A CMO’s Guide to 2024: Proactive Fiscal Planning, Marketing Attribution, & Storytelling

If the first half of 2023 had a slogan for CMOs, it would undoubtedly be, “Do More With Less.” And the tagline that followed would probably be something along the lines of, “Good luck figuring that out!”

Unfortunately, it’s not just us who think so. A Gartner survey found that 75% of CMOs say they’re being pressured to do more with less and still deliver profitable growth. Clearly, tightening budgets and the mandate to grow revenue despite that is causing some challenges. 

However, with the right planning and pivots now, CMOs can plan smarter going into 2024. Let’s break down what lessons 2023 has taught us so far, what strategies will be crucial for CMOs going into 2024, and how CMOs can get their new plans off the ground with a B2B marketing partner like Inverta.

Hard Lessons Learned in 2023

Let’s address the biggest elephant in the room first when it comes to 2023’s challenges: Funding. According to 71% of CMOs, they lack the budget to fully execute their strategy for the second half of 2023. Although marketing budgets have stayed relatively even coming into this year (9.1% of total revenue in 2023 vs. 9.5% in 2022), they have still dipped slightly.

The real challenge comes with increasing expectations from the same budget. Because they need to do more with the same or even fewer resources, 86% of marketers said the only way to achieve sustainable results is by making significant adjustments to the marketing function as a whole.

What’s one of these sweeping changes? Cutting martech to focus on ROI. Seventy-five percent of marketers are feeling pressure to cut down on tech. Unfortunately, this should hardly come as a surprise when the number of marketers making good use of their tech stack is decreasing — falling to 42% in 2022 vs. 58% in 2020.

The top factors leading to this steep utilization drop off include:

  • Technology overlap
  • Difficulty finding martech talent
  • Martech complexity/sprawl

If CMOs want to be successful going into 2024, they need to transcend putting out fires and aspire to something greater. This includes focusing on yield and return, embracing scenario planning, and better being able to balance execution now with investments for the future.

3 Strategies CMOs Need to Prove Marketing ROI

While no one can know what the future holds, change is a constant that CMOs need to learn how to navigate. Strategies and priorities need to constantly evolve in order to achieve near-term wins and long-term success. 

To head into 2024 with confidence, here are three winning strategies CMOs can incorporate to stay proactive.

  1. Make Fiscal Planning Your Secret Superpower.

Gone are the days when CMOs would communicate the strategy and CFOs would crunch the numbers. To succeed in this climate, CMOs need to become financially savvy on the same level as the people determining the budget. This means creating a discipline around financial marketing metrics like:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
  • Marketing Originated Customer Percentage (MOCP)
  • Marketing Influenced Customer Percentage (MICP)
  1. Make Marketing Attribution Crystal Clear.

CMOs who track and present clearly defined marketing attribution models know which channels and campaigns are driving sales and revenue. This helps CMOs successfully advocate for and allocate resources to the channels that are driving profitability and results. 

  1. Make Marketing Tell a Story.

Finally, CMOs who embrace a narrative approach to how marketing fits into an organization’s overall objectives will find more success than those presenting numbers alone. Garnering buy-in from top executives is key for continued support and success. 

People already think in stories. Make sure yours is compelling.

Inverta’s Experienced Team Can Help CMOs Navigate New Waters

Ultimately, successful CMOs proactively pivot their organizations when times are volatile. It’s much easier said than done. Trust us, we’ve been in your shoes.

That’s why Inverta offers strategy and planning services to CMOs where we can help you determine priorities, navigate complex political and cultural environments, or operationalize your strategy. In fact, our new Campaign in a Box offer can get a campaign up and running in as little as eight weeks, delivering results within six months.

Learn More About Inverta

  • Interested in how Inverta can help you with annual planning? Contact us here.
  • Peruse through our annual planning-specific webpage that contains assets and resources, including a marketing operational index assessment from our partner, Planful.

Increase Engagement & Martech ROI With Inverta & PathFactory

Making the most of marketing technology is an increasingly important priority for B2B marketing leaders. The market is becoming flooded with more and more martech solutions. Finding the right one and using it strategically is becoming a challenge for marketers. This problem is expected to become more and more common in the coming years.

In 2023, 75% of businesses will increase their technology budgets. 60% of marketers will invest in new software, and 56% will update their data infrastructure. To succeed, marketing campaigns need to be highly strategic, technology-empowered, and operationalized across all marketing functions.

To help marketers unify their technology and activation strategies, Inverta and PathFactory have partnered up. This collaboration will enable marketers to develop customized, captivating, and conversion-oriented experiences across their content, martech, and strategy.

