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Is it time to rethink ROI?

Published on 29 February, 2024 | Author: Digitalzone

That was a scary title. Don’t panic. Breathe. Relax.  

Ready, now? Let’s unbox the tricky topic that every marketer has a love-hate relationship with: ROI. 

What used to be a helpful way to measure success is now a high-stakes pressure cooker set to extract value from every dollar and justify every penny spent. Similarly, the road to measuring ROI isn’t the straight path it used to be – ROI measurement is a multidimensional journey that requires strategic navigation. 

If we step back and ask why – and how – we should really be measuring ROI as modern marketers, then we unravel the essence of our marketing efforts. ROI isn’t just a metric; it’s a compass guiding us through the complexities of today’s dynamic landscape.  

ROI for the Modern B2B Marketer

The contemporary B2B marketer has to be good at a lot of things. Digital fluency, data proficiency, vendor collaboration, and intentional alignment of brand and demand strategies should be in their wheelhouse. 

We judge our proficiency and success in stagnant ways – dollars earned, clients acquired, campaigns executed. But there are issues when staying stagnant in a dynamic time. Shaped by the trials of the pandemic and recent economic uncertainty, marketers are witnessing a generational shift in their B2B buyers as more millennials and Gen Zers enter the scene. 

The bar is set higher for both internal teams and external vendors, so marketers are committed to realistic and shifting metrics of B2B success. Amidst rapid change, staying vigilant on industry shifts–even down to micro-trends–is not just necessary. It’s crucial. 

As we change, marketers need to adapt to new methods of developing ROI metrics and parameters that more accurately reflect the contemporary state of marketing. 

Realism: The Key to Effective ROI Measurement

To understand the current state of the industry and gain insights into the best practices, Digitalzone gathered data from 1,500 B2B marketers worldwide.  

An overwhelming 99% stated they are currently measuring ROI. But there is no a one-size-fits-all approach. Most organizations rely on multiple sources and data points to measure ROI. More importantly, businsses aren’t just measuring ROI– they’re taking proactive steps to optimize it as well. 

Factors such as longer sales cycles, the role of the buying committee, and the non-linear nature of the buyer’s journey make ROI measurement unique to each organization. 

This doesn’t mean that marketers are off the hook. On the contrary, it implies that they need to create more transparency around the ways they’re measuring and reporting.  

TLDR? Embrace realism in your measurement. Set achievable goals that your team can meet and hopefully surpass. Your ROI metrics should act as a beacon to showcase your accomplishments–not an insurmountable mountain that looms over your efforts. 

Embrace the ROI Journey and Adapt

Rethinking ROI isn’t about discarding old methods or strategies. It’s about embracing the journey, understanding its multidimensional nature, and adapting to its winding paths. By setting realistic goals and measuring success in different ways, you will naturally optimizing for better outcomes that will make proving ROI a breeze. 

The first step is diving into the complexity and to start rethinking the dimensions of your ROI measurement. You might be surprised at the insights you gain and the progress you make along the way.

Utilize advanced digital analytics tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics to track online interactions, employ attribution models for a nuanced understanding of the customer journey, and integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to connect marketing efforts with sales data. 

Embrace multi-touch attribution models and assess social media and content marketing metrics. Optimize ad spend, establish ROI benchmarks, and gather qualitative insights through customer feedback. This comprehensive, data-driven approach empowers marketers to navigate the intricacies of the digital era and enhance ROI effectively.