Closed-loop marketing represents an evolving challenge for many organizations. While the promise of closed-loop marketing has been with us for over a decade, effective implementation can still be elusive – particularly for larger enterprises that have data and organizational complexities that can impact a smooth implementation.

As part of the architecture for a closed-loop system, it can be very helpful to agree a set of Closed-Loop Marketing Design Principles that can serve to guide decision making around applications, data, technology and processes. We often develop and facilitate agreement of a set of principles across marketing, sales, technology and finance teams. Below are a few examples of Design Principles that can serve as a starting point.  These need to be refined and tailored to your organization through a cross-functional facilitation process.


Example Design Principles for Closed-loop Marketing


Cross-functional Alignment

  • The CLM solution should be agreed by marketing, sales, finance and technology stakeholders.
  • Marketing and sales processes will be aligned to understand and track the life of the lead and continuously evaluate the sales funnel.
  • Common requirements should be satisfied through common business functions
  • Systems should support multiple business entities and stakeholders must understand & support the change
  • The customer buying lifecycle and stages should be agreed by both marketing and sales
  • Sales lead qualification should be a collaborative process
  • Sales professionals should be equipped to engage prospects into marketing campaigns
  • Business value will be achieved through a measured continual improvement approach
  • Revenue conversion information should be tracked back to attributed marketing activities
  • Analytical capabilities are cross-platform and help to calculate return investment
  • Business groups should understand the cost of the IT resources  they consume so that they  can optimize resources and manage costs.


Customer Audience Engagement

  • Audience engagement and communication should consider previous interactions and information
  • The digital experience will include controlled and amplified content
  • Web systems will help marketing track the life of the lead and be optimized to attract traffic and traffic origins
  • Marketing Automation will monitor online consumer/ visitor behaviors
  • Automated content delivery can be triggered for specific segments based on specific behaviors or rules.


Systems and Data Management Principles

  • Data should be captured once and validated at the earliest possible point
  • Ongoing data analysis takes place with each marketing communication
  • Systems will support integrated management of multi-channel acquisition programs
  • There must be one master source for each item of data
  • Only changes made to the master data source are valid
  • Changes to local replicas must be synchronized with the master.


Technology & Security Considerations

  • We  promote technology / system reuse before buy-before build
  • Access to IT systems and data should be controlled by role- and location-based authentication and logged
  • Entities (users, processes, locations etc.) should be identified by unique credentials
  • Components should be based upon open or industry standards and cloud technologies are preferred.
  • We shall reject the “best of breed” approach in the interest of timeliness, and interoperability
  • A cloud service should provide capacity on demand, from anywhere, on any device, and at any time.


1 reply
  1. David Doyle
    David Doyle says:

    If only everyone had a fixed IP and the IP database was complete, it would be a perfect world and ‘Closed-loop Marketing’ would be an exact science but it’s not!

    What we can endeavour to do is, implement the best reporting structures between sales and marketing, with integration between web analytics and CRM. The problem is most never quite find the time to do it!

    David Doyle
    B2B Sales Blog

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