Chloe Washington, HubSpot
The challenge: Spreadsheet nightmares
The solution: Connecting “R” with “I” in ROI
The results: Confidence in marketing spend
“Our journey began when Box committed to Wall Street to eventually become a billion-dollar company,” said Tim West, senior manager of marketing operations at Box.
With this corporate-level goal in place, the heads of each department had to ensure their teams were contributing to this goal. The CMO reached out to the marketing operations team to ask which campaigns had the best ROI.
“We didn’t know which marketing tactics were performing most efficiently,” said West, because measurement was a huge challenge. While the team was creating fantastic programs and contributing a significant amount of pipeline, they were relying on gut instinct, not data-driven models.
The team couldn’t do any sort of analysis on marketing’s financial performance and was unsure if they were ahead, behind or on track on spend. They didn’t have a fair way to measure pipeline contribution, which led to a lack of confidence in ROI measurements.
“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio. Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”
It wasn’t as if the marketing team wasn’t trying to evaluate the ROI of their programs. But tying investment data from thousands of programs to their results was a monumental task. They could see where they’d invested and where they were making an impact on pipeline but had no way to tie that information together.
“Marketing campaigns should not be evaluated exclusively based on total pipeline contribution. Without layering in some sort of financial data, the measurement exercise is ultimately meaningless,” Tim said.
The team had a full-time contractor to manage their investment spreadsheets and budget tracking, but they didn’t have actuals from finance, so spend data was three to four months old, making it useless for planning purposes. They were stuck in spreadsheets, and with such a large team, version control was a constant issue.
Box’s CMO was still asking her team what the most efficient campaigns were, and West knew they needed a clear way to answer that question.
They started with the investment side of the equation. The Box marketing team knew that in order to begin measuring ROI, their budget data needed to be clean, detailed, and integrated with other systems. They knew they needed a new software solution.
West had learned about Uptempo at an industry conference and introduced it to his team. They appreciated that Uptempo had been designed specifically for marketers, not accountants, and that it was cloud-based from day one—just like Box.
Box implemented Uptempo’s platform to help them move away from their spreadsheets and start managing their investments from end to end.
The next step was to connect that investment data to results so they could start tracking ROI to determine which campaigns were the most efficient.
Uptempo was just the solution they needed because of its ability to tie systems together. Uptempo assigns every marketing activity and budget item a unique Uptempo ID number, which is the underpinning that allows it to be tracked throughout its entire lifecyle. Box’s marketers create their plans in Uptempo, create purchase orders in Coupa, execute activities using Marketo and other systems, and record pipeline impact in Salesforce. Uptempo ties all this data together and then funnels it into Tableau for reporting and analysis so the team at Box can see exactly which campaigns have had the best ROI.
Measuring ROI is all about actually measuring efficiency, and with this solution, the Box team was finally able to track it at a granular level. They could now identify low-performing programs and either eliminate them, or adjust them to improve the ROI.
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Prior to implementing Uptempo, the Box marketing team had a 4:1 return on their investments. After implementing Uptempo, it became 9:1.
“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio,” said West. “Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”
Now the Box team has complete confidence in their programs. They have a granular view of their spend accuracy and have had a plan-to-spend variance of less than 1% for three straight quarters. In addition, they’ve gained the trust of the finance department, who now consider marketing an ally in hitting the company goal of $1 billion in revenue.
“The biggest benefit has definitely been the confidence. Because of Uptempo and our custom attribution model, we’re confident that marketing will now be a driver in creating a billion-dollar company in Box,” said West.