ROI Metrics Key to Marketing Automation Success

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Having an ROI focus is essential to getting the most out of your marketing automation investments, according to a recent study on lead generation marketing effectiveness from Lenskold Group and the Pedowitz Group.

"If you don't apply the right processes behind [a marketing automation system], then you've bought a very expensive email system," says Debbie Qaqish, chief revenue marketing officer, Pedowitz Group, noting that companies that integrate marketing automation with CRM tools are on a better path. "An alignment with sales allows them to be successful."

There are many things a marketer can measure beyond ROI, but the bottom line is essential, she adds. "They may be focusing on activities rather than ROI metrics. Maybe they're looking at how many leads got sent to sales—but at the end of the day did those leads convert?"

Four in ten lead generation marketers (39%) surveyed were using marketing ROI to assess the effectiveness of at least some campaigns. This was the highest level reported since the study began in 2007. Just 24% relied only on traditional, non-financial metrics, while the balance (36%) use some financial metrics such as cost per lead metrics.

The majority of marketers that were using ROI metrics—69%—reported an increase in total marketing revenue thanks to marketing automation, compared to only 19% who used traditional, non-financial metrics.

However, only 28% of marketers saw an increase in revenue per sale attributable to marketing automation. One issue is that 27% do not currently measure this outcome statistic; still, more would benefit from watching these numbers, says Qaqish. "If your revenue is, say, $10 per deal, and now the average deal size is $120, that is a significant jump."

In B2B marketing, owning and knowing how much to use technology is becoming more important—and many students coming out of business school have no grasp on this idea, she says.

As an example, she notes that one large software company her firm worked with analyzed their marketing structure and found that their infrastructure was incorporating 21 different systems, some from internal and some from external sources.

Obviously, consolidation was needed. But how does this happen in the first place? "Many CMOs are not raised to be technologists," Qaqish says. "Marketing operations needs to be owned by the marketer, and it requires a distinct structure."

Results of the survey were drawn from 373 respondents at B2B companies that used lead generation processes.

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