Let’s break down the challenges marketers face, how Inverta’s partnership with PathFactory addresses those problems, and the benefits of applying both Inverta and PathFactory in a B2B marketing organization.

The Challenging Intersection of Technology, Strategy, & Activation

The biggest challenge B2B marketers face today is marrying the full breadth and depth of their marketing technology to their strategy. Strategy and technology both need to inform the other. Still, without the right expertise and focus, it’s all too easy for marketing teams to fall into the trap of trying to activate a strategy without the right tools.

For example, personalization is an increasingly important aspect of content campaigns. Too many campaigns lack:

  • Strategy driven by a deep understanding of the martech stack.
  • Insights from relevant and robust analytics tools.
  • Efficiency, ease-of-use, or scalability.

In the current market, impersonal email campaigns and webinar invites aren’t driving as much value as they used to,” said Dev Ganesan, PathFactory CEO and President. “B2B revenue teams understand that their buyers want personalized and relevant content experiences, yet this is difficult to provide without the right tech stack.

That’s where Inverta and PathFactory’s partnership comes in. Together, we can help companies enrich their marketing strategies and drive revenue by closing the gap between idea and execution, technology and strategy.

The Inverta & PathFactory Approach

So, how does it work? Inverta and PathFactory work together by applying Inverta’s strategic expertise in strategy design and technology activation to PathFactory’s platform so marketers can deliver personalized and automated marketing experiences.

Inverta and PathFactory’s combined approach is unique in several ways. Together, we help B2B marketers like yourself by:

  • Content Strategy and Development: Without a solid content strategy, organizations find it difficult to effectively engage with their target audience, improve their brand image, and ultimately drive conversions. Inverta can assist by auditing what exists, identifying gaps and making recommendations that will create a content map that will effectively speak to their audience.
  • PathFactory Execution Services: Designed to help businesses get the most out of the PathFactory platform, our team will build, manage and optimize PathFactory tracks to ensure that they are delivering the desired results. Additionally, we will help develop use cases that integrate PathFactory into a company’s campaign planning process, which helps to make it a standard channel used across your team.
  • Building Your Tech Strategy: If you’ve ever struggled to prove the ROI of your tech investment, it’s likely because you lack the right strategy to leverage the technology in support of your GTM strategy. We can help guide you through auditing the tech you have, assessing new technologies, and building the use cases to integrate and bring your tech stack to life.
  • Helping With Enablement & Change Management: A fully integrated tech ecosystem, when operating at its fullest potential will require the team to change the way it does things.  So enabling the team on the new processes and investing in change management will ensure your teams fully adopt and put tech investments to use.

We work with clients to operationalize and optimize personalization across messaging, content, and the overall experience with a client’s brand,” said Kathy Macchi, Inverta’s Executive Vice President of Innovation. “Together, Inverta and PathFactory make it easier to bring a B2B marketer’s innovative vision and strategy to life.”

The Outcomes: Improve Engagement, Personalization, & Tech Insights

Ultimately, an Inverta and PathFactory partnership makes sense because of the improved outcomes and ROI that marketing teams can experience when combining the two together. After all, companies who invest in deeper customer data analytics and can apply their findings to strategy make better choices, save money, and come up with more innovative products and services that their customers want.

By applying Inverta’s expertise to PathFactory’s platforms, you can experience benefits like:

  • Increased engagement for your target audiences.
  • Accelerated revenue through personalized content experiences.
  • More audience insights, and content performance data that drives strategy.

Together, we can help your company have a smarter strategy, more connected technology, and accelerated revenue growth. Learn more about martech ROI and how Inverta and PathFactory can help your B2B marketing organization activate technology and improve your strategy. 

Learn More About Inverta

Why Multi-Channel Attribution Is Key for Marketing Teams

Cross-channel attribution can make or break your marketing effectiveness. 

After all, without a holistic view of how marketing is impacting the conversion funnel, you’ll be hard-pressed to understand which channels you need to improve, double-down on, or quit entirely.

In this blog, we’ll help marketers understand why attribution is key, what types of attribution exist, and which method we think is best.

3 Reasons to Nail Down Marketing Attribution

While we’ve analyzed the current role of attribution in marketing before, there’s no denying that attribution is a key aspect of a marketing team’s success. The question is, why? What does attribution show that is so important? 

Simply put, attribution helps answer these strategic marketing questions:

  • How did the customer start the buying journey? 
  • What led to their conversion? 
  • What metrics should be tracked to best follow marketing’s impact?

