As a former lead digital strategist and MOPs team member, one of the things that kept me up at night was quantifying operational efficiencies. Sure, I could tell you the CPL of my Summer Product Marketing Campaign and even tell you about the ROI on that particular ad we placed in the Industry Trade Magazine, but if you asked me what the value of the time (soft costs) and resources it was taking us to streamline our operational Smart Campaigns or forms, that sent me (any marketing operations manager) into a small panic. Especially since we often need to send that information ASAP for leadership buy in. Sound familiar?
First things first, take a deep breath! I am going to help you get out of that panic mode and into a confident results driven MOPs. Now, you may say “hold on, I can’t quantify intangibles!” Well, I am here to tell you everything is measurable. Yes, you can measure everything. So, let’s break it down.
It requires a little bit of brainstorming, collaboration, and strategic creativity.
Let’s use a Global Form Cleanup Initiative as our “intangible” example.
- Let’s break it down into the simplest goal statement: What are we doing?
- We are condensing forms from 100 to 10 global forms.
- Why are we doing this? It can be one simple answer or perhaps it’s a multitude of reasons you have uncovered:
- Our marketing automation team has a hard time deciding what form to use. Team members must check each form to see if it has the fields they need and the most current branding.
- Our forms are inconsistent, a mix of current and outdated branding, and redundant.
- We can’t confidently say which form types are the highest performing.
- Our team spends hours sorting through each and if they need to execute quickly and don’t have the time, they just make a new one from scratch, which shares its own set of problems adding to the above.
If you just report on the above qualitative data back to leadership, they may say “okay, so what?” You may talk yourself into a circle saying, it’s important and it’s a Marketo best practice. Leadership, then might say “well show me the money!” After all your annual budgets could depend on every chess move you make in operational efficiency.
We need to take it a step further. As I mentioned everything is measurable!
- Time to take that qualitative data and determine what does fixing the above challenges lead to and how can I turn that into measurable KPIs.
- If we condense to 10 global forms and these forms are documented with their purpose, our team saves on average 2 hours per program
- What else! I know our team was on average taking 4 hours to build, Q/A, and schedule a program and they could produce an average 2 a day before the condensing.
- Well, we now know if we save 2 hours per program and it now only takes 2 hours to execute, we are now doubling our output! Wow, okay that’s something I really care about!
- Now comes for the KPIs our leadership really cares about! The potential revenue and lead generation!
- If you know the average ROI of each program type, what does that turn into for you if you are adding increased output per week, month, or year?
- If you are now condensed to your 10 best performing forms, what does that now look like if you apply that CPL across all platforms and compare to before?
- Now we are talking $$$!
I can see your wheels turning on many more ways you can add to that list! You see everything can be measured! We just need to unpack it and then bring it back to big picture.
I want to leave you with a few more tips as your start measuring your intangible efficiencies:
- Involve your leadership! What keeps them up at night? What do they care about, and how can marketing give them a few more ZZZs?
- Planning! Start the brainstorm process early.
- Document, document, document! What have you have accomplished, the quantified measure before and the projected/actual measure after. Not to mention documentation adds to continuity.
- Have a set realistic timeframe to compare results as well as to accomplish the project. It may take time to see the impact and that’s okay as long as that is communicated to leadership clearly for their buy in.
- Invite your team to the table! Let them be a part of measuring success and bring in some new ideas. After all we are all in this together to achieve company success! When the company wins you win! Not to mention adds to their career growth potential!
- Be realistic with your team’s time to contribute! Do you need outside resources?
- While everything is measurable, as the saying goes “Is the pearl worth the dive?”
- Is the data easily available or do we have to take a large amount of valuable time and resources to crunch numbers?
- Is the initiative worth the bang for the buck?
What are you waiting for? Let’s start quantifying your intangibles!
Tell me, what are some of your efficiency ideas to turn into ROI?