Some of the EI's took a briefing today from Jon Miller, Co-founder and VP of Marketing for Marketo. Jon briefed us on their new product - Revenue Cycle Explorer, which purports to be able to accurately analyze ROMI - your Return on Marketing Investment. Jon says CMO's are asking him and the Marketo team to help them be credible to their colleagues. Credible by being seen as an intricate part of the revenue acquisition team - not just the arts and crafts guy.
It really is just what marketers need. They do need a tool which will enable them to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns in real dollars and can be used to hold the CMO accountable for a revenue oriented target in the same way that a head of sales would be.
What it does
The solution provides analytics around what the conversion rates are in each stage of the demand funnel. It also enables organization to customize business rules around their particular demand funnel, for instance, what happens if sales rejects a Marketing Qualified Lead, or when should a prospect be placed in Nurturing bucket.
I asked Jon if they were taking the application in the direction of Predictive Analytics so that Marketers can forecast revenue in the same way that sales leads already do. Sure enough we were shown mock-ups of yet to be released (or developed?) predictive analytics packages. Further with the analytics already provided Marketo enables customers to create predictive models of conversion and transitions from stage to stage.
I think Marketo's biggest problem isn't Eloqua, their main competitor, nor is it bringing their products to market. I think its the state of enterprise data. Many marketing organizations do not have clean data marts that they can leverage to perform this type of analysis. Nor can they even agree on the stages of their demand funnel. Many times its a mess and until and unless you have a unified strategy and platform for managing marketing data, it ain't gonna work without a lot of effort.
I do agree though that Marketing leads are looking for more credibility with their executive colleagues. Too many times marketers have been relegated to the arts and crafts aspects of marketing simply because they didn't have a quantitative platform from which to measure the marketing organization's effectivness. If I were a CMO right now, I'd be considering a marketing analytics platform such as what Marketo showed me today. Good stuff!