Marketing metrics and analyst relations blog post - Starsight Communications

Are your marketing metrics losing you sales?

64% of B2B marketing leaders don’t trust their organization’s marketing measurement for decision-making, according to Forrester. And most B2B marketing isn’t measured scientifically at all. Traditionally, marketers look at the buying process and often turn it into a buying funnel where they can score leads in three stages:

  • Awareness, top of the funnel (TOFU)
  • Consideration, middle of the funnel (MOFU)
  • Conversion, bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

Causality and known unknowns make linking this funnel to marketing measurement fall short.

Many marketers fall into the trap of inferring causation on a single marketing touchpoint. The thinking there is to detect purchase intent signals, map them to touchpoints in the buying funnel and then organise moments in the buying journey. For example, attributing pipeline to an event. But this is not proved, maybe they already intended to purpose prior to the event, maybe that’s precisely why they attended. Much of the buying journey is unknown.

Moreover, the AIDA funnel is dead and the new spaghetti monster sales process has multiple “known unknown” touchpoints with prospects outside of vendor conversations. From peers to social media to mainstream media to industry analysts, there are a whole host of external influences that can make or break your deal before the prospect’s name has even reached your company. Forrester found B2B buyers have 18 valuable interactions before purchasing. These become the known unknowns –we know prospects are interacting with them, but not exactly who they are interacting with.

Here, most marketing measurement falls short because of a lack of insights on the buying process and into the buying teams. These marketing qualified leads (or MQL’s) can be counted when clients are already in the funnel and/or mis-attributed to the wrong tactic, sometimes the loop with sales isn’t closed and very few B2B vendors do multi-variant attribution (marketing mix modelling). Bottom line: for a holistic measurement programme, you need multitouch marketing attribution.

So that’s a whole lot of marketing speak – and what does it have to do with AR?

Analyst relations is a high return activity.

Many marketers and PR agencies use output and coverage as indicators of AR success. Output can measure your teams activity, for instance the number of analyst engagements, briefings and inquiries or analyst firm subscription usage, which can showcase your productivity. But it does not show how those engagements landed and activity for the sake of it isn’t productive. Coverage can be measured both numerically and for sentiment and what the analysts write certainly has impact in the market. Yet coverage itself isn’t the value of analyst relations. These measurements in isolation are not sufficient.

The value of analyst relations is fourfold: insights, sales, awareness and go-to-market. Marketing measurements can only be used for two of those, and even then they aren’t enough.

Some examples of analyst relations metrics or more meaningful measurement are:

  • Insights: product or strategy team satisfaction with analyst insights.
  • Sales: analyst mentions in win/loss analysis programmes.
  • Awareness: share of voice in analyst coverage or number of inbound analyst requests, which prove you have raised market awareness and your AR is reaching cruising altitude.
  • Go-to market: lead generation from analyst reprints on your website.

Strategic AR is more than measurement.

At Starsight, we often tie our AR measurement to the business goals of our clients. It’s not always possible to link directly to ROI or specific sales, but it’s about making an argument for AR’s contribution to the business. Impact ranges from obtaining a competitive edge, or to exploring strategic corporate development options or driving a narrative in a category. None of this is measured scientifically and yet we have seen AR used in transformative ways through meaningful AR metrics rather than outcomes and coverage.

When AR becomes truly strategic, the sum of impacts and their synergies means measurement becomes less important. The value of AR is in the conversation, whether you’re successful at driving it in the market and the insights which help you making the right roadmap decisions, ensure product/market fit, develop messages that are truly differentiating, get the pricing right. This sum of AR impact is difficult to measure, but it often isn’t necessary to do so because the impact on your business is already so clear.

Latest Transmissions.

Get Starsight Transmissions in your inbox.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.