From brand awareness to lead generation and sales enablement, the modern marketer needs to have a hand in everything. However, driving revenue is our biggest responsibility as marketers, so it’s imperative to tie all marketing activities back to bottom-line revenue in order to prove our success to senior leadership and internal stakeholders.
Generating positive ROI from marketing is an overarching goal all marketers strive for. To help set marketers up for success, I led a session at the ITA’s “Level Up” Mini Summit to discuss how to build a solid multi-channel marketing strategy, from integration to attribution, to achieve optimal ROI. Below is a recap of the discussion with key takeaways from the session.
Developing a Marketing Strategy to Reach Optimal ROI
As the business landscape continues to change, a solid strategy will serve as your guide for achieving positive ROI from your integrated efforts. Before you can begin to identify the channels and activities you’ll need to include in your marketing plan, it’s essential to first solidify your foundation — from audience and brand positioning to goals and budget.
Define Your Audience
Defining your target audience and having a strong understanding of their needs is key to developing your channel strategy. Take the time to build out the ideal customer profile (ICP) that aligns to the pain points your business solves and use it as a resource to adjust your tactics in the future. If you haven’t done so recently, consider conducting a buyer persona exercise to map out the demographics of your target audience and learn of their pain points, as well as their content preferences and the channels they’re most active on so you can align your messaging and channel strategy to best address them.
Position Your Brand
Once you’ve defined your audience, it’s time to establish the most impactful positioning for your brand. Study your competitors so you can understand where your brand stands in the market and aim to find gaps where your business can provide the most value. From there you’ll be equipped to define your unique value proposition (UVP) and build strong messaging and call to action (CTA) strategy that can be carried through each of your channels to help set your brand apart at each stage of the funnel.
Set Your Goals
Setting clear goals that are aligned with the overarching goals of the business will help you know exactly what your team is working toward. With your brand and audience in mind, develop SMART goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound, so you can build programs that address these needs. Remember that vanity metrics, like click-through-rate (CTR) or email opens, will be less important to senior leadership than bottom-line revenue, so be sure to tie all your goals back to ROI. While everyone’s goals will be different based on industry or company needs, consider reporting on smart metrics like contract size, win rate, velocity and ROI.
Align Your Budget
Establishing a budget to support your marketing plan is essential for seeing success from your integrated program. Keep your audience and goals in mind when building your budget and consider all the brand, demand and event channels you’ll need to use to achieve them. You may also consider using a budgeting tool to get strategic recommendations tailored to your organization’s goals.
Integrating Your Channels
After solidifying your marketing foundation, next it’s time to begin selecting the channels you’ll need to leverage to achieve your revenue goals. With a growing list of channels to take advantage of, an integrated approach is key to delivering tailored messages to specific customer segments regardless of where they are, giving you the greatest opportunity to increase ROI in the new year. While there are numerous channels to choose from, here are the channels to consider investing in to see the greatest bottom-line impact:
- Brand Channels – Investing in your brand is a great way to build trust and client advocacy. Though it’s not always easy to connect your brand channels like PR, owned social and awards to ROI, a solid brand will help you increase client retention, leading to an increase in bottom-line revenue over time.
- Demand Channels – Demand generation is essential for lead nurturing through the delivery of tailored messaging to your target audience across channels. Demand channels like paid marketing, SEO/web and email campaigns are also some of the fastest to contribute to ROI, so focus on your costs per conversion and revenue generated to calculate ROI within your demand gen program.
- Event Channels – Events help build personal relationships that lead to long-term partnerships. Though it’s unclear what events will look like in the future, it will be important to focus on creating an in-person or virtual event experience that offers prospects and customers the chance to connect with your brand and your people. This allows for easily-facilitated engagement post-event, ideally driving revenue.
There are so many different ways your brand, demand and event channels can work together to move buyers from awareness to acquisition and enhance pipeline efficiency. For example, you can share PR placements on appropriate organic social platforms to establish your company as a thought leader through third-party validation. Or you can direct your paid marketing programs to optimized landing pages with forms on your website to increase conversions.
To see the most success with your channel integrations, develop consistent messaging and fuel your strategy with content that addresses the pain points of your audience. Remember to focus on the marketing funnel and rely on data to optimize your channel strategy overtime.
Mastering Attribution and Measurement
In order to tie the success of your integrated channel efforts back to ROI, it’s important to set up a solid attribution strategy that allows you to track all the touchpoints a prospect has with your brand so you can get a holistic view of how your channels are working together to drive conversions and revenue.
The B2B buyer journey is complex, and many buyers will interact with multiple brand, demand and event channels before converting. Pay attention to your data to track each of those steps so you can accurately measure and attribute the impact specific channels have on your bottom line.
Essential Tech Tools to Consider
Marketing attribution can be tricky, especially with a multi-channel strategy, and will require constant iteration based on data and results. To get a clear view of how your marketing channels are working together to drive revenue, use your tech stack to help attribute the success of each channel effectively. There are a few essential martech tools you should leverage to help you determine which marketing tactics are truly driving ROI, including a content management system (CMS), Google Analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation platform (MAP), data connector and attribution software, but remember an optimized tech stack can’t be built overnight. Implement each tool one step at a time based on your company’s needs and remember to beta test your tools before you roll them out fully.
With a clearly defined audience, solid brand positioning, optimized channel integrations and robust attribution strategy, you’ll be equipped with a strong marketing program that will guide you to success in the year ahead. Be prepared to rely on data and iterate your activities as needed, but always remember to keep ROI at the forefront as you move forward. If you could use more help with building a robust integrated marketing strategy tailored to meet your business needs, get in touch with our marketing experts to get started.