Playing the long game

There is a change happening, and it’s a good one!  For years (over 20), I’ve consistently been asked to prove ROI for marketing spending.  And this question is a fair one and one we don’t shy away from.  However, it’s not the question intelligent leaders should be fixated on, as not all spending can be connected directly to ROI.  We know we are collaborating with an enlightened leader when they ask for metrics that prove brand awareness, engagement, leads, and ROI.


Because your marketing spend should address all four areas.

  1. Brand Awareness goes to seeding the future. Whether right now or a year from now, you want your brand to be in front of your target audience.  So, measure awareness.  Some popular awareness measurements are things like impressions, circulation, or views.
  2. Engagement or interest is expressed by prospects and clients interacting with your brand. By measuring website visits and length of visits, downloads, opt-ins, or the like, you get a sense of how many people are expressing interest and are engaged with your brand.
  3. Leads (also known as demand) show who wants to take action. This is the intersection of marketing and sales.  How many leads, what kind of leads, and what quality of leads help you hone your marketing efforts and inform leadership on how sales are performing?  Leads and demand help evaluate if marketing is getting the proper engagement and if sales are picking up and converting those leads.
  4. And there is ROI. Unless your product/service/subscription is purchased without human interaction, it is unfair to Sales or Service to give all the credit to Marketing. Yes, Marketing should be serving up the right leads, providing good insight into prospects and customer behavior, but don’t disregard sale’s or service’s role.  So, when you look at ROI, give credit to both Marketing and Sales.  More so, reward them for working in tandem to drive ROI, for collaborating and conspiring to increase ROI for the entire company. Don’t pit them against each other or favor one over the other.  Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats!