One of the marketing technologies I’d really like to see come to fruition is more complete, comprehensive and accurate campaign tracking. This means more than just efficacy and ROI of the email you sent last week. It’s about understanding, weighting and valuing the various touchpoints you give to prospects and customers in your pipeline.
Which campaigns are really working? Which have the biggest impact at pushing prospects from interested to ready? Which combination of media, content, offers and more gives you the biggest bang for your buck?
As our marketing and analytics requirements get more and more complex, answering these questions gets harder and harder. That’s why I’m so excited about what Full Circle CRM is doing. This team of former Salesforce.com executives is building a solution to these questions and more.
I met Bonnie Crater, founder and CEO of Full Circle CRM, at an event last December and sat down with her recently to talk more about this enormous opportunity.
Matt Heinz: Why did you build Full Circle CRM? Doesn’t Salesforce.com provide marketing analytics?
Bonnie Carter: We built Full Circle CRM to extend Salesforce CRM’s already robust reporting and dashboard features.
Salesforce marketing users know that it’s relatively easy to create reports and dashboards based on the information in Salesforce. But many sophisticated users noticed the challenge of reporting on campaign performance across both Leads and Contacts. They also started to notice other breaks in the data. Their sales people were creating opportunities that were de-coupled from campaigns.
Campaign credit was being given to emails that were sent and not responded to. Marketing campaign influence gave full revenue credit to each marketing program, no matter how important or insignificant. There are many more reasons we built Full Circle CRM to enhance Salesforce and you can find them in a paper called the Analytics Advantage.
MH: How should a marketer think about Full Circle CRM relative to other analytics they get from their marketing automation platforms, Tableau and other tools they may be using?
BC: Most importantly, Full Circle CRM is completely compatible with the popular marketing automation and analytics systems. And our product was designed for the data-driven Salesforce marketing users who also may use these systems. Here are three examples of how we take a different approach.
First, we’re focused on the data inside salesforce.com to ensure we deliver a complete and accurate database of information that can be shared across sales and marketing teams.
Second, customers can leverage flexible, weighted campaign influence models to evaluate the revenue that each campaign drives.
And third, because we’re inside Salesforce, customers who want the details can drill down to get the underlying Lead, Contact, Account, and Opportunity data. Since all our data is sitting in standard objects inside of Salesforce, customers using products like Tableau can grab this data and make Tableau charts.
MH: Some marketers would prefer to spend their budgets on media vs. technology. Does Full Circle CRM actually enable both?
BC: Yes, you’ve struck a chord with that question Matt. It’s been my experience, that marketing departments often have 10-20% of their program spend which is experimental. In other words, they are trying out a program to see if it’s successful.
The question is successful at what? Driving new, interested prospects? Nurturing existing ones? Helping to shorten the sales cycle? Drive new revenue?
A software technology that can accurately answer these questions can be very valuable to marketers. Salesforce marketing users can free up some of their program spend that is not contributing to the customer journey and redeploy it on programs that are working well or new program ideas that might work better. So you see, if you have good measurements you may have more to spend on the most effective media and make more money for your company.
MH: What does the term “math marketer” mean to you? Why is it such a vital skill for practitioners and executives alike?
BC: At Full Circle CRM we call the “math marketer” a “marketing scientist.” These are the data-driven people in marketing organizations who want to use facts to help make decisions on how to optimize the department’s marketing spend. That doesn’t mean you don’t want marketing artists on your team – creative is essential! But a good balance of both the science and art of marketing is healthy – especially among the ranks of CMOs.
In the early days of advertising, the Mad Men got all the glory creating the next amazing campaign. But now with nearly 70% of the customer journey being a digital experience, a great deal of the customer development process can be measured. Thus we are seeing the advent of the marketing scientist and the increasing role of marketing operations in marketing departments.
MH: Sales, marketing & finance. All could be entry points for a product like Full Circle CRM. What have you seen working so far in terms of the buyer ecosystem and “tip of the spear” for getting Full Circle into organizations?
BC: Most of our work is with marketing execs who want to optimize their marketing spend. But we also see interest from sales and finance. For example, for one sales operations team, Full Circle CRM became their comprehensive lead lifecycle system because they wanted to optimize sales follow-up on campaign responses across both the Lead and Contact database in Salesforce.
Now they know who on the team has the best follow up skills and leads rarely go cold. In another instance, the CFO was the champion of Full Circle CRM. The CFO wanted to understand the return on investment for the large amount of money spent on marketing.
In another customer, sales and marketing had conflicting charts when they presented at the management team meeting. In that case we fixed their problem by having an accurate account of sales and marketing activities, right inside Salesforce.com. Now both teams have the same data and can have more meaningful conversations about growing their company.