The Rise of ROI-Based Marketing

The digitization of marketing and the customer journey has put the measurement of marketing return on investment (ROI) front and center. The pressure on the CMO and marketing team to turn their investment in MarTech and other investments into sales gold has never been greater.

ROI-based marketing is not a new concept, though it has now firmly taken hold as standard operating procedure for tech marketers. With the marketing team asking for and receiving more funding, they need to demonstrate strong return on investment. Additionally, revenue generation and managing the customer decision making journey falls squarely on the shoulders of the CMO and their team. It is incumbent on the marketing team to provide corporate management with an accurate accounting and return on campaign spending.  


The fact that marketers have a growing array of tools at their disposal has given additional emphasis to ROI-based marketing. With powerful capabilities such as BI/reporting platforms, marketing automation, tracking pixels/tags and attribution models there is no shortage of ways to measure marketing effectiveness and its contribution to sales. All platforms, including websites, online advertising, social media, mobile apps, lead gen etc., come with robust analytic reporting. These platforms have API’s to port data into a central repository for analysts to derive insights and tell visual stories. When marketers learn how to master the utilization of these tools, the entire organization can reap the benefits to their success. 


With the marketing team asking for and receiving more funding, they need to demonstrate strong return on investment.


An unintended outcome is that there is nowhere to hide when it comes to results as digital transparency cuts both ways – it is great when investment is turning into sales, but beware when it does not work out. It is not like the old days when the CMO could wave around ad effectiveness studies or show the reach of the latest TV or print campaign. As a result, marketing dollars are migrating away from traditional media to digital, especially social and mobile where there are direct metrics leading to sales conversion.


Because of these high stakes, tech marketers need to exert pressure on their agencies, media companies, consultants, marketing software providers and anyone else who is part of their value chain. It is critical for tech marketing leaders to ensure that all partners have their incentives aligned. KPIs and sales objectives must be clearly communicated for everyone to meet their goals.




Written by Gordon Plutsky


Gordon Plutsky is the Director of Applied Intelligence for IDG Strategic Marketing Services. A marketing thought leader, Gordon has been named one of the most influential marketers to follow on Twitter (@GordonPlutsky) by Forbes; and one of the 50 Thought Leaders over 50 by Brand Quarterly Magazine. Gordon frequently writes on the topics of digital, ad tech, performance marketing, social, content and the cultural changes brought on by the new media landscape.


Connect with Gordon on LinkedIn.


More From the Blog

4 Email Marketing Tricks from INBOUND
Content Marketing, Marketing Tactics
3 Content Marketing Tips from INBOUND
Content Marketing, Marketing Tactics
ABM ROI Series: 3 Proven Sales Orchestration Plays
Content Marketing, Marketing Tactics