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In order to successfully connect and engage with today’s customers, marketers need to first level the playing field of knowledge.  Just as today’s customers are empowered with information and knowledge, so must marketers also gain detailed insights and information about their customers and markets.  One way we empower senior marketing leaders at SAP is through our CMO Dashboard that provides: (1) the single source of customer truth, (2) a holistic view of our customers, and (3) leading indicators into where our customers and markets are heading. Equally important (if not more important) as the technology are the business review processes that facilitate our identification of opportunities/threats, decision making, and implementation of strategy and tactics. 

It’s important to note that SAP’s CMO dashboard itself is a component of a marketing performance management (MPM) framework that supports the successful execution of our strategies and plans by:

  • Aligning processes and teams within marketing and across sales/solution
  • Driving insights and recommendations into the business to support decision-making
  • Ensuring that we are ROI-driven in all of our actions
  • Showcasing the best tools and technologies that SAP has to offer for measuring performance.

The MPM framework fundamentally supports the management process by providing insights to answer questions such as:

  • What's happening? 
  • How are we performing against our goals? 
  • Why things happened?
  • How can we optimize future results based on these insights?

One of the key focus areas of the MPM Framework is the component of performance management that directly supports our CMO, COO and other senior marketing leaders. This is the process by which our most senior marketing executives can manage the business from end-to-end with the goal of aligning our strategy to our daily operations. This process focuses on providing our marketing leaders with the insights they need specifically aligned to their unique position within the company. Additionally, the MPM framework is responsible for providing the “single source of truth” that enables the organization to focus on driving the business instead of debating numbers and results.

There are 5 focal areas of the CMO dashboard at SAP:

  1. Customer and Market Monitoring
  2. Strategic KPI Framework
  3. Integrated Plan Management
  4. Campaign Performance and Major Marketing Activities
  5. Budget, Resources, and ROI.

The data required to support a 360-degree view, CMO dashboard are:  diverse, disparate, generated from internal and external sources, and includes structured (e.g., conversion rates) and unstructured data (e.g., social media posts) alike.  The CMO dashboard is a vehicle that’s goal is to pull all this information together for the marketing leadership team with the following guiding principles:

  • Holistic view of business
  • Simplicity
  • One source of the truth
  • Leading indicators and outcome-based KPIs
  • Real-time
  • Proactive alerts
  • Fun!

It’s mission-critical that a CMO dashboard (or any dashboard, report or analysis) is embedded into a business review process (e.g., MPM framework) to ensure that insights are relevant and garner stakeholder visibility.  This stakeholder visibility drives accountability and ensures that strategies/tactics are executed upon (and subsequently measured to understand the net impact.) This business review process, fueled by insights, creates a platform for continuous improvement.

That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day – business insights and processes that make the business run better and simpler, not just the data and technology themselves.

Jerry Nichols is currently the Global Head of Marketing Performance Management at SAP, where he leads the efforts to ensure that SAP Marketing achieves its organizational objectives. Prior to rejoining SAP in 2013, he built and led the analytics and measurement practices for JWT New York, SAP North America, and Cisco Systems, Inc.

Jerry is both a marketing and analytics enthusiast: writing blogs and speaking at the DMA and other professional venues.  He is on the DMA programming advisory and Marketer of the Year committees and is an advisor for Marketing Edge. Jerry has a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Sciences/Statistics from Virginia Commonwealth University and lives in New York, NY.

Follow: @jerry_l_nichols