Checklist For a Marketing Programs Manager

Anywhere from 1-10% of a company’s revenues may be allocated to the marketing budget and in most cases the people to programs ranges from 70:30 to 30:70.  A key role in Marketing is the Marketing Programs Manager who can effectively manage about $250-$350K but most companies don’t have a checklist for a Marketing Programs Manager.  The role is so critical that I wrote a document, What I would do if I was a Marketing Programs Manager, and sent it to the Director of Demand Creation and asked that his team paste this in their cubes as a daily reminder of what needs to be done each and every day to be successful in the role.  Here it is.

Marketing Programs Manager – The GOAL

Marketing Programs Manager CustomersThe goal for the marketing programs function is maximizing its impact on revenue.  Ideally, the marketing automation and sales automation systems are sophisticated enough to allow for pro-rating of potential and realized opportunities plus revenue back to specific demand generation vehicles. This is necessary for two reasons:

  1. The B2B sales cycle is typically measured in months—usually close to twelve months.  So it is important that a closed/won deal is analyzed from the very beginning – not from a later stage in the sales pipeline — in order to understand exactly when the initial response to an integrated campaign occurred.
  2. There is no one silver bullet.  When all closed/won opportunities are analyzed, it will be clear that a combination of demand generation vehicles (integrated marketing campaigns) across a number of titles within an organization – and over the course of a sales cycle –resulted in the majority of deals—i.e. not one specific program.

The goal for the Marketing Programs Manager should NOT be to generate leads.  Leads are a step in the process and are  DEFINITELY NOT what a Marketing Programs Manager should be handing to a sales organization.

The measurement should be the value of the qualified pipeline that can be tracked back to marketing programs executed by the Marketing Programs Manager. While inconsistencies with sales execution can occur,  those inconsistencies are beyond the control of the Marketing Programs Manager.  Therefore, a measurement of qualified opportunities (a term mutually agreed upon by Sales and Marketing that defines an opportunity as one uncovered by Marketing and accepted by sales as valid) is usually a standard metric.

The volume of qualified opportunities should be calculated by taking the close rate and dividing that percentage into the number one.  For example, a close rate of 33% would require a qualified opportunity pipeline of three times (3X) quota.  The timing for the 3X pipeline needs to be adjusted based on the sales cycle.  If a qualified opportunity is typically closed within three months, then the 3X pipeline needs to exist at least three months prior to the end of the quarter.  In addition, the close date for all the opportunities needs to align—i.e. qualified opportunities with a close date greater than three months out should not be included in the calculation for 3X.

Depending upon the size of the organization, it may be necessary to break the goal into finer segments.  At a minimum, the quarterly targets and the current attainment against quota need to be understood by everyone at all times.  In addition, the qualified opportunity number and current state should always be top-of-mind.  In larger companies, it will be important to understand the goals and qualified opportunity numbers by:

  • Geography
  • Product
  • Industry
  • New
  • Installed base
  • Other

Marketing Programs Manager – Reverse Engineering the Sales Pipeline

In order to move from point A to point B, it’s important to understand where one is and where one wants to end up.  A great way to develop the current state and future state is to conduct an assessment.  This marketing assessment can span people, budgets, processes, programs, systems or whatever one feels is important.  The key takeaway is to understand what will be required in a plan to move the organization to the desired goal.

It is imperative to build a model based on historical data.  However, if historical data is not available, it is acceptable to use estimates—ideally, industry averages or benchmarks—but be sure to update those estimates as actuals become available.

Already discussed was the close rate and conversion from deals to qualified opportunities.  Next, conversions need to be computed to the next level up in the sales pipeline.  Terminology comes into play and this terminology needs to be standardized and mutually agreed upon between Sales and Marketing.  Most importantly, the sales force automation and marketing automation systems need to respect these terms in order to  accurately store, track, manage and report on those terms.  Specifically, terms may include some or all of the following:

  • Lead
  • Marketing qualified lead
  • Sales qualified lead
  • Sales accepted lead

There is no right or wrong answer to the number of terms or their definition.  The only requirement is that the terms make sense, are quantifiable, meaningful and actionable.  It is extremely important to go back through history and quantitatively track and document the values for each term that the organization agrees upon for two reasons:

  1. To determine the percentage that convert between stages
  2. To determine the amount of time it takes to convert between stages

It is critical for the Marketing Programs Manager to understand these two figures so that a credible demand generation plan can be built that will reach the revenue goals for the organization.  To build a plan, it is necessary to reverse engineer targets for all the terms identified. This is so it is clear how the goal will be attained and the metrics proactively managed to ensure the desired result.  Since there is a significant time lag between integrated marketing campaign design development, execution and impact on the pipeline, to be successful, it is critical for the Marketing Programs Manager to understand and effectively manage the timeline and time-lag.