Without understanding what drives the customer’s journey, what marketing efforts impact conversion, and which metrics define success, marketers will find it very difficult to create a strategy that works effectively.  

For example, without proper attribution, it becomes much more difficult, if not impossible, for marketing teams to prioritize campaigns in an unbiased, systemic way. It also becomes more difficult to determine budget allocations across the marketing organization. Attribution can provide clarity when opinions and preferences get in the way of proven outcomes.

Finally, efficient attribution helps marketing teams align with leadership and across other teams (like sales or finances), translating marketing practices into language that c-suite executives and other departments can understand. This can prevent misunderstandings or budget cuts to essential activities driving impact. 

So, what type of attribution models exist, and what should your organization follow, and why?

Attribution Models, Explained

There are two common buckets of attribution models: single-touch and multi-touch (or cross-channel) attribution. While the merits of these two approaches apply in specific cases, let’s break down why multi-channel attribution is quickly becoming the standard for digital marketing teams.

Single-touch attribution

Methods for measuring single-touch attribution typically rely on one metric, like first or last touches, to give credit for the buyer’s conversion. While helpful in some cases, it typically provides an overly simplistic portrait of the conversion story.

Multi-touch attribution

While single-touch attribution relies on two simple methods, multi-touch attribution models are much more versatile and diverse. Multi-touch is a better approach to fully gauge marketing effectiveness across the entire funnel, giving essential insights into what is actually driving conversion and impact. 

From linear approaches that give credit to each marketing funnel touchpoint along the way, to weighted first and last touch models, multi-touch models can be customized to meet the needs of any marketing organization. 

The Evidence Is in: Multi-Channel Attribution Is Most Effective

Multi-channel attribution, or cross-channel attribution, is our preferred method at Inverta. Why? Multi-channel attribution is the only method that allows you to fully understand your marketing impact as a whole, functioning system.

The data backs this up. The majority of companies — an overwhelming 75% — use a multi-touch attribution model to measure marketing performance. Additionally, multi-channel attribution models can improve marketing efficiency by 15-30%, which can translate to thousands (if not millions!) of dollars in the sales and marketing pipeline.

At Inverta, our experts can provide insight into your marketing attribution models. We help you level up your marketing outcomes by leveling up your marketing data. Reach out to us here.

The Underestimated Relationship Between Planning, Attribution & ROI

If ROI is the fire that drives marketing, attribution is the fuel. Without one you can’t have the other. Yet there are many different ways to measure and understand attribution as it relates to ROI.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to quantifying and evaluating your ROI, this blog is for you. Follow along as we redefine attribution, provide models to follow, and establish attribution matters in relation to ROI.

Attribution Plays into ROI in an Essential Way. Here’s How

ROI and attribution are two of the biggest buzzwords in B2B marketing. After all, attribution determines impact, impact drives ROI, and ROI is a major factor in determining everything from marketing budget to strategy to hiring plans. Indeed, marketers who calculate their ROI are 1.6x more likely to be awarded higher marketing budgets than their counterparts.

But how should marketers understand the relationship between the two? Here’s how we define these two important terms:

  • ROI looks at the full scope of all the resources that have been invested to produce impact. 
  • Attribution is a subset of that ROI equation, measuring performance on a specific level by looking at certain sections of the demand generation strategy and its success at converting leads.

Since attribution inevitably leads into ROI, it’s essential to create an attribution plan that accurately and effectively measures the right channels, campaigns, and marketing efforts that you want reflected in your ROI measurement.

Indeed, ROI as a holistic metric is becoming less important when it comes to determining marketing budgets during times of economic uncertainty and inflation. Rather, multiple metrics should be analyzed to determine value. Jason McNellis, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner Marketing, explained that moving beyond ROI alone is essential for CMOs who need to defend their marketing budgets to executives. 

“Maximizing ROI generally leads to smaller marketing budgets that drive less sales. CMOs need to rationalize across multiple metrics as ROI is likely less important here than gross margins attributable to marketing,” McNellis says.

Marketing Attribution Models

In order to understand the relationship between ROI and attribution, it’s important to understand the various types of attribution that marketers can apply to their programs. These are typically split into two groups: single-touch attribution and multi-touch attribution. 

Here are a few examples of both models, with pros and cons for each approach.

Single-touch attribution models 

  • Last-click attribution.
  • First-click attribution.

Pros:

  • Single-touch attribution is easy to measure.
  • It demonstrates effective touchpoints for conversion.

Cons:

  • With a complicated customer funnel, it ignores mid-funnel insights and tactics.
  • First and last-touch might not be what led a customer to convert, so the metrics are a bit arbitrary.

