Finding the return on marketing investment: PGi’s Melissa Wong

PGi's senior vice-president of strategy and marketing talks to CMO about her approach to return on marketing investment and how she's using technology to be a change agent

IT relationship

As marketing calls on copious amounts of technology to help calculate things like ROMI, there is the rising challenge of how to integrate it with a company’s IT infrastructure. Wong’s own adoption of technology is made easier because product and marketing capabilities are grouped together at PGi, and technology innovation is core to product development and growth.

“Being technology minded also goes a long way in helping that relationship between IT and marketing,” Wong said. “We better understand their needs and we can be faster, more productive and smarter about how we work. There are also less bottlenecks to overcome. PGi has a passion for and understands the role technology plays in our business.”

For those aren’t graced with such a technology background, Wong recommended working on your individual relationship with members of the IT team. “We are transparent about what we do and engage and treat people with respect,” she continued. “If we are open about a problem, look at all avenues and options and have a two-way conversation, the outcome will be positive.

“My relationships with finance, sales and the client team are equally as good.”

Head-to-head: Do CMOs need their own marketing technologist?

Top of PGI’s to-do list over next 12 months is mobilising its workforce and communicating its own insights to its customer base.

As CMOs rise in importance up the corporate ladder, Wong advocated others to be passionate about learning and embrace technology and change. “Today, a CMO is a translation tool between the cross functions – IT, sales, product development and the board,” she claimed. “This ability to talk to all functions is core to a marketer, but understanding that wasn’t as pronounced 10-15 years ago.

“Look at change as an opportunity to learn, and then look at how it is going to help your customers and the balance. It’s a balance of iQ and eQ.”

It’s also not good enough just being a marketer, Wong said, adding that those who make the biggest impact will do so by understanding the business as well as what drives its customers and sales.

“These are metrics of revenue. The core thinking and principles of running the business are crucial,” she added.

PGi: Melissa's key achievement metrics:
  • The move from traditional conference to software-as-a-service (SaaS) saw growth in licence revenue pipeline of 17 per cent in six months
  • 560 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of licence opportunities from February 2012 to February 2013
  • 88 per cent growth in number of licence opportunities between September 2012 to February 2013
  • As of March 2013, the opportunity pipeline ratio was 52 per cent minutes pipeline revenue vs 48 per cent licence revenue. In comparison, 69 per cent of pipeline in September 2012 was per minute vs 31 per cent licences.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia.

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