Marketing Programs Manager ChecklistBelow is a checklist of activities that a Marketing Programs Manager should proactively manage each day:

Marketing Programs Manager – Know the Numbers (quarter and year)

  • What is the bookings number
  • What is the qualified opportunity number
  • How many qualified opportunities are in the pipeline, by sales pipeline stage
  • What are the close dates of the qualified opportunities
  • What is the composition of new deals versus installed base
  • What is the geographical, industry and product distribution
  • What are the conversion rates between stages
  • How are the conversion rates tracking compared to assumptions
  • How are actuals tracking versus assumptions for each of the lead targets

Penetration Rates – Market Penetration and Share of Wallet

  • What new accounts are targeted to be closed
  • What are the five “must wins” for the quarter
  • What programs are targeted towards the “must wins”
  • What titles should dossiers be prepared for in each of the targeted accounts
  • What installed base accounts are up for renewal add-on sales
  • What is the penetration into these accounts
  • What are the products and services that they have purchased
  • What are the products and services that are natural extensions
  • What programs are targeted to motivate additional purchases
  • What titles should dossiers be prepared for in each of the targeted accounts

Marketing Programs Manager – Tracking

Meet with the sales development team (those that follow-up on leads-interim between marketing programs and sales) and sales reps weekly to ensure synchronization on:

  • Goals for the month, quarter, year
  • Upcoming programs and roles/responsibilities
  • Past programs and post-mortem analysis
  • Target list of accounts
  • Industries, size of company, title and roles targeted
  • Ensuring that the database is sufficient, is being cleaned and is expanding
  • Lead data is being supplemented with additional information such as industry news, social media sources, company information, financial information, competitive metrics, etc.
  • Review of lead scores and making adjustment rules to ensure accuracy and relevancy
  • Setting nurture paths for all leads that include emails and voicemail scripts or talking points (at least 10 touches-five  emails and five phone calls in 30 days)
  • Brainstorming

Marketing Programs Manager – Audit, Assess, Adjust

  • Track leads by program through automated reporting in sales force automation and marketing automation to ensure  they have been entered, assigned and actively pursued
  • Lead scoring- run reports to see top scores and ensure assignment and follow-up
  • Nurturing — Qualify leads  for progression to next step and to bump against other data sources (VisitorTrak, Jigsaw, etc.)
  • Book meetings to support progression to next step and to bump against other data sources
  • Designate qualified opportunities to map against targets and to potentially nurture
  • Analyze closed/won attributed to program spend
  • Analyze lead sources to evaluate program ROI

Marketing programs Manager – Incubation or Nurturing (more than leads)

  • Create/update paths for visitors that do not register
  • Create/update paths for registrants by program
  • Create/update paths for in-pipeline
  • Create/ update paths for closed/lost
  • Create / update path for customers

Marketing Programs Manager – Content Plan

Review assets by industry, solution, geography and develop plan to build, buy or leverage assets for:

  • Blog posts
  • YouTube Videos
  • Online discussions
  • White papers
  • Research notes
  • Data sheets
  • Case studies
  • Success stories
  • Webinars
  • Executive events
  • Tradeshows
  • Seminars
  • Events

Marketing Programs Manager –Leverage Content Into

  • Nurture paths
  • Website
  • Program promotion
  • Syndication
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) promotion

Marketing Programs Manager –Customers

Maintain a list of:

  • Products purchased
  • Revenue per year
  • Share of wallet
  • References
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Joint content

Marketing Programs Manager –Integrated Marketing Programs

Have a set of programs to drive the waterfall:

  • Cold calling
  • Webcasts
  • Website
  • Seminars
  • Emails
  • Blogging
  • Leverage social media platforms
  • Events
  • PPC
  • Account intelligence
  • Surveys
  • Infographics

Marketing Programs Manager – Website

  • Prominently place current digital assets with appropriate landing pages, registration forms, etc.
  • Understand the traffic to each asset and stack rank performance
  • Make sure registration pages do not have high abandon rates;  adjust content and/or registration forms as needed
  • Ensure registrations get to the sales development team within minutes if they are a hot lead
  • Rotate events and hot assets on the website home, events and resource pages

Marketing Programs Manager – Research

Make sure you are reading:

  • Analyst reports
  • Blogs
  • Industry news
  • Competitive news alerts
  • Target company news alerts

Make sure you are attending/visiting:

  • Competitors booths
  • Competitors webcasts
  • Competitors websites
  • Industry webcasts
  • Industry resource centers/blogs

Marketing Programs Manager – Analysts

  • Have an up to date list of the top 10 trends in the industry
  • Have an up to date list of the key analysts in your space
  • Know the top 3-5 research notes produced by the key analysts
  • License research notes
  • Leverage analysts (webcast, inquiry calls, influence research)
  • Inquire as to the top inquiries the key analysts receive each quarter
  • Promote positive news and diffuse negative news

Marketing Programs Manager – Dashboards

Have dashboards built to manage all of the above to capture:

  • Pipeline
  • Qualified opportunities
  • Meetings
  • Registrations
  • Visitors
  • Suspect Database
  • Conversions

Marketing Programs Manager –Communication

  • Update the team (weekly, monthly and quarterly formats)
  • Partner with the sales development rep so that lead generation and lead management are in lock step
  • Proactively communicate with sales reps (your customers)
  • Plan and update your sales leader
  • Communicate your contribution to the

Marketing Programs Manager –Budget

  • Know the budget at all times (budget, actuals, pending, +/-)
  • Know the budget process – have PO’s approved a quarter ahead
  • Track invoices, payments and accruals
  • Track the ROI of each program and category of program for at least 12 months
  • Understand the correlation of a dollar spent and the impact on the pipeline and bookings
  • Prepare for the worst and hope for the best
At the end of the day, a Marketing Programs Manager will be successful if they are set up for success and that requires a well thought out and executed demand creation plan and demand management plan.

One Response to “Checklist For a Marketing Programs Manager”

  1. Peter…very well written and thorough. It certainly demonstrates the complexity of this role!

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