Multi-touch attribution models

  • Time-delay or time-decay attribution (give credit depending on the time distance between channels when a sale goes through).
  • Last-channel attribution (give the majority of credit to the final conversion channel, but still share attribution with initial channels).
  • Linear attribution (divide the credit for conversion touchpoints equally among all channels).
  • Position-based attribution (a hybrid of single- and multi-touch attribution, this gives the majority of credit to the first and last-touch channels, but still leaves some credit to channel inbetween).

Pros:

  • Multi-touch attribution gives full insight into all marketing activities that impacted the customer journey.
  • It is customizable and flexible, and also gives more data that can inform marketing strategy.

Cons:

  • Determining weight is somewhat subjective and can impact attribution outcomes.
  • It can be more difficult to calculate and track effectively.

Which model is right for your organization?

Now that we’ve reviewed both models and their varying approaches to measuring attribution, how will you determine which model is better for your business? Remember, the model you choose will inevitably affect your ROI. Our advice?

If you have a short and simple marketing funnel, choose a single-touch model.

If you’re marketing on various channels and have many touchpoints, choose a multi-touch model.

That way, you’ll ensure that your attribution model isn’t missing any vital information that you need in your ROI calculations later on.

Need Help With Planning, Attribution, or ROI? We’ve Got You Covered.

Inverta exists at the intersection of strategy, activation, and technology. When it comes to ROI and attribution, it’s key that your strategy accounts for the right metrics, your execution is rooted in data, and your technology is set up to help you measure attribution and ROI correctly.

We assist companies with planning and strategy by providing a 12-month roadmap of priorities, accompanied by revenue modeling to help you align your marketing plan to overall business goals. We’ll help you create great attribution models that prove both ROI and overall business outcomes. 

Learn more here

Check out 3 Ways Your Annual Plan Impacts Marketing Outcomes

The Impact of Hybrid Work on Events & Field Marketing

Nowhere have the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic been felt more than in events and field marketing. From the onset of the pandemic to the present, the scope and reach of events have changed dramatically in the past few years.

Now that we seem to have reached a “new normal,” what should event and field marketers consider as they look to the future? In this blog, we’ll break down the realities of hybrid work, how the events landscape has changed, and what innovations are needed to be successful going forward.

The Reality of Hybrid Work

One lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace is the staying power of hybrid work. Although most organizations were forced to adopt remote and hybrid models at first (a mere 32% of employees were hybrid in 2019), a Gallup poll found that 53% of workers work in a hybrid environment today. 

Even more workers want a hybrid environment than the current number, with 59% preferring it to fully on-site or exclusively remote options. Indeed, avoiding commutes and increased flexibility for family needs combined with collaborating in-person is an attractive point for hybrid work.  

However, the ways in which hybrid work is being implemented are still a bit all over the place. Gallup’s survey found that 6 in 10 workers want a coordinated effort on how to regulate hybrid environments, but couldn’t agree on how to do that. This confusion and varied policies between organizations have led to a confusing environment for field and event marketers to navigate.

How Is Hybrid Work Affecting Events?

There’s little doubt that hybrid work is affecting how field and event marketers operate. For one thing, virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. 

Statista data indicates that 40% of marketers will hold virtual events in 2022, with 35% operating on a hybrid approach and an equal 35% holding events in person. Interestingly, virtual events  in 2022 were up 5% from 2020 data, where only 35% of marketers reported hosting virtual events. 

Clearly, something has shifted. While all three models are in play, the cost savings associated with virtual events is hard for businesses to ignore. For example, a Deloitte survey found that 60% of businesses expect to spend less on attending trade shows and conferences in 2022 compared to 2019.

That doesn’t mean in-person and virtual events aren’t effective or worth doing. However, it does mean that marketers need to become more savvy about their approach to event and field marketing to succeed in the new environment.

How Can Events & Field Marketing Go Forward?

Hybrid and virtual events have brought on a new slew of challenges. Managing video fatigue, creating digital content that engages both an in-person and digital audience, and providing networking opportunities virtually can all be tough to balance. What’s the best way for field and event marketers to go forward? Keep your audience in mind.

A 2021 survey of B2B marketers found that 57% prefer attending a hybrid event in-person over attending virtually, while 33% prefer virtual events. Your audience will also have preferences about what events they prefer. The key is finding it out and then providing bespoke experiences to cater to their exact needs.

