At thunder::tech, we have the opportunity to work with many middle market and enterprise companies that are owned by private equity firms or are publicly traded. Some of these entities have highly measured, “everything must show clear ROI” operational styles, which has made me consider how to attach a valuation on what a marketing department can bring to the table so they are not viewed through the stereotypical cost center lens of spreadsheet decision making.
I believe that marketing departments are ignoring or undervaluing several areas that provide extraordinary value to the enterprise.
If the department were treated as a stand-alone entity, focusing on these areas would improve their valuation. If I were to measure a marketing department's worth, here's where I would unleash my analysts to study:
How big of an audience do you own and manage? How rich is the CRM data that you've collected about past, current and future clients? Do you have a relationship with them and can segment your messaging for more effective results? Does the size of your owned audience (those that have given you approval to speak with them) give you a competitive advantage over your competitors or allow you to reduce costs renting someone else's audience? See Jeff Rohr's book for more on this topic.
Much of marketing is really about ensuring a target audience can find you, so how successful is your marketing department at creating more leads for your sales team? If marketing can focus on developing and nurturing opportunities, sales can focus on closing and you have then created a more efficient funnel and cross department dependency.
So. Much. Data. How is your marketing department managing all of the opportunities to collect data from owned, shared and public sources? Once you have a handle on the various streams of data, a marketing department can supply competitive intelligence, spot trend data, product development feedback, new market information, and more. A modern marketing department is well suited to position itself to own and interpret the growing troves of data for the good of the organization.
Attribution is as simple as getting credit for your actions. If your marketing department can track the engagement with your efforts and show that a goal conversion (sales lead, purchase, audience growth, etc.) was obtained, you have a critical role to play in the growth investment of an organization.
In addition to contribution to the sales efforts of a company, a marketing department may also increase their valuation by supporting the company’s employment brand which aids talent recruitment, assisting with customer service activities & creating opportunities with product development teams.
By working to increase the valuation of your department, you are also creating a better overall return for the organization. This is a small, broad list to think about, so what additional areas do you think can increase a marketing department's valuation?