It stands for return on marketing investment. Quite simply if you want to rekindle the flame with the finance people this Valentine’s you ought to be discussing financial metrics with them; their language. Your number of retweets may be great for spreading a message, creating brand awareness, getting traffic to your e-commerce site even, but Retweets is not a figure the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can add to the profit and loss sheet. Retweets, shares, click-through rates, open rates, impressions, bounce rates are not metrics that will save the board of directors’ jobs at a share holder’s meetings.
Investment vs expense:
Rather than complaining about marketing budgets being cut again, or that CMOs are still the first to go in a “restructure”, how about working to reposition marketing from being a cost to an investment? That’s what marketing should be today, with all of the metrics available to us with the power of digital, marketers should be able to identify what’s driving sales, leads, high response rates, traffic and conversions.
B2b sales/marketing cycle:
As B2b marketers we need to take buyers though the sales cycle, we need to target them with relevant content for each stage of the buying cycle. We do this with database marketing and looking at responses to previous campaigns.
Yes, it can take one or two quarters for sales to be closed, if not longer, however, that’s what we should be aiming to do with marketing eventually and we should be tracking this carefully. If deals are not closing, then perhaps we need to look at targeting our loyal segment more often for further revenue, with highly targeted bespoke content. We need to take two different approaches when targeting loyal customers vs prospects with marketing campaigns.
Eventually we should be looking at B2b leads generated and opportunities closed, there are sophisticated tools, like Sales Force.com SFDC which can help to track this. Sales, leads, closed deals, revenue generated and profits are metrics that can help marketers to rekindle a flame with the finance people, we need to talk in terms of finance, revenue, to demonstrate return on marketing investment (ROMI) and to continue to receive investment in terms of budget.
The metrics which are represented in the higher end of the funnel above are informative to us as marketers and help us to generate the latter results, providing we are capturing contact data throughout the cycle with marketing communications we should be able to get the final end results of sales, leads and closed deals. I’m not saying that finance have no interest at all in these results, they can help to tell a story, however, their key performance indicators KPIs are based on financial metrics and they’re responsible for budget allocation.
You should place your metrics on the diagram above to determine their relevancy or value, you should also be capturing contact data for follow up at each stage or using your database to take contacts on the sales cycle journey. Learn to love metrics as a B2b marketer, but make sure they’re relevant, don’t swim in a sea of metrics.
Marketing ans sales alignment
In order to get some of these financial metrics we will rely on sales, there’s still a gulf between sales and marketing teams in many firms and marketing and sales teams need to work closer together to report ROMI.
It’s not easy
It’s not easy to demonstrate ROMI, it involves using campaign tools, regular reporting, campaign management tools.
There are several ways to align with sales:
- keep sales well informed in advance before launching campaigns
- Meet with sales after a campaign/event for a de-brief, feedback
- Use incentives to encourage sales to report and follow-up on leads if all else fails
- Regularly meet with sales teams and senior members
- Communicate to sales and the organisation with regular e-newsletters
It’s not always easy to report ROMI, it takes time, however, every marketer should aspire to report it, with digital marketing this has been made significantly easier. It also involves working closely with other teams such as marketing I.T., sales, data marketers in large organisations, however, off-the shelf campaign management tools can help smaller companies to do this well too. Using good call to actions can help to generate ROMI.
To learn more about reporting on ROMI for B2b digital campaigns in a global context you can read:
Emerging Business Online, Global Markets and the Power of B2b Internet Marketing an New York FT Press Publication.