What is happening in Marketing?
There is surprisingly little reliable material about what is really going on in marketing. Most analyst articles are based on interviews with CMO's, asking what they plan to do, what their priorities are, etc. These articles do have value, but they contain a level of indirection (they're anecdotal) and they tend not to contain much objective evidence - we don't *know* what the companies really do, we just know what they self-report.
Many of you will have seen articles that have graphs illustrating that X% of companies plan to use AI in the next 12 months, Y% are deploying solutions now, and Z% are using it today. Interesting, but wouldn't it be more useful to know in a bit more concrete detail what the market as a whole is really, actually doing? You can't take such articles as a reliable snapshot of
Data vs Anecdote
That is our goal with the Plannuh Marketing Graph (PMG). PMG aggregates anonymized insights from Plannuh into a real-time view of how modern marketers are running their marketing plans and budgets. As we continue to grow, we are able to understand what "normal" is, how effective different types of campaign are, what the most common tactics to achieve strategic goals are, and what the most effective measurements of success are. By doing this at an aggregated level, we can share useful information and insights with our customers, enabling them to make better-informed choices and achieve better marketing outcomes more efficiently.
As I've shared in previous blogs, my background is in data science. With any data science task, it is often a good idea is to start simple, and it is always important to ask the right questions. In this blog, I hope to do both of those.
And one simple question I have when it comes to marketing is "What are the most common types of marketing goals and campaigns?" In the Plannuh Marketing Graph, we can see strategic marketing goals, and we can see campaign types. These seem like useful pieces of data to help us answer the question. Here are the top 5 goals from Plannuh:
It's clear that there are diverse goals across the Plannuh community. We see that there are 4 dominant goals that have emerged from the data, and most of those are growth-oriented. That's a good thing. Marketing as a function is striving to demonstrate objective value, and 4 of the top 5 goals are clearly oriented toward direct pipeline, booking, and revenue metrics. Let's see what the most common campaign types are:
It's not all digital
I found it refreshing to gain real insight into goal and campaign distributions. The frequency of events to achieve top level goals was something of a surprise. Perhaps my view was biased by the volume of virtual ink spilled on digital campaigns and optimization vs, say, how to run events successfully. For subject matter experts out there, perhaps marketers would like to see more of the latter, and that might be an opportunity.
I suspect I am not alone in this bias (I was recently *confidently* informed by an investor that "all marketing is digital" and that is clearly not true).
What we have also gleaned (not from the charts above alone, but through other PMG analysis) is that current marketing practice is to use events to achieve growth goals. While that might seem common sense, the prevalence of events to achieve those goals vs other types of campaign is likely not common sense.
Now comes an important question: are those events actually working for you? Are you really achieving your pipeline, revenue and customer-acquisition goals from those often sizable investments? That is definitely less clear right now, but this insight will emerge over time.
As marketers, we should track all event costs, and all event activities alongside objective metrics for the campaign. This will allow you to understand your return on campaign (ROC) and truly understand whether your significant event investments are delivering the right outcomes.
I'll be sharing more insights and discoveries from the PMG over time. I hope you found this simple example useful as a starting point. Love to hear your feedback, as always.