The best marketers have always known a true winning strategy is one that drives company revenue. Not just satisfied with clicks and traffic, revenue-driven marketers refine their tactics to help promote sales and the bottom line.
Webmarketing123 just released the 4th annual State of Digital Marketing report, detailing survey results from over 600 U.S. marketers. Covering both the B2B and B2C sectors, the survey revealed several advantages for marketers who measure digital success by total revenue. In one finding, revenue-driven B2B marketers were 41% more confident in their ability to prove ROI than their counterparts who used other metrics.
And yet, despite this importance of ROI, the survey found that 1 in 3 marketers is still unable to measure ROI for any digital channel.
Are you executing the right marketing tactics to drive your business? Here is what the survey revealed about those marketers who are doing it right:
1. They prioritize SEO leads to maximize close rates.
Whether B2B or B2C, almost 80% of revenue-driven marketers surveyed said they utilize SEO. Search engine optimization ranked high on respondents’ list for digital marketing channels that have a positive impact on sales.
In fact, SEO placed second only to direct email in terms of ROI, mirroring outside statistics that have long indicated the power of search in B2B and B2C customer decisions. According to content marketing agency Brafton, 71% of business purchases start with a search engine, while a significant 89% of consumers also use search engines to decide on the products they will buy.
According to Search Engine Journal, SEO leads are also less expensive and have a higher close rate. Compared to outbound advertising leads, inbound leads originating from search cost 61% less. Sales success rates between SEO and outbound tactics are also night and day, with SEO leads having a 14.6% close rate compared to only 1.7% for outbound leads such a direct mail or print advertising.
The evidence is clear: to make a big impact on sales, go with SEO.
2. They invest in content on-the-go
The majority of top-performing marketers invested in four types of content that helped drive sales. Those types of content pieces included case studies, webinars, and videos. Company blogs, a fourth crucial form of content, were also in use by 61% of all marketers who could prove ROI.
Used in conjunction with SEO, the power of content marketing cannot be underestimated. In a case study by research firm Marketing Sherpa, a comprehensive content strategy led to a 40% boost in revenue for one marketing automation company.
In 2015, comprehensive content strategy also means making sure all content is optimized for a mobile world. And indeed, the survey revealed that 72% of top-performing marketers had mobile-friendly web sites.
Content on-the-go means creating a cross-device content strategy that sells. These two tips are discussed in greater detail in a related post, CMO Checklist: 3 Must-Have Tips to Master Digital in 2015.
3. They integrate lead scoring into digital marketing automation
More than half of marketers who could prove ROI also had a marketing automation system in place. Digital marketing automation is among the most helpful tools marketers can use to get in alignment with their sales department.
According to Gartner, an IT research company, about “70% of sales leads are not properly leveraged or are completely ignored, thus wasting marketing program dollars.”
To avoid this problem, revenue-driven marketers recognize the value of using lead scoring and buyer personas. According to the survey, 74% of top-performing marketers believed that lead scoring is an effective tactic. In addition, 58% of respondents used buyer personas.
When integrated into a company’s digital marketing automation system, lead scoring can deliver the right lead at the right time to a sales rep. The challenge then, is to ensure sales and marketing agree on definitions of a sales-qualified lead. Once these understandings are in place, however, the opportunities for a higher close rate will soar.
4. They use attribution reporting
An overwhelming majority of marketers who could prove ROI indicated that attribution reporting was also instrumental to their work. The survey found that
69% have invested in this tactic, which takes various stages of the buyer’s journey into account instead of relying solely on raw leads.
Marketers typically use one of six methods for attribution, and while each method has its pros and cons, attribution reporting as a whole offers numerous benefits to the revenue-driven marketer. Not only does it help CMOs better allocate budgets across channels, but it offers insight into audience demographics and behavior, as well as creates opportunities for higher accountability.
With several models of attribution reporting available, which method is the best one? Among survey respondents, Multi-Channel reporting ranked as the most used at 25%. This advanced method requires more coordination between departments as well as manual tagging by either the IT or Marketing division.
For those marketers unable to devote resources to Multi-Channel, the Last Touch model was another popular method. Used by 23% of survey respondents, the Last Touch model is easier to implement, but also has drawbacks by giving unfair credit to only the last interaction before a sale.
Finding the best attribution model for your department may take some time, but it is worth the effort.