Cover Story: Direct Marketer of the Year: Sandy Carter
"If what you're doing doesn't impact revenue, then you're not going to rise further in the organization," says Hurwitz, who met Carter in Texas, where Carter started her career with IBM.
Agreeing with Hurwitz but speaking more generally, Carter says marketers tell stories, and stories have to have endings. She thinks of the "happily ever after" moment as the ROI. This, despite reading the "5 Surprising Marketing Trends for 2013" article in Forbes about Fournaise Marketing Group research saying 73 percent of executives don't think marketing "significantly" ties to creating revenue.
"I think lead gen is good," Carter says. "But that's an in-process metric. I think marketing's value will be weighted against sales growth. And I think that will change completely the [key performance indicators] KPIs that marketing will drive to. And I think that was Judith's point … align your business goals together and you're really focused on ROI—not, 'Oh, I produced three leads at this event.' Well, they never closed. Or they were the wrong client. Or they weren't interested in your product. That, to me, is not a metric. A metric is something that really impacts the growth of your business."
"What I always appreciated about Sandy's work and where I've seen her be most successful," Hurwitz says, "is a lot of marketers want to look at the big picture, 'What's the driver?' and they go in that direction. What Sandy did—that was very different, that we worked very closely on—was this idea of 'entry point.' So she really understood … you can't just say to a customer, 'Hey, buy this technology. It's cool.' Customers have to be very comfortable that they can actually take that technology and be successful. … She'd put it in terms of, 'If this is your problem, start here.' Start small. Start with something that really addresses the specific pain of customers, and then grow from there."