Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rise of the Campaign Manager Role

Even the most successful technology firms continue to struggle with consistent and effective execution of their campaigns and related go-to-market strategies, unable to improve their alignment with marketing or the organization as a whole. The campaign management function provides the opportunity to solve the foremost problem of tech marketing today: that of the declining return on marketing investment that results from executing marketing mix elements in separate and disintegrated streams. Tech marketing departments that have not structured for this role yet should do so.

Here is some key guidance and insight based upon my recent interviews with marketing leaders in the technology industry as well as findings from IDC's recent Marketing Operations Board meeting with 33 marketing professionals:
  • Campaign managers provide the missing link between the business units, marketing shared services and regional marketing. At Quest Software, campaign management serves as the liaison between marketing shared services groups and the business units and ensures sales' involvement in the campaign management process.
  • The foundation of a successful campaign is a detailed go-to-market strategy that includes, but is not limited to, target segment(s), messaging aligned by audience, marketing mix, channel strategy, objectives, and metrics and targets. IBM uses a master brief at the start of any new marketing program, product announcement, or launch to help lock in these elements.
  • A campaign's go-to-market strategy and execution requires tight global alignment across marketing and sales, while ensuring that specific parties remain accountable along the process with established timelines. Symantec has developed tiered campaign processes and ensures that regions are leveraged as part of this process to secure their involvement and improve efficiencies of planning and execution.
  • Yes, process comes first, but don't underestimate the power of technology. Differentiate with newer campaign management software to establish and leverage one-to-one relationships with your prospects and customers and continue improving lead management processes, particularly lead nurturing activities.
  • Common functional and cross-functional metrics continue to apply for campaign performance measurement, yet room remains for new metrics. Don't be afraid to experiment with new metrics. . . and don't underestimate the value of more qualitative metrics.