CEOs don’t care about leads. They care about revenue. Consequently, the relationship between marketing and sales is often nothing short of mayhem.
Two weeks ago we published part one of our five-part series entitled: “Five Reasons CEOs should Care about Leads (and databases, content, social media, cost per lead and marketing ROI) and How to Fix What is Broken.” First up was Data. Next was Measurement. Today the topic is:
Reason #3: Calibrating Results
About 20 years ago, I was head of new customer acquisition for what was then one of the country’s most successful direct marketers. My staff included three PhD. statisticians who did nothing but analyze results and make recommendations about who should receive direct mail from our brands.
Our marketers were aggressive testers and it wasn’t unusual for a 1,000,000 piece mailing to include 10 tests. One test was always something we called a “null sample.” This group was sent the same offer as the control group, and generally both groups performed about the same. This assured the other test samples were reliable and any differences in results were valid.
Applying this approach to B2B companies today—specifically to marketing automation—there’s a strong case for calibrating results. A simple process is to set up a null sample test by taking a percentage (10%) of random prospects and keeping them out of marketing automation. You should pick up the phone and talk to this group instead of waiting for them to provide you with their digital body language.
Here are three reasons to try this:
- Senior executives don’t want to be treated like the human equivalent of a pinball, capturing your attention only when they hit the right bumpers and score enough points.Marketing automation tends to drive smaller deals with lower level decision makers. By reaching out and talking to people you’ll find your deal size increases.
- Having a conversation allows you to evaluate, validate or calibrate the scoring rules you are using in your marketing automation. I recommend you include historical data (such as Visits) when you pull the “null sample.” In addition to providing fodder to keep the conversation relevant to the prospect, it will be key to the validation.
- By speaking with prospects, you glean considerably more insight into their pains and plans than you ever will via scoring alone.I’m not suggesting you ditch marketing automation, just add back the human touch.
Read the 4th reason why CEO’s should care about leads: Persistence.