Part 4: Marketing ROI
It’s the age-old marketing struggle. Better understanding which ads, emails, and events are driving new leads and conversions. Nobody wants to be lost in the abyss of a “spray and pray” marketing strategy, or a pure volume game where if you can just stuff more and more leads into that funnel, just by sheer luck you’re going to get some diamonds in the rough. We are all awash in data and information, yet according to McKinsey, only 10 percent of marketers currently use insights to improve performance. You might argue that you are doing just fine with your marketing without such insights, and as such it really doesn’t matter, but I beg to differ.
In Part 3 of this blog series, we talked about aligning marketing and sales strategies. With a properly aligned marketing and sales alliance, marketing gets a huge help in one area that’s long been a challenge: reporting ROI. Marketers’ budgets are increasing every single year, but it’s very difficult for most CMOs to really tell what their contribution to revenue is because most of us marketing leaders are still thinking about the number of leads and not showing what we contributed to revenue. When we think about sales and marketing alignment, and how those two need to operate as one, anything that a marketer does should be to increase revenue. To track ROI, look at KPIs such as “deals influenced” or “deals sourced” to connect specific marketing materials straight to bottom-line results.
A marketing automation platform such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing addresses this by bringing all these disparate marketing activities together in a flexible way so you can execute with a fuller view of actions and reactions in real time.
This connectedness allows you to gain a better understanding of the prospects and insights through how they are engaging and responding to your marketing assets. In turn, you are more quickly able to identify content and tactics that are yielding results and those that are underperforming. You can apply these insights to prune marketing activities that aren’t delivering and achieve higher ROI by focusing on the best activities to target the best prospects and attracting more like them.
Positive reinforcement cycle
Bringing your marketing activities under the umbrella of a marketing automation platform leads to a virtuous cycle of positive reinforcement. As prospects download articles, visit your website pages, respond to specific email campaigns, or attend events and webinars, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing incorporates the new data and provides actionable insights. You can use these insights to refine each step in your buyer’s journey and invest more in campaigns and approaches that are driving the best results.
Shorter path to qualification and close
The insights you gain as buyers’ progress through the journey allow you to continually refine your criteria for what constitutes a good lead. You can use these insights to adjust your objective lead scoring models to assign lower or higher scores for specific activities and prioritize leads that are ready to buy. The benefits of insights you gain during the buyer journey don’t end with marketing. Sales can also benefit from the complete view of how a lead has engaged during the marketing campaigns and use those insights to continue the conversation towards deal closure. Ultimately this leads to a shorter path to qualification and close and less wasted time chasing unqualified, less valuable leads.
Want to know more? Check out our Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing webcast. Don’t miss parts 1-3 in our marketing series.
Take a look at this guide that addresses four common marketing challenges and will walk you through: lead generation and scoring, customer journey examples, the top four ways to align sales and marketing strategy, and marketing ROI.