The founder of Dunlop Tires once said that “half of my marketing expenses went to waste. Unfortunately, I don’t know which half was the worst”. Marketing companies, especially the business to business companies, have been really concerned to find out how effective their marketing investments have been. However, it is not that easy to evaluate the return on investment for marketing since marketing is much more qualitative rather than quantitative. No matter how much creative the marketing managers could be, they will always face a dilemma in calculating their marketing effectiveness. Marketing gurus, consultants, and academics have been working really hard to develop a framework that will assess the marketing strategies and their effectiveness. Among those theories, a sensible framework by Jon Miller has been widely accepted and used by numerous marketing companies. This framework is actually a five stage formula that tries to answer the typical question “did our marketing strategy actually paid off?”
This five-step method was included in Marketo’s popular Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics. If you are also concerned with your B2B Marketing Performance investments, you can definitely look to them for some help.
First Touch/Last Touch
The first aspect of this framework is the single attribution which is also known as first touch/last touch. This is the most common measurement method which assigns all the value to the first or last program that finalized the deal or led to a conversion. In this method, you will give credit to the first and last one. Therefore, if a webinar produces a deal even after one year or a product demo converts a prospect into a buying customer, they will both get credit. This might be a little ambiguous, still it is helpful as it will include everything that ads a value to your marketing campaign.
Historical Conversion Metrics
The next method is the single attribution with revenue cycle projections. In this method, the impacts of long-term programs are estimated in the beginning of the process through historical conversion metrics. For example; if you have a trade show in your plan, you will assess the impact of it at the top of the revenue cycle and then later estimate the long-term impact of the show. This is a very helpful method to assess the marketing initiatives that will have long-term results for a business.
The next method for assessing business to business marketing performance is attributable across multiple programs and people. While you will be assigning value to all your marketing initiatives, things can get quite difficult to assess (i.e. first touch/last touch). However, once you weigh the touch points by role, time, and program type, you will get a holistic picture. Though it will take you some time, you will surely get some helpful insights from this.
Another great method for evaluating B2B marketing effectiveness is tested and control groups. In this method, you will need to evaluate your marketing performance against a controlled sample. It is true that it costs businesses a fortune in terms of money and time, but it will give you the most accurate idea about what is working for you and what is not working. This is, of course, best for a big business with a big advertising budget.
Marketing Mix Modeling
Last but not least, you can also get some helpful insights from full marketing mix modeling. Through this method, businesses use statistical techniques like regression that give a vivid picture of their marketing strategies and effectiveness. Although this is a very good method, only three percent of B2B marketers use them. As they are a little bit complicated to understand by many marketers, they are just not that popular.