Closed Loop Marketing – still a long way to go

Closed Loop Marketing - Still a long way to go Ok I know we all talk a good game about Closed Loop Marketing and I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble here but frankly we aren’t there yet.

Yes we forced the loop to close with some great technologies over the last few years. CRM systems, MRM systems, Lead Nurturing systems and the list goes on. But do we really have an all in one Closed Loop market system that does it all?

In my last post I talked about the shadow pipeline created by sales teams who don’t act in real time. The software may be real time but the sales people aren’t. How about your partner community and the leads you have given over to them. Are they reporting back to you in real time? Doubt it.

That’s on the business impact side. How about on the front end with your budget and invoicing? Are those invoices rolling in real time? Probably not. And can you optimize across all media? – no – with the fragmentation of media because of social.

Add in webinars and in person events, calling plans, telesales, SEO, PPC campaigns, promos, price incentives, spifs for the sales force and you have a recipe for leakage in the system that is hard to account for. But wait there’s more! Even if you had all that at your finger tips would you be able to optimize across all those angles?

Here is where the true art for marketing will come in to play – when we are finally able to optimize our portfolio of investments like a hedge fund manager. Seeing and getting data in real time, with a closed loop return on marketing dollars invested system.

We may have come a long way over the last few years in this area but there is still a long uphill climb from here. Let’s keep working toward getting to the summit!

7 comments to Closed Loop Marketing – still a long way to go

  • Great post Paul. I agree completely that the flawed foundation for calculating Marketing ROI and closed looped marketing is the dependence upon a salesrep to populate the campaign field of an opportunity in CRM. The foundational technology does exist though. My company sells this. Getting sales and partners to participate though can be equivalent to pushing a rope. Let me know if you would like to see our solution.

  • Thanks Victor – would love to learn more – send me some info on your solution

  • Article content is very interesting! Original ideas! I like your article! Thank you to share such a wonderful content!

  • Paul,
    I think the issue is less about technology and more about business processes. Like so many good technology solutions, humans need to do their part by defining processes that allow the technology to deliver on the promise of closed loop marketing.

    Thanks for writing about this topic. It’s a hot one for so many in B2B.
    Bernie Borges

  • Great point Bernie – the technology is there but do we have the right processes and more to ensure we close the loop – I dont think so! (at least not yet)

  • Michel

    Systems, SLA’s, Processes… you can have them all, it won’t work!

    In most B2B companies partners can work on leads/opportunities you gave them through your CRM Partner access, however, as far as i know, partners won’t be able to change the forecast catergory on the opportunity on their own (no Sales/CAM wants his Revenue Commit going up and down without him controlling it), so at the end a Won or Lost opportunity has to be set in the CRM by someone in your company! It’s in our hands, not the partner’s. That problem we already have with our Direct and HT Sales guys who don’t bother too much about progressing our marketing leads/opportunities, so imagine a CAM that has 15 partners all with leads… over time he’ll have hundreds and hundreds of leads/opportunities to make progress in the CRM…

    My advice is to do less quantity more quality, qualify even more than BANT before processing leads to a partner. Marekters follow up on those few leads with your CAM and his partners weekly, use Sales Enablement tactics to make the opportunities progress through the sales stages and once you get some good wins, you’ve proven your value to the partner and the CAM. The next time they’ll beg you for leads and they’ll follow-up and report back, promised.

    This Sales & Marketing PARTNERSHIP has to happen at the lowest possible level in the organisation first (usually the Country, State, Province, City, whatever level). Top down SLA’s & processes, are only a distraction to make management feel good they’ve done something…

  • @Michel – Another great point Michel I like you theory of less is more in the sense of give them fewer more qualified leads (like not the lead for some rack mount brackets) and over time they will beg for more!

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