The first step toward growing your marketing ROI, is actually measuring it.
Lots and lots of business owners struggle with the immeasurability of their marketing managers' plans. Without robust measures, you can never know what's really working and what isn't. In the absence of this knowledge, it's only human nature to zoom in and over analyse individual, even anecdotal results. This typically leads to frustration for both the business owner, who hopes to find order among the chaos and their marketing managers, who would like to be trusted to do what they are good at.
So, a big wish of business owners, though you may not realise it yet, is that marketing were much more measurable.
That said, we all understand that a brand, like a home to live in, is a necessary investment and, while it may not produce a measurable gain unless you get your home (or your company) valued, you update it once in a while. No, it’s the day-to-day stuff that owners wish they could measure. The website updates, advertising, social media, PR, printing, direct mail, etc. The things that are all intended to contribute to lead generation but rarely seem to perform as well as planned. It's these things that owners wish were more measurable.
How do you make B2B marketing much more measurable?
The short answer is to use more measurable marketing tactics. Most digital marketing, for example, is measurable and therefore can have a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) attached. The problem is, however, that not all digital marketing is effective.
The real question is how can you make marketing much more measurable without risking your past results? Or even while improving on them?
One answer is to go inbound.
Recent research by our partner HubSpot compounds past findings that inbound marketing - using quality content and marketing technology to attract, convert, close and delight customers - is more effective, measurable and profitable than any other strategy.
Specifically, HubSpot's State of Inbound 2014 report found that:
More and more businesses are going inbound - because it works
Inbound marketers are 12 times more likely to generate greater ROI
Inbound leads cost significantly less than outbound leads
Inbound leads are more knowledgeable of, and valuable to, your company
The availability of these statistics serves to demonstrate that business owners and marketing managers that have gone inbound are enjoying far greater levels of measurability around day-to-day marketing.
Inbound doesn't fully replace the need to do some unmeasurable activity. You still need to maintain your brand and may want brochures for your sales people, for example. But going inbound puts a big, measurable strategy at the heart of your marketing plan, around which making selective investments in unmeasurable tactics will feel like far less of a gamble.