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Performance management: helping marketers do more with less

By Michael Nutley, Writer for The Drum

November 18, 2022 | 8 min read

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Marketers are constantly under pressure to do more with less. Could a unified performance management approach be the solution to ease the demand and pressure on marketing teams to drive business goals?

Performance management: helping marketers do more with less

Marketing leaders need a deeper understanding of what their department is doing

Right now, marketers are under pressure like never before. The changes caused by the pandemic mean customers expect more personalization across more touchpoints. Meanwhile the pandemic hangover, combined with tough economic times, means marketing budgets are stagnating. Marketers have to deliver more with less.

One of the ways to square this circle is through better management. Marketing leaders need a deeper, more granular understanding of what their department is doing, and what the results of its activities are. That way they can maximize the use of their resources and optimize their return on media investment (ROMI). They can prove their value to the C-suite. And they can argue for more budget based on data rather than gut-feel.

The secret to making this work, according to Shannon Riley, industry principal marketing at Wrike, is a unified approach to performance management, speaking during a recent webinar entitled Marketing Performance Management – Where’s Your Revenue Hiding?

“Consumers expect you to be up-to-date and fresh, so you need to move in hours and days versus weeks and months,” he said. “Today’s consumers are also used to very personalized experiences. There are close to a trillion audience data points available that make it easy for brands to offer hyper-personalized and relevant experiences. But this means you have to create as many experiences as there are audience segments, which means more digital assets, more deliverables, and more customization. You also need to follow your customers wherever they go, so you can stay top-of-mind.”

All of this is made more complex still by the proliferation of digital tools and platforms within marketing departments. According to Riley, this means a unified performance management approach is not enough on its own: “Marketing leaders need a single platform that integrates essential tools and data in one digital space, increasing visibility and providing a single access point to performance measurement and management.”

Overhauling your performance management

According to Riley, there are four key areas marketers need to think about when looking to overhaul their performance management:

1. Integration

The average enterprise uses about 91 marketing cloud services, which is why tracking results can be such a complex endeavor. It can be difficult to access comprehensive data and real-time insights from disparate tools serving different functions. Time is often wasted switching between various tools and manually trying to piece together all that information, which slows down digital marketing efforts.

“Using an integrated, cloud-based solution, such as a collaborative work management platform will provide access to the crucial performance data you need to inform strategy and decision-making,” said Riley.

2. Optimization

Once the entire marketing team is able to track and measure the results of their activities, they can start to identify what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs to be done to improve the situation.

“Having end-to-end campaign insights across your entire marketing stack means your team can start to evaluate the impact of each touchpoint, and quickly take action to maximize conversions,” Riley said. “Make performance management a team-wide priority by giving your team the tools they need to spot where things are breaking down, or where you’re unnecessarily burning cash.”

3. Data

None of this works if the data the team needs isn’t accessible, usable and standardized across channels.

“Analytics and insights are cited as some of the most crucial factors in making marketing decisions, so marketing leaders also need more accessible and intuitive real-time reporting,” Riley argued. “It’s wise to invest in tools that provide simple access to information from all channels. That way, your team is going to be able to base your objectives on historical campaign data, and you’re going to be able to plan campaigns that support business-wide objectives and maximize marketing value.”

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4. Reporting

Real-time reporting has become crucial to the optimal functioning of the marketing team, but it’s also essential in the broader context of the business.

“Marketing leaders need to demonstrate the contribution of their marketing activities to the bottom line by showing ROI,” Riley concluded. “That means how you collate and normalize data from various channels, and then share it with stakeholders and executives, should be a high priority. Your ability to report on results and demonstrate value is crucial to retaining and increasing budgets, driving sales and demonstrating ROI. To accomplish this, you need a single tool to centralize performance data, and transform that data into straightforward actionable reports.”

The need for technological support

The final part of the webinar looked at the need for technology to support the unified approach to performance management. As Riley put it: “Without the right technology, a performance management toolkit is somewhat useless.”

“A comprehensive and powerful work management platform supports holistic performance management in a number of ways,” he explained. “It provides visibility into your strategy, so teams and management can adopt and execute marketing plans and track performance against their KPIs. It integrates your marketing tools and channels in one place to create a cohesive marketing operation. That, in turn, delivers total visibility into performance by correlating metrics in a single space, which enables consistent tracking and optimization for ongoing and future campaigns. And it also creates high-level reports and dashboards so that your marketing leaders can share performance across the business, demonstrate your impact and, ultimately, prove your ROI.”

You can watch the full webinar, Marketing Performance Management – Where’s Your Revenue Hiding? produced by The Drum in partnership with Wrike, by clicking here.

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