50, I might knock you down to 40 and I'm okay with that.

John: If you're saying it's 300, well, it's not a chance. So why engage with you? Why waste my time on you? And set in some form of expectation as well is also really important. What is the problem with customers got? Let them know, you know, what the problem is going back to basic marketing. What is the problem?

John: The customer's got what solution can they provide? Um, how do we help you build your requirements and clarity and understanding? Because our products do this. What does it do in comparison [00:27:00] to others? Because there's a feeling, and it's a feeling, especially in enterprise software sales. People can promise too much and not get everything they want so be clear and set expectations And then why them as a supply you got to give all of that information The big thing is just let them know how much it's roughly gonna cost I mean average price of our solution is 3.

John: 6 million dollars. Great. Okay. I'm 

Jon: okay with that So I think what we define I'm what's going through my head is actually maybe there's a term here called marketing led growth But then that's kind of what the whole point of marketing is. Yep, back to the basics. Yeah, so let's bring us back to short term metrics because we've, we've, we could, I mean, John, me and you can talk about pricing, enterprise pricing until the cows come home.

Jon: Is that another English phrase we've ended up using? Yeah. The, uh, so let's bring us back to short termism. Like Ania, when we talk about... When you, when we design a campaign now, let's try and get into a practical element here. How would you advise a client to try and remove, move them away from the short-term type metrics and move them towards longer term [00:28:00] 

Anya: thinking?

Anya: Yeah. I mean, I think it is, it's, it takes time. And I think. Probably where we would try and start is with understanding their specific objectives, and typically it's not to hit a click through rate of, you know, whatever it's to. Raise brand awareness or drive highly qualified leads or increase close one, you know, there's something very tangible that is the long-term goal.

Anya: And so I think, you know, start with the objectives, understand what KPIs will be used to quantify them. And then. Build out a set of measurement metrics from that. So we try, I mean, obviously it doesn't happen all the time. I'm not suggesting this is an easy thing to do, but we try to build a kind of scorecard of metrics that measure a number of short term and long term [00:29:00] goals.

Anya: And I think I'm trying to work out if I can weave in Ryan Reynolds to this, but I wonder if that's something to do with brand awareness, you know, and actually. This whole sort of anonymous buying cycle or whatever percentage it is really relies on brands. Being known and trusted because, you know, that that's that kind of vendor consideration list is pulled together.

Anya: There's a handful of brands that will be on it. And it's really tough to get on that list. If you don't make it the first time around. And so I think. We are often tasked with briefs that are perhaps more performance or demand driven, but we do try and ask clients or see if we can work with clients to take a step back, think about how we're focusing on brand metrics and how we're going to measure those.

Anya: Over the long term and that that might not be a brand study because maybe that's not in place and that's a significant investment and [00:30:00] maybe we need to evidence the need for that. But thinking about some of those metrics that are are, are better evidencing the impact of the work that we're doing on longer term.

Anya: So for, I mean, this is a very tactical example, but if I'm running a programmatic display campaign, rather than focusing on click through rate, I'm going to look at increasing brand searches. What's the impact or how have I impacted direct and organic traffic to sites? Things that are. Sort of better quantify the scale of the activity that I'm doing and don't focus, focus on a very tactical metric.

Anya: So I think come back to objectives, understand the KPIs across the board, and then I guess build your measurement framework around that to address both longer and the short-term metrics won't go [00:31:00] away immediately, but you kind of need both in there. This is going 

Jon: to be, I know this is going to be a difficult question because I don't know how I'd answer this.

Jon: Is there a best practice set of metric, metrics or, you know, framework that you're applying there or does it need to vary per client? Yeah, 

Anya: I think it needs to be unique to each client and what their objectives are. And I think that's the critical thing, understanding objectives and building from there and actually objectives that aren't perhaps just marketing focused.

Anya: Kind of what are the agreed set of metrics that sales and marketing have? Arrived at and how do we build out effective measurement against those? Um, and that I think, while it's not easy, is the thing that will begin to evidence return on investment more effectively. 

