Close the Marketing Performance Gap: How to Start Delivering on the Most Important Metrics

The sudden changes brought about by Covid-19 disrupted our professional and personal lives, disrupted the economy, and forced us to rethink how we do business.

But even in today’s bold new digital world – where personal events, trade shows, and conferences have evaporated in the blink of an eye – the other aspects of the business have not changed. Although the pandemic sparked a race to find ways to better communicate with customers in today’s environment, the damage was the biggest obstacle for marketers before the pandemic.

This problem is simple: customer experience, engagement, and interactive marketing are the main strategies and tactics in 2020, marketers agree – and yet these are the same categories that they say are underperforming. Our research on ON24.

We call this a “performance gap”.

It is common for company stakeholders to disagree with the main criteria. But it is a different dynamic when companies agree with the main metrics but are still unable to improve their performance in this area.

In this article, I will highlight why there is such a performance gap and how companies and marketers can bridge the gap and drive real revenue growth.

Covid-19’s impact on the marketing performance gap

Let’s take a step back. Although this marketing performance gap has been around for years, Covid-19 has made fundamental changes to the way we market.

First, in a digital world, sales teams can no longer print meat and use their charisma and networks to reach a potential customer. In the past, sales teams were also responsible for guiding customers through all phases of the buying cycle and ultimately making the “right sale”.

Today, however, marketing is the driving force behind the buyer’s journey to decision making. Marketers now have the entire cycle, including all phases, from recognition to purchase.

This change brings about another change – even the marketing metrics we’ve used in the past need to be adjusted as marketers expand their role in monetization.

Previously, most marketing data focused on qualifying potential customers and generating qualified marketing leads (MQL). But just focusing on the pipeline is a terrible service for marketers, as they control virtually the entire sales funnel. Marketers need to rethink the best way to value their efforts, now that they take a holistic approach.

Because performance accruals can be performed if you are responsible for the sales cycle, despite outdated metrics that measure only the effort at the top of the funnel.

The good news is that the best marketers have already made the necessary changes.

Before the pandemic, 89% of high-performance marketers said that their team creates special materials that support the entire customer journey, not just its acquisition. Top marketers have gone beyond metrics like website traffic, email click rates, and social media engagement; they looked for more performance metrics, that is, engagement metrics related to revenue.

Turning Engagement into Action

The best modern marketers focus on creating engaging digital experiences that actively engage their audience – highly interactive experiences that engage visitors with content offers and calls to action. And, through this commitment, marketers gain access to the information they need to guide people on their exclusive shopping journey.

For example, if you are sending a download of content, marketers need to measure it. When they ask a question about a life experience, it needs to be measured. This type of engagement, in turn, provides unprecedented insight to marketers.

But we have to take it a step further and turn this commitment into action. Gone are the days of the name of the sales team, even a well-qualified name. Tomorrow’s successful marketers will be the ones who will put real-time information and engagement data in the hands of salespeople so they can continue the conversation and not start. Marketers can even set triggers in a digital experience that will alert the sales team when that happens.

In a post-Covid world, marketing can fill a fundamental sales gap. This is because marketing plays a major role in collecting potential customers’ digital body language and placing that information in sales. It provides sales with some of the information they need to succeed in this digital world.

Create a customer experience that reflects your funnel

However, the commitment cannot end after the purchase. It must play a role not only in the buyer’s journey but also in the customer’s experience.

After purchase, the customer experience team must create engaging digital experiences to discover insights and turn them into effective points of contact; also, steps must be taken to align your marketing, sales, and customer experience teams so that they are informed about customer interaction and preferences.

That way, you can reduce taxes while looking for cross-selling and cross-selling opportunities.