Russell Fujioka is an executive in residence at Bessemer Venture Partners. He is formerly global marketing VP of Dell’s B2B business. In this Q&A, Fujioka explores the metrics he used to measure marketing success at Dell, which, thanks to its ecommerce roots, is a uniquely data-driven company. He also describes his vision of how the marketing organization in the future will use data not to show what worked in the past but to engage future customers.
Q&A with Russell Fujioka
LinkedIn: When you were at Dell, what data and metrics were most important to you?
Russell Fujioka: When you’re building any marketing engine, the first you want to understand is the pipeline. You need to understand what the sales department is reporting and that has to align with the numbers marketing is using. There should be one single source of the truth. You also need to understand what marketing is contributing to the pipelines. You want the telemetry to see the pipeline on a real-time day-on-day, month-on-month, year-over-year basis. You have to realize that in the pipeline there are a lot of different products and a lot different solutions, and they each have different sales motions and different time through the funnel characteristics. In the case of some products, there’s a high likelihood of a transaction happening, so if you have $5 in the pipeline, you can count on $5 of sales, or let’s say $4.95. With other products or solutions, a final sale may be less likely. So you may need a 14x ratio for some products, which means that $14 in the pipeline will only translate into an eventual $1 in sales. When I was at Dell, we needed about $3 billion in the overall pipeline – not just marketing-sourced pipeline -- every week to ensure that we would hit our revenue targets.
LinkedIn: How do you think data will impact the marketing organization of the future?
Fujioka: It drives me crazy that with all of these new tools – Salesforce.com, marketing automation, Google Analytics, DMPs (data management platforms) – that we marketers would have died for 20 years ago, too many marketers are using these tools to generate data just to justify the existence of their job. Marketers are using data and analytics defensively. Marketers are in quarterly business reviews presenting data that has no relation to the business. When you’re talking about generating this many leads, cost per leads, or I spent $100,000 to generate 10,000 leads, you’ve already lost. You’re a cost center not a revenue driver. If you’re playing defense with your data, then you’re screwed. If you’re playing offense with your data, you’re a CEO. When you tie your data to pipeline, to revenue stream, to business growth, then you’re playing offense, you’re thinking about the company as a whole, and you’re thinking like a CEO. As a marketer, you need to use these great tools we have to build dashboards and reports that show marketing sourced pipeline, marketing sourced revenue, and a metric like how many marketing qualified leads turn into sales qualified leads that salespeople actually follow up on. The marketers that are playing offense are using these new tools and big data on predictive analytics to target the right prospects that can become high value customers. These marketers are willing to spend more on cost per lead for these high value targets if they reduce the time to sale and increase the value of each sale.
This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.