Proving marketing ROI

Category: Marketing attribution
Marketers hate having the conversation with their line manager about return on investment, or ROI. Some aspects of marketing can be hard to prove ROI on. Wouldn’t it be great to have an immediate, positive answer?

If you’re a marketer reading this, you’ll have had this discussion: “What was our ROI from that recent exhibition?” … “Well, we got some good leads and some brand exposure.” … “But what was the ROI?

Even in the digital arena, proving the ROI can be difficult. On one side, you have all your email and web analytics showing you the clicks and downloads that prospects made. On the other side are a stack of phone calls and sales. The gap in the middle is the worrying bit.

How do you bridge the gap between activity and sale?

Call tracking is the answer for all marketing channels. In my exhibition example above, if you had a unique response phone number on your literature at the show, when you get a call on that number you know someone must have been at the show.
And you can prove a direct correlation between activity and sales, and get your ROI.

Online, having a phone number that dynamically changes for each visitor to your website allows you to link their activity to their calls and again prove the ROI. You can even put the call information into Google Analytics or AdWords, Bing, and the like to ensure you get a full view of actions taken by a prospect that are purely online, against their ‘real world’ outcomes.

So now you can compare marketing activities against each other, or online effectiveness versus offline, and you can see where you should invest marketing spend to generate more phone calls and sales.

How do I match up calls to sales?

You’ve now got a link from your analytics to offline actions. The final key step is to connect that data to your sales CRM.
Without being able to match up to the revenue generated, you’ll never be able to prove a ROI. Good call tracking platforms will offer integrations to do this, so no matter if you’re using Salesforce, Hubspot, or one of the myriad other CRMs you can connect.

In conclusion

The answer to proving a true ROI for marketing is to look across all activities – online or offline, in all channels and to pair the marketing results to the sales revenue. Augmenting your existing analytics with the ability to track phone call sales conversions is your route to proving a true marketing ROI and avoiding those awkward conversations with your line manager!

About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics and content management.