Practitioner To Analyst: What I Would Have Done Differently If I Had Access To The Research I Have Now
Today marks the 60th day of officially being an analyst at Forrester. The learning journey so far has challenged my intellect, in a good way. The Forrester Decisions for Marketing Operations service resonates with my experience from previous roles, especially my last job in Oracle, where I was the head of marketing operations for the Oracle JAPAC marketing team.
Within the plethora of in-depth published research, Forrester Decisions offers numerous practical models and tools for B2B marketing operations leaders that cover seven key focus areas: 1) revenue alignment; 2) planning and budgeting; 3) measurement; 4) data strategy and management; 5) martech stack optimization; 6) marketing process improvement; and 7) marketing operations organizational design. In my previous roles, like many marketing operations leaders, I had responsibility for most of these focus areas. I was tasked to transform and rebuild planning frameworks, support and enable CMOs and marketing leadership in aligning goals to business objectives, reengineer measurement infrastructures, program-manage cross-functional projects, and much more. Forrester’s marketing operations assets are designed to address pain points of operational leaders and are, just like laser beams, spot on. These assets are comprehensive, insightful, systematic, and practical. More importantly, they are invaluable — the industry’s best-of-breed models that you can leverage to set objectives and progress.
While the Forrester Decisions for Marketing Operations service resonates now, I do wish I had access to it when I was a practitioner. It would have given me clear direction and saved me tons of time with valuable shortcuts and handy tools. After just 60 days as a Forrester analyst, here are a few things I see that I could have done differently when I was a practitioner:
- Adopt the B2B Revenue Waterfall. The B2B Revenue Waterfall is a revenue-aligned, opportunity- and buying-groups-based approach that measures marketing and sales progression of revenue from target to close and back again for renewal. The B2B Revenue Waterfall is innovative and realistic. It enables marketing leaders to recognize that B2B buyers don’t typically make decisions independently but are more likely to work in groups. The lead-based approach is flawed in guiding organizations in making the right decisions and driving to desired revenue results effectively. The B2B Revenue Waterfall introduces a whole new concept of scoring, measurement, and SLA design and enables modern marketing organizations with more intelligent data and insights, as well as more robust alignment and engagement with other functions, ultimately delivering better business results. This is something I would strongly recommend to all marketing leaders.
- Measure results using the Campaign Measurement Framework. The Campaign Measurement Framework introduces a more reasonable and scientific framework to measure marketing campaign, program, and tactic results. In most organizations, marketing programs and tactics are measured and reported in a very siloed way, without thoughtful categorization to broader theme-based campaigns and specific targets. While this approach may make the reporting easier to execute and digest, it also hides the big picture, misleading the team to make wrong decisions. The Forrester Campaign Measurement Framework outlines very systematic methodologies for how to design measurement structure and KPIs based on a marketing campaign’s intent, objectives, and goals to measure the results with holistic and coherent views.
- Assess and optimize marketing technology investments. Forrester offers a programmatic, structured, and scientific method to reassess and optimize marketing technology investments, an important thing to consider doing, especially under the continuous headwinds of economic challenges. Assessing marketing technologies, while never an easy task, offers the benefit of assisting with new technology launches and analyzing duplicate, existing technologies across the organization, saving the business resources and money. The Forrester Decisions for Marketing Operations service provides a set of tools that help marketing operations teams conduct a technology inventory and assessment, enabling marketing operations teams to optimize technology impacts.
Regardless of the state that your organization is in now — premature, finding your direction, undergoing a restructure, or trying to continuously improve and optimize — you may always be able to find value from the Forrester Decisions for Marketing Operations service. Reach out to your account representative today to learn how we can help and guide you, hand in hand, on your side, and by your side.
While my learning journey continues, I am happy to share more thoughts! Do follow me, and stay tuned!