How to prove ROI Step by Step – Step 1: Align the marketing organization with corporate strategy

Having the ability to prove ROI is crucial to a marketing team’s success. In fact, those marketers that can calculate ROI are 1.6x as likely to receive higher budgets.[i]

It’s no surprise then that measuring the impact of each marketing campaign is at the top of every marketing leader’s to-do list. Unfortunately, it is also one of the biggest challenges for every marketing leader: only 21% say they are successful at measuring their marketing ROI.[ii]

We are kicking off a 5-part blog series focused on helping marketers to bridge this gap between budget and bottom line. We have identified five steps we believe are essential for marketers to not only achieve ROI, but to also prove it. This first post in the series focuses on perhaps the most crucial step of all: aligning marketing efforts to corporate strategy.

Develop a clear plan

Modern marketing—with its ever-emerging and changing channels—creates an atmosphere of chaos. To break through the cacophony, marketers need to begin with a solid plan—one that aligns organizational goals with marketing strategy.

The end goal is to show a direct link between your marketing efforts and impact to the bottom line. To get there, you need to build a well-defined process.

1. Get in the loop

Make sure marketing is involved in the business planning process from the start. Having visibility into corporate strategy development is critical if your goal is to align with that strategy.

2. Determine what’s most important

Identify your organization’s top corporate objectives, for example increasing revenue, expanding into new markets, or differentiating from the competition. From those top goals, choose the objectives where you think marketing can make the biggest impact.

3. Establish priorities

Identify marketing objectives that will impact those corporate objectives. For example, if the corporate objective is to increase profits, your marketing objective might be to attract new customers or sell additional products into your existing customer base.

4. Develop specific goals

Identify what you want to accomplish and generate specific marketing goals. Maybe your aim is to attract a specific number of new customers with advertising, a promotion or an email nurture campaign. Or your goal might be to convince a certain percentage of your customer base to upgrade to your newest product.

5. Prove it

Choose relevant metrics to measure the success of your goals. How many new leads did you generate? How many of those leads converted into sales? Once you have that information in hand, you can now link that success from goal to marketing objective to strategic objective to your impact on the company’s bottom line.

6. Be realistic

Don’t set yourself up for failure. As you develop your team’s goals and programs, make sure you take into account the resources, skill sets, budget, technology and timeframe you’ll need to be successful.

By ensuring everyone is on the same page with plans, budgets, and expected outcomes, marketers can build solid, supported campaigns that boost results, increase market share, and optimize outcomes.

To learn more about the five steps marketers can use to measure and prove marketing ROI, read our eBook, “Got ROI? Prove it!” And be on the lookout for the next post in this 5-part series: Step 2: Gain an Expanded View of Your Marketing Spend.

[i] http://www.marketingdive.com/news/proving-roi-is-main-marketing-challenge-for-b2b-b2c-hubspot-study/408120/

[ii] 2015 B2B Content Marketing report

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