My personal career philosophy has been to stay close to the money. Meaning, taking on roles that have a measurable impact to the profitability of an organization. It may seem rather simple, but experience has proven that executives and those who work under them are ultimately measured on their ability to generate revenue or improve profitability. I was reminded of this recently when a job candidate also shared the same philosophy in his own career.
Although it may seem quite stark to simplify things in this way, this method of demonstrating marketing success is effective. Website visits, retweets and clicks doesn’t resonate as well as when you pair those metrics with how they have contributed to increased revenue. At HootSuite, I’m fortunate to be working with the Seal Team Six equivalent of an analytics team. We’ve evolved our metrics to the point where we can demonstrate an increase in LTV and ARPU as a result of our digital marketing efforts. This type of support makes my job as a digital marketer easier.
Another opportunity I’ve experienced where this method of valuation is much needed is in agency proposals to their clients. A few years ago I was seeking out SEO agencies to work with on a project and of all the proposals that I received the one that stood out for me was one from SlingShot SEO. During the vetting process they were insightful enough to ask us for our customer LTV and new customer valuation and they factored it into their proposal; not only estimating how much traffic they could increase for our websites but the resulting revenue that would come from their efforts. It made it easier for me as a client to make a decision as to who I should choose as our agency.
Don’t take this method of evaluation the wrong way. Measurement in most forms are important. However if your goal is to convince a stakeholder that you are contributing to the bottom line, talking in dollars speaks volumes compared to talking in semantics.
But what if you don’t have a top notch analytics team? What if you don’t have big data capabilities? How can you show that executive in Finance that your efforts are working?
Get agreement from the top on how much a new customer is worth. Even if this figure is a once a year assessment and is just an estimation, establishing this foundational metric is critical. You will have the magic bullet (at least in digital marketing) to work backwards to help determine how your other efforts contribute to the acquisition of these new customers (e.g. clicks, website visits, etc.)
By staying close to the money, you can make those boardroom discussions less awkward.