Building a culture that connects ROI to marketing

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Bob Heyman is senior partner at marketing services agency Digital Automat and co-author of the recently released “Marketing by the Numbers: How to Measure and Improve the ROI of Any Campaign” (Amacom, Nov. 2010). He spoke with BtoB about how marketing execs can play a bigger role in enhancing their ROI efforts. BtoB: What do you see as the chief stumbling blocks preventing marketers from providing enhanced measurement tools and better ROI? Bob Heyman: An awful lot of marketers don't really have access to actual data that the CFO gets [in terms of] what was actually spent and, sometimes, even sales data that's actionable. We advocate that if your budgets are going to be expanding or contracting—or your job may be lost based on that—we think marketers should be getting access to that data. BtoB: Are differing levels of compensation between sales and marketing executives at the root of the problem? Heyman: I don't think it's different levels of compensation, but it may be the fact that compensation is not really based upon an important measureable. In other words, a lot of marketing activity is based on impressions or click-through rates and not anything that's actual sales data that matters to the bottom line. BtoB: What are some of the remedies to align marketing and business goals? Heyman: Part of it is how you measure ROI across marketing initiatives. You have to make sure you don't drown in data. [It's] aligning metrics to ROI and evaluating the quantitative and qualitative factors. So much around social media is qualitative, as opposed to quantitative; you get soft metrics that are, at best, only directional. And then you have people who don't use the latest analytics tools. The most important is communicating ROI results to C-level executives and building a culture in which ROI is important to the marketing department. —M.S.
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