Jim Lenskold is president of the Lenskold Group, which develops and implements marketing ROI programs. He recently spoke with BtoB about some of the trends in b-to-b metrics that are taking shape this year.
BtoB: What are the top priorities among b-to-b marketers for 2011 regarding measuring and improving lead-generation marketing?
Lenskold: Maybe it's an ongoing priority, but lead quality is really gaining momentum and supporting the shift beyond just lead quantity. We break lead quality down into two dimensions: conversion rates and customer value. The focus of lead quality is that not all leads are equal. What's helping fuel this is the adoption of technologies that support good lead scoring. The shift to lead quality ultimately needs technology or a feedback loop to provide insight into the outcome of those leads. Which leads convert to sales is the first step in lead quality. By going further to understand the differences in customer value based on purchase behaviors, you can take the next step in lead quality.
BtoB: What are the barriers right now to effective marketing ROI?
Lenskold: Unfortunately, the primary challenge that we have had to live with is the access to data. Data access, automation and sales tracking will make or break our success in moving forward with lead quality, marketing integration and lead nurturing. Without quality data, it makes it very hard to predict lead quality. The second barrier is measurement discipline and measurement design. For b-to-b marketers, the data is starting to show up, and yet we still deal with those same [issues]: for example, “Once I know more about lead quality, I still need to understand my marketing effectiveness and which marketing initiatives are generating those quality leads.” This measurement discipline supports the priority for improvements in integrated marketing, so marketers use the highest-performing tactics and establish the right marketing mix so the collective impact generates the highest ROI. —M.S.