Australian and New Zealand marketers are highly confident about the effectiveness of their marketing strategy but demonstrating just how effective is a challenge.
When asked "Do you feel that your organisation's marketing strategy is effective?", 66% said "yes".
Yet when asked about their challenges, ANZ marketers said that demonstrating ROI on their marketing activities was their second biggest challenge after generating web traffic and leads (Source: HubSpot, The State of Inbound 2016).
This information suggests there is a massive gap in what marketers perceive is the effectiveness of their strategies and their ability to demonstrate this with accurate data.
Inbound Marketing In Australia: Marketers Top 3 Challenges in 2016/2017
There is a growing trend for marketing departments to assume responsibility for quantifiable goals that are aligned with revenue targets. This is what helps drive the need for marketers to demonstrate ROI.
Without data, marketers will have a tough time resolving their third greatest challenge which is securing budget.
Identifying the Correct Metrics
Understanding which data is relevant to report on is the first step in demonstrating return on marketing investment. The flip side of having an abundance of data at our fingertips is the potential for "paralysis by analysis".
Please don't get me wrong, being able to drill down on a granular level is critical to driving high converting digital campaigns and I will get to that a bit further on. However, from the perspective of demonstrating ROI and, crucially, securing marketing budget, you need to connect the dots between web visits, generating leads and customers.
The creation of content assets -- such as web pages, landing pages, email, blog posts -- takes up significant share of marketing budget. So how do each of these assets contribute to the results? You need attribution reporting. An attribution report can help you demonstrate the journey a person has taken from the first time they visited your website to the moment they became your customer.
Attribution reporting is essential to online lead generation -- marketers' number one challenge. For example, it can help you determine the number of leads that were generated off a specific blog post, as well as how many of these leads then become a customer. From there, it is possible to show how much revenue was generated by a particulat content asset.
Use Data to Optimise Inbound Marketing Campaign Outcomes
The ability to drill down at a granular level is critical to improving your campaign outcomes and therefore your return on marketing investment.
Granular analytics are the crown in your inbound campaign jewel. They allow you to A/B test not just landing pages but also specific elements that drive your conversions. This includes your calls to action (copy and design), forms and landing pages (copy and visuals).
Also being able to see which sources (organic, paid, social media) deliver your highest converting traffic and leads will help you determine where to focus your efforts.
All of this helps to reduce your cost per lead and therefore improve the return on your campaigns.
An integrated marketing automation platform can help you reliably collect and crunch the data and provide you with the metrics you need. If you are low on resources, this is (in my view) the most efficient and effective way to get a strong handle on how your campaigns are tracking.
Alternatively, if you are working with a limited budget, you may want to create a marketing stack that will give you what you need. Ultimately, if you can demonstrate in a reliable and quantifiable fashion how your strategy contributes to your organisation's revenue goals, you are on solid ground when budget review time comes.