Depending on what your audience prefers, here are a few ideas for field and event marketing in 2022:

  • Build on hybrid events with virtual communities. One of the biggest challenges for virtual events is that they don’t allow as much time for networking. By using a hybrid or virtual event to kick off building an online community (in say, a social media group or other online platform), you’ll provide ample time for attendees to network beyond the event itself to keep the conversation going.
  • Co-sponsor in-person events. To boost attendance and your audience, try co-hosting an event with another like-minded business either in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid model.
  • Provide virtual content deep dives. Creating engaging content that educates as well as intrigues is a challenge for hybrid and virtual events. Providing a deep dive into your content through additional resources can boost engagement.

Inverta’s field and event marketing specialists can help you strike the right balance between larger, in-person events and smaller, bespoke events. By diving into your audience, your goals, and your go-to-market strategy, we’ll help you achieve results despite changing consumer expectations. Learn more about how we do it here.

Webinar Recap: Tips for Marketers Leaders During Economic Uncertainty

It’s no secret that we’re in an economic downturn. Inflation hit a record high in June 2022 at 9.1%, and economic growth is slowing worldwide. 

As economic volatility continues, how can marketing leaders prepare for the headwinds to come? Inverta brought together four marketing leaders in a recent webinar to share their wisdom on the topic. The executive panel discussion included:

  • Kathy Macchi, VP of Innovation at Inverta
  • Deborah Wolf, CMO at Integrate
  • Jennifer Dimas, CMO at Telarus
  • Steve Hardy, CMO at Prophix
  • Allison Breeding, CMO at Apptio

In this blog we’ll recap how marketing leaders can refocus their priorities, address budget concerns, and follow best practices for times of economic uncertainty.  

Focus on Impact to Drive Results

Times of uncertainty are great opportunities to reassess your current approach to find out what’s moving the needle and what isn’t. For example, asking questions that refocus priorities on impact-driving areas can actually refine your focus and improve overall outcomes (rather than cutting off areas of impact due to limited resources). 

Answering the following questions can provide direction on where to focus:

  • What should I continue?
  • What should I stop?
  • What should continue to evolve?

When you double-click on every growth tactic to examine what’s working and what’s not, you’re free to focus on the activities that produce results. Imagine getting a 10% increase on each of those activities rather than implementing new strategies — that’s where the magic can happen, even in times of uncertainty.

After all, the needs of your customers haven’t disappeared. Your team’s goal should be to work horizontally in service of the buyer rather than vertically in service of each approach that reaches the buyer. Refining your messaging and prioritizing methods that share your messaging more efficiently is a great way to reach your customers, cut costs, and still hit growth goals.

Advocate for Your Budget By Proving Every Dollar

In times of volatility, sales cycles slow down and budget cuts seem almost inevitable. How can you ensure your team’s vital resources aren’t on the chopping block? By knowing your value.

Firstly, measure, measure, measure! Gone are the days when marketers had to estimate their value. In today’s climate, proving value for every dollar spent is a vital skill every marketing leader should develop.

Consider these tips when it comes to budgeting conversations and proving your value:

  • Show what outcomes every dollar invested can provide. Conversely, have honest dialogue about what results will NOT be provided with budget cuts.
  • Share your impact with the sales team and others so they can advocate for you. For example, if sales leaders understand how marketing budget impacts their goals, they’ll be more likely to defend what you both need to succeed.

4 Marketing Best Practices for Economic Uncertainty

Sometimes some sage words of wisdom can help steer you in the right direction. At the end of our webinar, we asked the four CMOs to impart their best advice for other marketing leaders going forward.

Consider these four takeaways:

  1. Be buyer-centric. B2B buyers are becoming more like B2C buyers every day. The ways they get information, interact with your brand, and want you to recognize who they are aligns with the path for B2C customers. Stay ultra-focused on the buyer beyond identifying personas. Talk to buyers and, most importantly, get your team attached to serving your buyer as part of a broader effort rather than an individual one.
  2. Focus on areas of impact. Marketing has so many opportunities to spread out, but don’t lose sight of what’s working. Do less of what isn’t important and more of what is going to make real change.
  3. Hone your value message. Continuously plan so that your message is received by the right audiences.
  4. Understand what works, and do more of it. Understand what doesn’t work, and do less of it. 

At Inverta, we help marketing leaders bridge the gap between strategy and activation. During times of economic volatility, having a partner in your corner who helps you bring down costs, go farther with your current efforts, and stay focused can unlock your marketing team’s potential. Learn more about how we help with strategy and planning here.

3 Ways Your Annual Plan Impacts Marketing Outcomes

The leaves are changing, winter is coming, Q4 has begun … 

You’ve guessed it — annual planning season has arrived. 

