RIP to ROI?

We were quite excited recently to have been described by Joel Harrison, editor of B2B Marketing, as “visionary” and a “heretic”, both in the same article.

Joel referenced us as “one of the UK’s leading automation exponents” in his article ‘RIP to ROI?’, and while it was great to see him being so complimentary about us, we were even happier that he had picked up on our move away from ROI to Marketing Forecasting.

As he rightly pointed out, though it might be surprising to see a company like CleverTouch contradicting the common opinion on ROI, we’re not the only ones. And what’s more, we’re doing it for good reasons.

Here’s why you should get rid of ROI:

  1. Most ROI metrics are made up. According to Adobe, only 20% of CMOs even try and measure their ROI.
  2. What that means is that 80% of Marketers cannot attribute their lead source, meaning their marketing is not under control. It’s little wonder, then, that so much reporting is at the tactical campaign level of click thrus and open rates rather than contribution to the business.
  3.  Too many marketers try and work the ROI at the campaign level, IMMEDIATELY at the end of the campaign. This is a waste too. Consider this: if the campaign lasts 3 months, but the buying cycle is 12 months, then you might be lucky 1 in 4. Put another way, it might be that you are actually underestimating marketing’s contribution by as much as 300%. Without metrics and lead source tracking, marketers are undervaluing their worth to the business. Be a marketer, not a gambler.

The Future is Forecasting:

  1. ROI is a metric based in the past – “Our ROI was…”. Yet most organisations (outside of Marketing) are focussed on the future- future forecast, future contributions, future earnings.
  2. Sales forecast – so if sales and marketing are to be aligned, why not forecast marketing contribution in the future too?
  3. With Marketing Automation it is possible to forecast based on past behaviours. It’s the perfect blend of both, giving marketers the ability to look at past outcomes and use them to predict future behaviours and outcomes.

So whether you’re in the Marketing ROI space of the past, or the Marketing Forecasting space of the future, with Marketing Automation at least you’re measuring your marketing beyond the click thru’s and open rates. Just as Joel says in his article, it puts marketers on the front foot and lets them lead growth, rather than just responding to complaints and criticisms of their work.

It’s a big change and a controversial opinion – but with techniques and technology changing rapidly in the B2B field, it’s time to say goodbye to ROI.

 

If you’d like to learn more about ROI and Forecasting, we’ll be holding an event in February. Find out what’s coming up here.