Marketing Microsoft

Prove Your Marketing Is Paying Off

Tips on obtaining an ROI on your marketing efforts.

Your boss wants to see evidence that the money and resources invested in the company's marketing activities are really paying off. Don't sweat.

The good news is that senior managers don't care about individual campaign results, they just want to know what the return is on the whole marketing budget. It is surprisingly easy to prove that marketing is contributing to your company's bottom line. Here's how.

Show the Relationship Between Your Marketing and Revenue
Start by looking for sales and revenue that can be linked to marketing activities. Simply compare lists of new customers or invoices to companies or people in your marketing database and look for matches. You don't have to find every sale that resulted from your marketing activities. Sometimes it only takes one big sale to justify a campaign.

If sales haven't closed yet, count the number of qualified leads and use estimated conversion rates and average sales sizes to quickly determine the sales potential of those leads. Or look at the forecasted sales in the company's CRM system and compare them to the database of prospects, inquiries or qualified leads.

You can also send "Did you buy?" surveys to inquirers and qualified leads, using their answers to show the prospects being targeted by your marketing are buying from you or the competition. Ask if they bought, and if so, from whom. Ask why and how much they spent. If your sample size is large enough, you can also use the answers you receive to estimate the number of sales and the amount of revenue that are represented by all the inquiries and leads you've generated.

How Much Did You Save?
Just give it some thought and you'll probably come up with a list of things you've done to save the company money or time. For example:

  • Amount saved in printing and postage after cleaning the mailing list or delivering the company newsletter by e-mail.
  • Amount saved by offering electronic versions of literature.
  • Time and money saved by automating the capture of Web forms and eliminating some manual data entry.

Show Other Ways Your Marketing Is More Effective
This can range from showing how many more prospects you reached with your marketing messages to indicating the improvements that have been made in cost per impression, cost per inquiry, cost per attendee or cost per qualified lead.

List All the Marketing Projects Your Marketing Team Completed
Marketers often don't think about their own productivity when justifying the money the company invests in marketing. Unfortunately, people quickly forget what happened last month or last quarter. Or they simply have no idea what's involved in creating a mailing or designing a new Web site.

Pointing out the number of marketing projects and all the work steps involved can be a real eye-opener to others who aren't aware.

Your Results May Vary, but Consider This ...
I recommend that you block out a couple of hours for all this every month so you'll always have up-to-date results at your fingertips. If you're pressed for time, use an intern or temp to do it for you.

A marketer I know at a midsize company recently reported to her management that awareness of their company and products among target prospects more than doubled, the cost per qualified lead delivered to sales by marketing dropped by nearly 40 percent, 58 percent of the opportunities in the sales pipeline were found first by marketing, and 48 percent of the sales closed and 62 percent of the revenue during the past 12 months came from marketing-generated leads.

The result? She got a bigger budget and there are no longer any doubts about marketing's contribution to the company's success.

About the Author

M.H. "Mac" McIntosh has been providing marketing and sales consulting services for Microsoft and many of its partners for more than seven years. More than 1,000 Microsoft Partners across the United States and Canada have attended his Marketing Boot Camps and Marketing for Leads (tm) live and Web seminars. You can contact Mac via


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