While annual planning includes poring over KPIs and new growth targets, more importantly, it means getting aligned with your broader organization about long-term objectives and goals. Ultimately, your organization’s annual plan is the north star your marketing strategy needs to chart its course — 80% of planned marketing efforts should be in support of an organization’s strategic goals.

That begs the question: Do you really know what the strategic goals of your organization are? In this blog we’ll break down why it’s so important for marketing leaders to build an effective annual plan that serves their function and the broader organization. 

1) Avoid Siloing Business Functions By Getting Clear on Expectations

The broader purpose behind annual planning is to coalesce an executive team around your organization’s strategic initiatives. Without an annual plan, a business can end up with different functions (marketing, sales, development, etc.) pursuing their own siloed objectives over time. 

While that might sound rather obvious, silos happen more often than you think. Gartner’s CMO report on budget and strategy found that in order to achieve their long-term vision, a staggering 71% of CMOs agree that they need to reconsider the role of marketing to get there. 

In other words, current marketing approaches aren’t serving the long-term objectives of nearly three-fourths of businesses. Yikes. 

How can you avoid this? By clearly defining the broader, long-term objectives of your organization in order to clearly define what role marketing will play to achieve them.

2) Define Marketing Goals Based on Your Annual Goals

An effective annual plan eliminates the guesswork over what goals you should set for your marketing organization. When all of your goals are in service of the broader “why” rather than in service of your “marketing why,” it becomes easier to eliminate areas that you no longer need and continue doing what will produce actual results instead.

Why is it so important to set marketing goals that serve your organization rather than marketing alone? So you can prove that marketing is effective, not just that marketing is happening.

For example, one survey found that 48% of businesses who are doing digital marketing have no defined strategy. Another survey discovered that 30% of marketers are seeing average-to-no returns on their digital marketing investments. 

Unsurprisingly, marketing efforts yield few returns when the purpose behind those efforts is simply to do marketing for the sake of marketing. The only way forward is to create a rigorous annual planning process that will define what success looks like for marketing, yes, and also for the organization as a whole.

3) Create an Annual Planning Discipline

Finally, building rigor around annual planning ensures that the productivity of the executive team is greater than the sum of its parts. Without some kind of discipline surrounding your planning process, it’s unlikely that you’ll see the best outcomes for marketing and beyond.

In order to improve your annual planning process, Forrester research recommends this 7-step process:

  1. Determine business objectives.
  2. Decide the marketing intent behind each objective.
  3. Set marketing priorities based on your broader objectives.
  4. Define goals and metrics to measure performance.
  5. Review and propose what actions and marketing initiatives will execute the plan.
  6. Consider dependencies and risks that could derail or affect the plan.
  7. Establish governance procedures to audit the plan performance and make changes as needed.

As you can see, going into annual planning with intention and rigor will improve the likelihood that your marketing goals succeed by serving the broader organization. Without proper attention and strategy behind the planning process, you might find your team in a silo that works to serve its own goals and objectives rather than company-wide ones.

At Inverta, we provide the resources your team needs for strategic initiative planning, from the right frameworks and processes to get aligned on how your annual marketing plan fits inside overall business goals. Our expertise can eliminate areas of confusion and inefficiencies, leading your team into the best outcomes possible.

Strategy With Accountability: How Good Martech Affects Program Strategy

Just as a chef is dependent on the quality of their ingredients to make a delicious dish, so too are marketers dependent on their tools and marketing technology stack to make their strategy effective.

This is especially true when it comes to program strategy. A killer master plan to segment, target, and convert your customers with ABM, for example, is only as effective as the tools that make that strategy a reality. One unintegrated tool can throw the whole process out of whack, resulting in a chaotic and difficult-to-measure end result. 

Unfortunately, making the most out of a martech stack to serve your strategy is a challenge for most marketers. A Gartner survey found that only 42% of marketers say they use the full breadth of their martech stack’s capabilities in 2021 — a figure down from 58% in 2020.

Why? It’s a toxic cocktail of technology overlap, not being able to hire the right talent to own adoption and utilization, and the simple fact that tools are complex and difficult to nail down into a single ecosystem. 

If that sounds like your marketing program, you’re not alone. We’ll review two areas where your technology might be under-serving your strategy and one solution for getting your strategy and martech to work together.  

The Right Tools Drive the Right Customers to Campaigns

There’s no denying the importance of segmentation when it comes to marketing — at least 65% of your campaign strategy comes from having the right audience in mind. Having the right tools and techniques in place to drive more relevant customer segments to a corresponding message makes all the difference in the world when it comes to achieving your desired outcome.

Plus, it’s just what customers expect. An impressive 71% of customers expect personalized marketing messages from businesses, and 76% are disappointed when they receive generic messages instead. 