Jon: So just to summarize a lot of these rants that we've got on today's podcast, like, you know, Anya, let's start with you.

Jon: Like [00:32:00] if you were, you mentioned there about starting with a. You know your outcome in mind, you know, just as you were describing that was going through my head that you need to stop Yeah, we always talk about starting with a customer in mind as well and how we bring all this stuff together So, how would you if you were to break this down into like a crawl walk?

Jon: Run, fly. I think I've got more than four there. It could be three boxes or four. Like, how would you start to, to move towards, move away from short termism and towards long termism? Like, what would be those three or four different steps you would take someone 

Anya: through? Well, I think starting with the objectives and working through that piece and understanding what the long-term goal is.

Anya: Short term metrics will still have a piece in that, but there are probably other metrics that we can look at to better evidence performance over the standard engagement type metrics that we often report on. I think then it's understanding how to report on that, and do you have the right [00:33:00] platforms in place to be able to structure your data in a meaningful way so that when you actually come to look at the results, You know, there is something that you can work with.

Anya: That will be my starting point. And then, you know, get granular, understand geography, audience, tactic, creative message. That's probably the crawl to walk phase. I think as you, as you start to deploy campaigns, and I guess coming at it from a media perspective, you start to deploy campaigns against that framework.

Anya: You also want to be sure that you can isolate the impact of specific activities. So those kinds of tests that we were talking about earlier in the podcast, trying to correlate activity with impact. And with that, you can start to do more of the good things and less of the not so good things. I think brand tracking is really important.

Anya: And maybe as you're getting towards the end of that. I mean, let's be honest, 

Jon: if you're not doing brand [00:34:00] tracking. You're probably missing it, 

Anya: but lots of people aren't because it's an expensive investment and you know You you kind of have to hold your nerve as well because you might not see any impact for a huge amount of Yeah, a huge amount of time.

Anya: So but I do think if it's Possible, you should look to put some sort of tracking brand health tracking in place. And again, from a media perspective, what we would try to do if there isn't a tracker in place, and that's often the case is see what we can negotiate with our partners. Can we do some sort of pre post?

Anya: Activity to quantify what we've done to validate further investment, optimize and repeat. 

Jon: And that's when we get towards the run and fly is just iterate and get better at it, I guess, because you need your learn and then your. You know, you'll find new metrics or new ways of measuring things, I guess, as you go through it.

Jon: For me, what stands out from what you've said there is that pulling, there's always that [00:35:00] tendency to pull back towards demand, especially in today's economy, right, in 2023. We've heard this great quote from Google, which is every dollar you try and save now, of course, you... It takes you 1. 85 to buy back in brand.

Jon: So like, don't skimp on brand. Like now is actually the best time. LinkedIn even had a better stat, which is something like, I think every, uh, you can go and get a three times return or something crazy. I can't, you might know better than I do on you. So I always think it's. You've got to remember that balance and I think hold your nerve is probably the best phrase I've heard of describing it.

Jon: Like, just hold your nerve, damn it! Like, it's gonna happen. Yeah, it will. You just need to trust in the process. The 

Anya: other important thing actually that probably would fall into my, uh, crawl, I guess, points is benchmark. Work out where you are at the moment and then you've got a line in the sand. That's obviously really important.

Anya: I should have remembered that. But yeah, you need to know where you are at the moment. That's where the short 

Jon: term metrics are useful, because at least they give you a benchmark that you can continue [00:36:00] to see improvement on. Yeah, absolutely. But I think we shouldn't look, the tendency is to say, well we had 100 leads last month.

Jon: We, you know, now we want 110 or 120 when actually you should be targeting incremental, you know, there's other ways of viewing those metrics, I think is a more intelligent way of knowing if your creative is having an impact. Yeah. Um, but it's, yeah, it gets complicated. John, what would be the different ways that you would break 

John: down yours?

John: Okay. So can I take a different stance? I apologize. Right. I overcomplicate things. Yeah, I know. There's it's I'm sitting on it. I overcomplicate things. I have a habit of doing that repeatedly. And especially when it comes to the things to do to track and I get so excited about what you can do six, 12, 50, 18 months down the line.

