CHICAGO, Oct. 17, 2007 -- Marketers are under increasing pressure to deliver measurable results and clearly demonstrate the value they provide. Yet study after study has pointed out the difficulty of measuring the ultimate impact of marketing programs on sales results.
"For too long and in too many organizations, marketing activities have been led more from the gut than the brain," said Brian Gramer, vice president of strategy for Vtrenz, a Silverpop company. "The problem is that most marketers don't have the data they need to show the CEO the true value their programs deliver to the bottom line."
In fact, a study reported by MarketingProfs.com found that measuring the financial impact of marketing campaigns is a substantial challenge for most marketers. Forty-two percent say their company's ability to measure financial returns from marketing programs is a long way from where it could be.
Gramer presented his insights during a session of the Email Marketing Intensive at DMA07 in Chicago.
"Whether you are just starting to identify key metrics to show how marketing contributes to the bottom line, or have already begun the process, there are some simple steps that can help ensure the outcome of your efforts are both meaningful and manageable," Gramer said.
He urges companies to allow new technologies to pave the way toward incorporating sales and marketing efforts. Closed-loop marketing programs allow for active and timely feedback from sales and provide real insights into how various marketing activities are driving revenue. This is a critical step in the process of showing how marketing makes money for the organization.
The most highly recommended design of a strong marketing automation platform utilizes a single relational database to collect, manage, segment, execute, automate and integrate all marketing campaigns. This allows for complete, accurate, timely and unbiased ROI reporting. Marketing automation platforms allow companies to manage lead generation, lead nurture, lead-to-sales-processes and relationship marketing programs, delivering full closed-loop ROI reporting and complete customer communication management. In addition to traditional marketing metrics like number of leads generated from a specific campaign, marketers need to understand and be able to measure the revenue generated from specific lead sources. Marketers should also measure the average number of touch points from marketing or sales necessary to close a lead, or which marketing offer produces the most or best leads.
"Because all the data exists in one relational database, this type of marketing automation design allows marketers to collect, score, segment, route and track leads from any source," Gramer explained. "It gives all key stakeholders visibility into marketing initiatives and makes data accessible that can help various business units improve performance."
He cautioned that in the beginning, putting a robust ROI marketing program into action can seem a bit overwhelming. As with any task that looms large over the landscape, it's often best to tackle the monster a little bit at a time. Create a roadmap that breaks up the journey into manageable and measurable stages.
To learn more about tips to prove marketing ROI, Vtrenz has recently published a white paper titled "Show How Marketing Makes Money," available for free at http://gw.vtrenz.net/?LTUP1MJ78N=clicksrc:FY07ROIWP.
Silverpop is a premier email service provider that supports the online relationship marketing needs of enterprise organizations. With its comprehensive array of on-demand Web-based software solutions, it offers highly scalable tools supporting both high-volume BtoC marketing initiatives as well as high-involvement BtoB sales processes. Its software-as-a-service approach makes it easy and affordable for marketers to create, automate and execute lifecycle, multi-channel marketing campaigns that are timely, relevant and measurable.
Recognized by Deloitte as the second-fastest growing technology company in Georgia in 2007, Atlanta-based Silverpop has offices throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom. It is the only company that has appeared as one of the top two enterprise-oriented email service providers each of the last three years in analyst firm JupiterReseach's annual evaluation. Silverpop provides online relationship marketing support to industry-leading companies including Fossil, The Bombay Company, British Sky Broadcasting and more. Best practices and white papers are available at www.silverpop.com.