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As a marketer, I see the value of marketing automation and our tech stack every day. But, I’ve struggled for years on how to best communicate the value and return to leadership.
A quick google search for MarTech ROI shows I’m not alone, even though technology currently accounts for the largest proportion of most marketing budgets according to Gartner Inc.’s “CMO Spend Survey.”
In my past job, I was responsible for adopting and implementing our first marketing automation platform – the first significant MarTech investment beyond our ESP. The entire email process was manual, and I’m not just talking email HTML. The email list pull started weeks before a scheduled send, starting with a list export from the database into excel, manually bouncing it against SalesForce to assign rep owners, deduplication, and more all before it was entered into our email platform. And, many times, the list would be out of date by the time we hit send.
This was the first of many issues we fixed with our Marketing Automation Platform. And almost every year without fail, I would be asked to justify the budget and provide the ROI on our MarTech. I couldn’t directly tie revenue to the platform even though there were programs in place that made a big impact for our sales team.
My solution was to provide a list of impactful programs, the value they provided, and the risk if removed – year after year.
- We removed 10+ manual steps across four departments and reduced email setup time by over 5 hours.
- We triggered sales email alerts for specific activities that we knew were generating revenue. They weren’t regularly tagged in SalesForce but were easily identified during manual audits.
- We supported custom emails, landing pages and product BETAs for the partner network.
- The Hubspot-to-SalesForce integration greatly reduced duplicate lead creation for sales.
- Plus many of the traditional Marketing Automation programs like lead nurture, gated content, etc.
- Leads were generated and engagement was higher, but direct ROI was rarely clear.
Working at Convertr, Marketing Automation ROI still remains a mystery for me, but I think more about how our customers measure the value of our platform. Our CS team hears amazing metrics on hours or weeks saved through automated lead validation, reduction in lead flow, improvements in lead quality and more. But rarely anything on the return on their investment from Convertr.
Do customers believe their team is more effective and productive? Sure. Does better lead quality generate more revenue? It should. Should faster lead flow move more leads into the sales pipeline? I think so. Do you know the additional revenue generated by this? That’s tough.
For example, we’re about to finish onboarding for a new customer that transitioned from a competitor. Among the reasons they left was our ability to manage their complex global campaigns and requirements in significantly fewer Convertr campaigns (currently 40 compared to 150+ with their old vendor). Campaign setup had taken months, most changes took weeks, and rules and reporting were never quite right.
Their move to Convertr is already having a big impact on their team and we’re thrilled to be part of this transformation. And we’ve set clear KPIs to measure their success this year, but not surprisingly, ROI is not one of them.
So I’m left wondering, is MarTech ROI a required metric?
Or, are we reaching the stage where companies and senior leadership understand the importance of core technologies that shore up the organization, and that a true revenue impact can be hard to measure?
Interested in learning how Convertr can simplify your campaign management, improve lead quality and streamline lead flow, we’d love to talk. Request a demo today.