John: I'm going to try and bring it back and be a bit of a marketing therapist. First off, there's no judgment. Everything that we've said today, I think for anyone that's listening, we're not judging you, whether you do this or don't do this, because most of the people that we talk [00:37:00] to, or we engage with that they're at very different stages and I get so bogged down in the complexity of the future state that I haven't done it at times and done what I should be doing.

John: So there's no judgment set with what you're comfortable with and work on one thing at a time. So don't try to do everything all at once because you're just going to get bogged down in the complexity. Test stuff like we talked about. Yeah. So the small tests. So instead of doing a crawl, walk, run scenario, I'm going to leave you with one thing, one activity to do on your next campaign.

John: Whether it's a quarterly, annual, whatever you want to do. No, sorry. Yeah, no, absolutely. Uh, no. The next campaign that you run, you've got a start period and an end period, say it's a quarter. At the end of that quarter, for all of the ways that you can, if it's just lead data, in your, uh, marketing automation system, or it's linked in lead gen forms, or whatever it may be, keep a list of every account that you have touched, the emails that you've sent to them, every account that's engaged, have they clicked an email, have they filled out a form, forget the individuals, you're getting too bogged down in the detail, forget the individuals.

John: That's future state. Just take a list of those accounts and based on your [00:38:00] average sales cycle, look at what those accounts have bought. If anything in your sales CRM system, Salesforce dynamics, what are the versions available? Just have a look at what those accounts have bought. If anything in your average sales cycle.

John: That's it. It's really simple. I 

Jon: keep thinking there's going to be something else you're going to say, but you did say there was just one thing. One thing. Just 

John: have a look. Really simple. Forget attribution, forget tracking you've got in place, because the reality is, so many things happened during that...

John: Cycle and that funnel process that change yet. And the tracking code gets lost and it moves on to other things. Just get a list of accounts that, you know, you've engaged with that filled out forms that have downloaded that have gone to website, whatever dates you've got, just one, one complete list. And then in around the time of your average sales cycle, and maybe again, a few months later, whatever it may be, just see what those accounts have bought, if anything, that's it.

John: You 

Jon: might need to speak to sales. 

John: You can, but I think a lot of marketers have access to that data. Yeah, no, you should speak to sales, but just see what they pull. Have they bought anything? [00:39:00] And you're just, 

Jon: and what, would you expect some enlightenment from that? Is that what you're saying? 

John: The contacts that you reached out to, the companies that you engaged with, did they buy anything?

John: And you may get a resounding no. No one's going to ask you about it because it's just something you've done. So again, no judgment, no responsibility, no big questions. And if it's a no, why is it a no? It's a sales cycle longer. Is sales not following up with leads? What was the message you would go in the product?

John: Not right. It just gives you an idea and it's one small task that you can do every campaign sits in the background. No one's going to ask you about it. You don't need to hold your hand up and say, I've done this and this is it. But if you do start to see sales, then you can say, well, the sales of the products that we expected are the sales of the product or service or solution that we were promoting.

John: Did it achieve what we expected? Is there a correlation? And it's just that basic. The accounts that you engaged with, did they buy from you when you expect them [00:40:00] to? Simple. And once you've got that answer, come talk to us and then we can talk about step two. Thank you so 

Harry: much for coming on the podcast, guys.

Harry: What a bloody good time. 

Jon: Yeah, we had a few soapbox 

John: moments. Yeah, I do. I think that's why I'm only allowed on every, like, once every 12 months. 

Jon: It's for your own health. Yeah. It's not. Yeah. And for you listening to this podcast. Yeah, absolutely. It's for your health. Thank you, Anya, you and John for joining us again on the Tech Marketing Podcast.

Jon: We hope to have you back again soon, probably in six months time when you've recovered, John. Your blood pressure's gone down. But no, it's been a pleasure going through some of the insights we have today of trying to move away from this short.

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