Proving Digital Marketing ROI: A Frustrating Challenge for B2B Marketers
If there is one thing B2B marketers can agree on, it’s likely the fact that measuring and proving digital marketing ROI is simply not an option. It’s the one thing Executives care most about when it comes to marketing initiatives – what is the measurable outcome of our time, money, and resources?
In other words:
• How are your digital marketing efforts contributing to the company’s bottom line?
• Why should you get the budget you requested for a website redesign or a digital marketing campaign?
• How can they be sure that allocating money to your proposed projects won’t go to waste?
Talk is cheap
You could tell them about the value of your campaigns and the impact of your various digital marketing activities; but quite frankly, talk is cheap. The proof is in the pudding. Nothing will convince them to get behind dedicated resources and budget more than proving what the ROI will be; providing specific, measurable outcomes that demonstrate how your efforts can contribute to the overall goals of the business.
But, how do you prove digital marketing ROI without actually executing the strategy first? You may have found yourself between a rock and a hard place.
43% of marketers say proving the ROI of their marketing activities is a top challenge, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2016 Report.
AdAge also recently reported that 65% of companies are going to put their ad business up for review this year. Nobody knows the exact reason why and we can only speculate. Perhaps because the spend isn’t contributing to the bottom line the way it should be, leaving marketers with zero explanation when asked to show ROI?
Overcome the challenge of proving digital marketing ROI
The struggle is real; we know. Proving digital marketing ROI to Executives is frustrating and challenging, but it’s also completely necessary. And that’s a reality we can’t ignore.
We hear the frustration from the front lines, so we put together some recommendations – a roadmap of sorts – on proving digital marketing ROI, all based on what we’ve seen work well for others. Tips include showing past success and calculating or estimating future ROI.
1. Focus on business value
Keep in mind that Executives care about one thing: How is the business, as a whole, going to benefit? Let’s look at a quick example:
You want to give the company website a complete facelift to increase traffic. Well, increased website traffic is great, but if those visitors aren’t converting into sales leads, then you have yourself a metric that won’t matter much to Executives.
Think deeper. What business problem will your website redesign solve? How can a great website help to drive not only traffic, but overall business growth?
Sell your website redesign project. Traditionally, a website was merely an online brochure. Now it serves a much more significant purpose than ever before when it comes to driving business growth. A website can be an effective sales tool when constructed properly. Put in the time to research what’s worked for others and the results they’ve seen, then share that information with your Executive team. It will be time well-spent.
2. Determine what matters
Executives aren’t interested in your social media engagement or the number of views your last blog post is racking up. Instead, their eyes are on the metrics that affect the bottom line. Yours should be too then.
Determine what those metrics are – how your digital marketing efforts affect sales, new customers acquired, cost per acquisition, etc. – and address with your Executive team, how these will positively affect the business.
3. Leverage the proper tools
From Marketing Automation to CRM systems to Google Analytics, there are countless tools to help B2B marketers manage it all. By using the proper tools readily available, you can consolidate and connect the dots on everything you need to report on.
Align with the necessary subject matter experts within your company and any processes in place to manage all prospects and leads across both your marketing and sales funnels. This will give you a full, linear view of your audience, eliminating segmentation and friction.
4. Measure and report on metrics that matter
Remember, proving ROI helps Executives understand what’s working – what has worked in the past, and what can work in the future. But without measuring, you can’t prove anything.
Also remember that it’s important to track and report on the metrics that are most important to Executives. Don’t waste your time with the information they won’t see as valuable or influential to the bottom line. You may even want to consider creating a reporting dashboard, customized to what your executives want to see: total revenue, cost-per-lead, cost-per-acquisition, average deal size, time to close, recurring revenue/customer lifetime value, etc.
5. Present demonstrated proven, empirical results
Lastly, present a strategy and partner that can help you move the needle. No matter who you end up working with, make sure it’s someone who has experience achieving proven, empirical results for other clients. Without this key, final step, securing a budget will continue to be an uphill, never-ending battle.
Our team of web design, UX and digital marketing specialists can help you plan your strategy and prove ROI once and for all. Reach out today and let’s dig in.