Optimizing the lead funnel alone is a huge missed opportunity.
Back in 2012, I was the CMO of a public company (Nuance Communications) and one of my initiatives was to implement a set of standardized waterfall metrics across the 20 or so business units that were part of four divisions of the company. We leveraged the advice and research from Sirius Decisions to help us build standard waterfall models, but it was a complex task because of the diversity of the businesses inside the company.
When we started to look at the metrics across these businesses, I noticed something interesting: some of the business units had strong metrics in their lead waterfall, but they were underperforming other businesses with weak metrics. That led to one of those forehead-slapping moments where I realized the obvious: the lead waterfall is a small piece of a larger system. It is an important piece of the system, but not the only piece. If your marketing system was a car, the lead waterfall might be the engine, but a car can’t run if the engine is working while the brakes or transmission are failing.
To help diagnose what was going on across these business units, I developed what I called the Integrated Marketing Machine (I wrote about it in more depth in this blog post: Optimizing the Demand Generation Waterfall). The intent was to develop a model that we could use to evaluate marketing more broadly across each business. I have been using - and updating - the model ever since.
Introducing The Integrated Marketing Machine 2.0
To be honest, this feels more like a point release (like 1.21), but my product marketing background took over and I decided to claim that it was a major release 😉
There are a few things that I changed in the current version:
- Inbound. I called out inbound as a demand source more specifically. Many marketers have an inbound strategy that is separate and distinct from their other demand generation sources, so I thought it made sense to call it out.
- Customer success. The updated model calls out the customer success process separately. Not all marketing teams own the customer success process, but they should monitor its success very closely because it has a huge effect on the LTV (lifetime value) of a customer.
- Product marketing. This was an oversight, which is a little embarrassing since I was a product marketer earlier in my career. It turns out that an effective product marketing function can have a huge influence on the performance of marketing overall.
- Interactive details. I also added interactive features to the diagram so you can discover additional details.
Using the model in practice.
There are a few simple steps you can take to leverage the model in your business. Try starting here:
Customize the model for your business. If you don’t use channels, take it out. If there is an additional channel or stage you want to call out - add it! Use the basic framework and make sure that it represents your reality. The model will help you think about all the components of marketing that you should consider.
Map accountability. Who is responsible for each segment of your model? In many cases, one person will own multiple pieces of the model.
Identify key metrics and target ranges. You probably have a good handle on your funnel metrics, but what about your Awareness and Reputation? How about your customer success rate? Define the metrics - and the target range for the metrics - for each of your components.
Schedule a regular assessment. To start, you can do a simple red/yellow/green chart to identify which parts of your machine are performing well, and which ones need attention.
Interactive version of the Integrated Marketing Machine 2.0
(view the chart full screen for the best experience)