We all know that measuring the ROI of our efforts (marketing, sales, capital investments, etc.) is crucial to the success of our business. We understand that putting resources (time or dollars) into something that isn’t supporting the health and growth of the business isn’t worth continuing. But then why is it that 56% of businesses aren’t equipped to successfully measure the ROI of one of the biggest sales drivers – marketing?
Why is it so Hard to Measure Marketing ROI?
The reality is – though Googling ‘how to measure marketing ROI’ will net you article upon article about how to do it – there are a number of stumbling blocks that can get in your way.
Here are six of the most common pitfalls we see so you can be on the lookout and avoid them from the get-go:
- Not Knowing Where You’re Starting From
To measure the true ROI of a marketing campaign, you need to understand what your baseline is. In other words, what were your results before the campaign? Knowing this allows you to measure the net impact of the campaign to tie a true ROI number to the effort. Without this data, you can’t compare apples to apples.
- Not Having Goals in Place – Or Having Goals that Aren’t SMART
You need to define the sought-after outcomes and get buy-in from your leadership team. In particular, make sure that your goals are SMART to ensure there’s no grey area of whether or not the goals were achieved.
- Not Putting the Right Tracking In Place
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often we see companies that don’t have the tools in place to track and report on their marketing efforts. There are great free options out there (Google Analytics being the big one) and paid options (like one of our favorites, HubSpot) that take the metrics to the next level, tying together which specific efforts are driving results, even down to the individual level.
- Not Tying Marketing Directly to Sales (And I Mean Dollars)
To connect the dots between marketing activities and dollars in the bank, your marketing tracking needs to include data on what happens to leads or potential buyers after you’ve attracted them to the company. For any B2B company with more than a handful of leads (which hopefully you have!), a technical integration between your sales team’s CRM and your marketing analytics platform is crucial. These systems can be easily linked to share data that is helpful to both teams:
- For Sales: Seeing what content that your leads are interacting with online and how they found you really helps tailor the sales process to each individual buyer.
- For Marketing: Understanding what marketing activities (social media, blogging, gated content, etc.) are driving real leads, and then ultimately sales.
- Not Setting up Regular Metric Review Cycles
This step is really about discipline. As silly as it sounds, many people have all of the above done, but then don’t regularly review the numbers, or use it to make better marketing decisions going forward. If your tracking is working for you, it will tell you clearly which efforts should be continued and which shouldn’t. You just have to be disciplined about looking at it regularly.
Tip – Delegate the ownership of this to someone on your team, providing clear direction about how often you want to review metrics, so this doesn’t get pushed to the back burner.
- Not Establishing a Feedback Loop
Lastly, qualitative feedback from people on the front lines is a key piece to success. Marketing teams who interface often and regularly with the sales team to hear their feedback are much more effective in driving leads and sales for their organizations – hands down.
We see time and time again that the companies who can prove ROI are doing all of the above – and they’re more successful and efficient in their efforts overall. Are you overcoming the above in your business?