How Can Agile Technology Marketing Teams Quantify and Showcase Success?

April 01, 2022

Contributor: Ashutosh Gupta

Leverage customer-oriented metrics and KPIs to differentiate your success.

In short:

  • Gartner’s survey results highlight where and how agile technology product marketers can best measure and showcase success. 
  • Strategic metrics like customer acquisition cost (CAC), revenue growth, marketing spend as a percentage of revenue and average opportunity value feature prominently.
  • Technology marketers can also go beyond traditional metrics and place greater emphasis on customer-centric measures, such as customer retention, customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value (CLTV).

Technology marketers using agile methodologies like Scrum or Kanban expect benefits, such as accelerated deliverables to market, better productivity, and improved project visibility. 

The benefits of agile hinge on a more efficient project management process that:

  • Avoids context switching
  • Places a high degree of emphasis on access to metrics to allow adjustments in real time that drive incremental improvements in campaigns and deliverables

“Agile marketing teams focus on visibility and a data-driven approach to work that drives continuous, incremental results,” says Jen Singleton, Vice President, Analyst at Gartner. “With this in mind, it’s critical to consider how they measure success.”

Download now: Marketing Agility Primer for Technology Marketers 

How can agile technology-product marketers measure success?

The results of Gartner’s Annual Product Marketing Branded Role Survey highlight the similarities and differences between agile and nonagile tech marketing teams. The survey showed that, in response to the pandemic, there was a newfound commitment to agility, with 62% of tech providers using some form of agile approach in their marketing.

On average, agile technology marketing teams use two more measures of success than their nonagile counterparts — 7.5 versus 5.9 metrics. By looking at different ways of measuring potential impact, agile marketing teams gain greater insight into overall performance and how to optimize it.

Success Metrics Used By Agile and Nonagile Technology Marketers

Agile teams often go beyond traditional metrics, with more emphasis on the installed base, using customer-centric measures, such as retention, satisfaction, and lifetime value. In the survey, the biggest delta was customer lifetime value — 38% of agile marketing teams indicated using this metric, while only 11% of nonagile teams indicated they did. 

Other metrics with large deltas included cross-sell ratio/share of wallet and product adoption score, each further indicating that agile marketing teams focus on the health of customer relationships.

Read more: What Is Digital Marketing Strategy — And What Are the Keys to Its Success?

Metrics both agile and nonagile technology marketers use

Commonly used metrics include customer acquisition cost, marketing spend as a percentage revenue and revenue growth rate.

Overall, agile and nonagile teams share many of the same strategic, operational and tactical measures of success — a reflection of the need to make execution-oriented decisions to adjust programs and deliverables. For example, content consumption metrics (e.g., page views, downloads and time spent) impact the number of marketing-qualified leads and accounts, as well as customer acquisition costs and revenue growth rates.

Although agile teams employ much more extensive customer-oriented metrics than their nonagile counterparts, they remain consistent with their peers in the use of acquisition metrics. 

Showcasing your marketing impact with the right metrics 

Quantifying and showcasing impact is critical for today’s technology-product marketers. Given a desire to drive longer and more “sticky” customer relationships, tech marketers are often involved throughout both the buying and owning cycles. Determining which customer-oriented metrics can highlight your marketing’s impact on product or service adoption, customer satisfaction or lifetime value is vital.

To those embarking on formal agile marketing, ensure you have defined metrics that align to your marketing initiatives supporting your sales targets and corporate objectives. After you define the metrics to measure progress and performance, benchmark them against those agile metrics highlighted in this article. Then, partner with marketing operations to ensure you have:

  • The tools and infrastructure to provide that visibility
  • Several ways of quantifying performance

It’s always better to go for multiple metrics, as they help in assessing the success of a key strategy more accurately than any single metric. For example, if increasing customer retention is a corporate objective, there are a number of metrics to consider: product adoption (via product usage scores), customer advocacy (via Net Promoter Scores) and customer engagement (via content consumption metrics). Together, these can illustrate how marketing is contributing to the business.

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