The catch is that there are as many ways to segment your customers as there are segmentation tools (which is, ahem, a lot). For example, you could segment your customers by:

  • Buying stage
  • Engagement
  • Purchase history

When the possibilities seem endless, that’s where it’s key to understand what strategies your tools and your tech can actually serve, and vice versa. Otherwise, you might spin in circles buying new tools for capabilities you don’t even need.

Without Data, You Can’t Pivot As Easily

 Of course, perhaps the most important way that your martech stack should serve your program strategy is with insights and data. Without insights to lead you at every step along the way (pre-campaign, during the campaign, and post-campaign), you run the risk of making decisions steeped in bias, not cold, hard facts.

For example, you might use your martech tools to build segments or provide a window into the impact of the campaign, rather than creating segments by yourself or relying on a siloed view of metrics to determine your campaign effectiveness.

A good indicator that you’re doing it right? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Pre-campaign: “Can I roll up my intelligence gathering (intent, engagement, etc.) into something that provides insights into what to do differently or how to structure my outreach?”
  2. Post-campaign: “Can I aggregate results to either make a course correction or a strategic recommendation on my planned course of action?”

Additionally, you can inventory your martech stack by examining your functionality needs and goals, and then mapping your data flows and integrations.

Tools Provide Concrete Data Rather Than Best Guesses

When it comes to marketing program strategy, if you don’t have tools for customer segmentation and data analysis, you might as well be throwing darts in the dark. You might hit your target occasionally, but you’ll be unable to see how well you’re executing your strategy or what’s going wrong whenever you miss.

Translated into real-life marketing speak? Without the right martech tools and strategy in place, you might experience one of these consequences:

  • Redundant and siloed technologies
  • Lost credibility with senior leaders when marketing strategy fails
  • Underutilization of tools’ breadth and capabilities

It’s no secret that marketing teams need help when it comes to martech. A Gartner survey found that only 16% of marketing leaders say their digital transformation initiatives are “fully implemented.” 

Enter Inverta. Our experienced team of marketing technology veterans can help you navigate the complexities of martech strategy and implementation. We help companies maximize their investment by customizing the experience and getting rid of redundancies. Learn more about our solutions here.

Acquiring & Retaining Marketing Talent

Unless you haven’t logged onto LinkedIn at all during the last three years, you’re probably aware that the world is in the midst of a hiring kerfuffle. Recruiting and retaining top talent has never been so challenging — or important.

Already high resignation rates skyrocketed in the wake of the global pandemic and forced remote work–challenged companies to adopt flex work environments. In short, employees’ notions of work-life balance have been forever altered.

In this blog we’ll break down the current climate for marketing recruiting and retention and provide some recommendations for adapting your hiring strategy. 

The Current Climate for Marketing Recruiting & Retention

If we had to sum up the recruiting and retention climate in one word, it would be challenging. 

For employees, finding the right fit post-pandemic can be confusing and overwhelming. Indeed, 41% of employees are considering resigning their current role, and 36% of those who resign do so without having their next job lined up.

In addition, remote and hybrid work isn’t going anywhere, and companies have had to find the right mix for their organization when it comes to satisfying employees’ needs and their business interests. 

Finally, the question of compensation is key. Despite the labor shortage, hourly wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, with consumer prices increasing 7.5% year over year but hourly wages only increasing 4.7%.

This presents the question: How can employers find the right employees in the first place and then encourage them to stay? The answer is to find the right mix of meeting employees in the middle. 

A 2021 report by the Achievers Workforce Institute found that the top reasons employees stay in their job are:

  • Work-life balance (23%)
  • Recognition (21%)
  • Compensation (19%)
  • Satisfactory manager relationship (19%)  

TLDR: workers everywhere are reassessing what’s important to them. Likewise, corporations have had to do the same. In order to meet employees in the middle, employers need to consider the new balance of priorities for candidates to be competitive. 

What to Know About Talent Recruiting 

A whopping 76% of hiring managers say recruiting the right job candidates is their top challenge. There’s no question that there are many talented folks looking for jobs right now, but how do you attract the right ones to your organization?

The answer is both more simple and more complex than you might think. Like many things in marketing, it comes down to successful planning and strategy. Just like an annual plan points the marketing department in the right direction, a talent strategy that outlines processes and priorities is key for letting the right people sort through it.

