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Garritano Group » We’re From Marketing. We Come in Peace.

We’re From Marketing. We Come in Peace.

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in Journal

We’re on an important, business critical mission:

We must acquire and keep customers, profitably.

To do this, we need information:  What is a customer’s average lifetime value?; What is our cost of goods sold or cost of sales?; What is the margin on our various products and services?

To get these answers, we must interact with teams outside of marketing:  finance, IT, sales, etc.  We must not only interact with them, but we must get accurate information from them.  If it is not accurate – we’ll know (eventually).  In fact, if given access, we can pull the information ourselves – we promise not to break anything. Nor will we tell anyone how easy it was.  We’ll make it sound super complicated.

If you are a fellow marketer and have struggled getting good information, you are not alone.  We’ve been doing this a long, long time and have seen some crazy things:

The Negative ROI Mystery
We fielded a multi-cell direct mail test.  When we tried to analyze the performance of the program we were instructed to send the number of responses for each cell to I.T.  The report came back:

-299% ROI Cell1; -100% ROI Cell 2; -250% ROI CELL 3.


But THEN we noticed, cell three had a higher response rate and lower cost than cell two.  How could it have achieved an even worse ROI?  So we asked, “What factors were considered in calculating ROI?”  “Can we see how you calculate the cost of goods sold?”

The answer from I.T.:  “No. Why do you need to see that?  You can’t change it.”

That’s like saying.  “It’s clearly broke.  Why fix it?”

What possible reason could there be for now allowing us to see how the results were calculated?  What if we promised no one would get fired?  No budgets would be cut and everyone would get a raise?  Where do we go from here?  Should we keep throwing marketing out there to see what random numbers come back from the ‘analysis team?’

“We Can’t Get That Data Out of the System.”
Perhaps YOU can’t get that data out of the system.  But we can certainly get that data out of the system.  We once had to build a 32 bit machine, load it with Windows 95, find an obscure ODBC driver and extract sales data from an ancient POS machine.  We can certainly pull raw data from your enterprise level accounting and sales automation systems.  In fact, we can automate the process.  Don’t worry – we signed the NDA.  Plus, we’re insured. And, we understand just how complicated it is…  but don’t worry – we’ve been there before.

“We close 100% of our leads.”
This is just simply not possible.  Unless you’ve never done any marketing.  It could be that your only sales to date have been to customers who were so desperate for your product that they spent weeks searching the last pages of web searches to find you, call you and beg you to sell them your product.  Even then you probably wouldn’t close 100% of leads.  What we really need to know is:  If, via marketing channels, we reach out to qualified prospects, they respond, we further qualify them and get them in front of sales… what is a reasonable close rate?  A reasonable answer is 10%.  An answer to make everyone giddy with excitement: 50%.  Certainly not 100%.  This is a critical component of our forecasting. Actively marketing for the first time, exploring a new market or increasing existing marketing efforts will likely lower historic close rates.  And this is ok.

“[Name] will get you what you need.”
[Name] has been with the company for 20+ years. He/she processes all of the vendor invoices and once re-negotiated our printing rates and saved the company thousands. He/She also organizes employee birthday celebrations and is generally our most beloved co-worker.  In fact, we meet and immediately fall in love with [Name].  He/She is truly a wonderful person.  The problem is [Name] does not have the authority or access to accounting, sales and I.T. to serve as a liaison capable of extracting the complex and mission critical data we need.  If anything, her repeated requests only serve to diminish the importance and validity of this important marketing endeavor.  Marketing needs an executive sponsor for any meaningful, revenue generating program.  But we still want [Name] on the team because He/She’s awesome.

We come in peace.
Especially those of us on the agency side – we are held to a very high level of accountability.  At Garritano Group, our entire value proposition is built upon getting measurable marketing results.  This information is very, very important to us and even more important to your company.  We won’t cost someone their job, we won’t place blame, we won’t shift dollars away from ‘special projects’ – this is a TOTALLY apolitical request.  We simply want to do the right thing over here … in marketing.