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    B2B marketing ROI – are you using specious reasoning?

    According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of specious is ‘superficially plausible, but actually wrong’. For those of you who are fans of the Simpsons, you may remember the episode where Lisa uses specious reasoning to sell Homer a rock which apparently keeps tigers away. Her comeback when Homer asks how the rock works is a simple one… “It doesn’t work, it’s just a stupid rock, but I don’t see any tigers around here”. And this got me thinking, are marketers using specious reasoning instead of ROI to justify their worth?

    B2B Marketing ROI and Budget Related

    Avoiding ROI

    A recent B2B Marketing Content Benchmark Report in association with Circle Research found that only 2% of respondents measure the ROI of their content every time. In addition to this, the study found that a whopping 69% of marketers measured ROI only sometimes, rarely or never. And this got me thinking. If marketers aren’t measuring ROI then how can they prove the effectiveness of their activity to the board? That’s when I thought about Lisa Simpson’s rock. Are B2B marketers simply using specious reasoning when reporting on their marketing activity?

    In the case of B2B content marketing, are marketers simply reporting that although they are unable to provide exact numbers, the company is generating leads, so the content must be working? If so, then this is terrifying, not just for the marketers but for the board that are providing the marketing team with their budget.

    Easy way to measure ROI

    Measuring the ROI of any marketing activity is straightforward as long as there is a way to track and measure the new customer’s engagement with the company. The most common solution is marketing automation software, but as long as it’s possible to see every single way the customer engaged with the company, then ROI can be measured using other tools.

    With this customer information at hand, it’s possible to see which marketing activity kept them engaged and moving through the sales funnel from a prospect to a lead, and from a lead to a customer. As long as the activity helped move the lead closer to a sale then it has helped generate revenue and ultimately created ROI. Using a process known as equal attribution, the exact amount of revenue generated by each piece of activity can be easily calculated. And equally important, the channels and activity that did not create engagement can be removed from future marketing plans in order to save wasting budget for no ROI.

    Proof of success 

    With the ability to effectively measure the ROI of not just content but of all B2B marketing activities, the days of looking for any positive outcomes (like increased leads) to piggy back on and justify the marketing team’s existence are long gone. Now, thanks to ROI measurement, it’s possible to approach the board and provide clear numerical evidence of income generated from each and every marketing channel.

    To find out more about measuring the ROI of your activity… 

    Read our new ebook: B2B Marketing ROI - Measuring Success