How marketers approach forecasting and budgeting, marketing spend and performance, including return on investment (ROI), benchmarking, and specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics.
In order to win, marketers need to own the forecast and budget, and set a variety of benchmarks, continually analysing, adjusting, improving and investing.
Despite the efficiency and flexibility offered by forecasting marketing spend – and, increasingly, ‘zero-based budgeting’ – there is still a large gap between those that forecast properly and those that are just being handed budget to spend.
Reaching the right audience and customer acquisition is getting harder, burning cash on media isn’t the answer.
Customer acquisition and reaching the right audience to increase conversion or engagement is getting harder and it seems many of us (and especially start-ups) are burning cash just to drive traffic and report vanity metrics. Your customer growth should grow but your burn rate should fall, not outpace your customer growth.
We recently undertook research into marketing forecasts and budgets (soon to be published).
What we’re seeing is almost a third of respondents revisit spend just once a year or less and more than 50% no more than twice a year.
Ok this is a viewpoint not a manifesto, is it just me or when businesses use a ‘strategic canvas’ do they really consider data and the importance of being data centric? This is one of a couple of posts which will focus on the importance of data centricity. You may be customer centric but you should also be data centric.
So let’s start by looking at a canvas since that’s a good workable visual aid.
It seems there’s a canvas for most things these days, but like most things they tend to be stand alone. If you’ve ever used any of these in anger they usually solve just one part of the puzzle of your business or they are very high level, you then need to stitch some together or use another tool to move to action a team.
Like most consultancy’s or businesses running innovation workshops or strategy projects, we’d used Alexander Osterwald’s Business Model Canvas and Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas which are truly awesome – fast, concise, and very portable, but we found ourselves modifying them for the needs of the client we were working with, especially when we started asking questions about data and what to do next.
Over the last few years data has become the hot topic in any strategy or directive, no matter the size of the business, start-up or blue chip, data is critical.
I know, data’s boring, but you only have to look at those businesses that are outpacing their competitors to understand that not only does data ensure you’re aligned to continually changing customer needs and expectations (customer centricity) but also that you place your money and resources in the right places and add competitive advantage in terms of potentially becoming the disruptor rather than the disrupted.
Data gives you the edge, it’s the river that runs through your business, multiple feeds from multiple sources creating insights on which to base critical decisions.
The issues are the same no matter what business we worked with, being able to move down in terms of detail from any model or framework is essential. When talking to senior people you need simplicity, but instances where you want to move quickly to action a team you need the considered detail which all of the team have been a party too.
Just tell me, what does good measurement look like?
So what does good measurement look like, how do we define it and how do we know we are putting our effort into the right things?
We have been wrestling with the issue of good to determine what it is and certainly what it isn’t. In the image above what good looks like varies from one individual to another. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder.
We all seem to be obsessed with funnels talking about them and using them to make big decisions within our business. But when should we use a funnel? They have a role to understand where a business is trending; however they are useless at understanding what needs to be fixed.
At Crank we create funnels to build out a profile of business health, but we don’t just rely on the funnel to provide the answers.
As a for instance let’s take time, we like to look at ‘like for like’ time periods.