Having a talent strategy also allows you to build in the human processes behind hiring. After all, employees want to:

  • Feel valued
  • Have a sense of belonging with caring colleagues they trust
  • See their growth potential
  • Have flexibility with work/life balance

If you’re serious about attracting the right marketers, your talent strategy should include (but not be limited to) the following:

  1. Avoid cookie cutter approaches and instead decide on your branded, specific approach.
  2. Be strategic from day one of the recruiting process through onboarding and beyond.
  3. Have interview processes that are successful in affirming candidates have the right experience, setting clear expectations, and uncovering any hidden information (both to the candidate about the company and about the candidate to your company).
  4. Establish a culture that helps employees feel heard (their manager has time for them), provides room to grow, and is clear about expectations and culture.

Ultimately, your employees are your greatest resource when it comes to recruiting. If your people are happy, thriving, and have room for growth, then you’ll be able to put your money where your mouth is (metaphorically) when attracting new talent.

How to Retain Top Talent

When remote workers can take a recruiter call from their home office at the drop of a hat, what will make your top employees decide to stay — despite outreach from other companies who might entice them elsewhere?

Again, the answer is more about intentionally creating a meaningful work environment than implementing tips and tricks (like just increasing compensation). Rather, it’s a mix of many things. For example, a well-designed onboarding process alone can increase new-hire retention by 50%.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to retention:

  • Make work fulfilling by ensuring it’s challenging enough, clear, and works for a greater purpose (even if that’s just executing a successful marketing campaign).
  • Provide training and development resources so employees can continue to grow.
  • Be transparent about compensation and discuss it often.

Ultimately, people want to be in an environment where they can learn, make an impact or contribution, and also earn their fair share of wages. The right retention strategy holds all of those things in a balance. 

At Inverta, we have some of the best talent in the business so we can better serve our clients. Learn more about what we do here

Your Company Is an Echo Chamber. Your Consultancy Is a BS Meter.

It’s difficult to see your own blindspots when it comes to marketing strategy and expertise. After all, oftentimes, you don’t even know what you’re missing until it’s been pointed out to you, and making time to examine where you can improve on your own is the last item on the agenda when you’ve got a marketing program to run.

However, without constant pressure and outside perspectives that proactively look for blindspots, it’s likely you’ll end up finding them at the worst time possible rather than preemptively dealing with them. 

An example: high-performing athletes may be the ones playing in the arena, but they wouldn’t get very far without their coaches’ objective insights, experience, and expertise to guide them. The last place you want to be deciding your team strategy is during half-time when you’re down 20 points. 

The same is true for marketing teams. In this blog, we’ll discuss enemies to innovation, how to break the cycle of stagnation, and when a third-party consultancy is the right answer.

The 4 Horsemen of Innovation Stagnation

The biggest enemy to innovation is being stuck in the cycle of “This is the way we’ve always done it.” This attitude can be a result of individual pride (it’s my way or the highway!), fear of risk (we can’t afford to try something new), or a simple lack of structure and direction (we’re making it up as we go). 

Some additional enemies to innovation include:

  • Lack of clarity about goals
  • Lack of urgency for change
  • Focusing on technology over outcomes
  • Top-down approaches that limit team autonomy and flexibility

If you recognize your marketing organization in any of these enemies, now might be the time to focus on breaking the cycle of stagnation.  

How to Break the Cycle & Drive Innovation

As the old adage goes, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Breaking the cycle of non-innovation is easier said than done. While it can be done internally, sometimes it takes an unbiased third-party partner to fast-track real change.

One of the ways to stop the cycle is to enlist what the Harvard Business Review calls a “counterweight.” For individual leadership, this can take the form of a specific person to provide needed balance. For organizations, this can take the form of an outside consultancy to help you evaluate things on a broader scale.

The right third-party partner can help you go from stagnation to radical innovation for quick results. (Which, in the post-COVID world, is more of a necessity than many marketers might think.)

3 Indicators That It’s Time to Get Outside Help

How can you know whether or not you need a third-party partner to “rock the boat” and spur innovation in your marketing organization? A good indicator is to examine how change occurs now.

If your organization is having trouble with any of these three areas of change, it might be time to consider working with a third-party consultancy to get the results you need:

  1. Proposed change either doesn’t occur, or there is no “why” behind proposed changes.
  2. Your team has difficulty embracing the “mindset shift” because the change vision isn’t clear to them.
  3. You never fully implement changes because of the aforementioned problems.

A third-party partner is one of the easiest ways to pursue change because it doesn’t involve all of the political implications of assigning an internal resource. This factor alone is a highly valuable tool when it comes to driving change.

Of course, we may be a little biased on this front, but we know from experience (and our clients do, too) how influential a little outside help can be. If you’re interested in learning how Inverta can help you drive innovation and change, learn more about what we do here.