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3 Reasons Marketing Can't Answer Your ROI Question

3/3/20 9:42 AM / by Jennifer Aplin

Blog Banner - March 2nd

You are a fearless entrepreneur; your business is in growth mode and you’re scaling fast. You’ve got your sales figured out – chances are you were salesperson numero uno - so you know what they need to be successful, and you’ve built the right team, processes and systems to support them. And then there’s marketing… it feels like a running target – they’re always asking for something and you can never get a straight answer on ROI. You wonder - why can’t marketing just figure it out?!

Is it marketing, or is it leadership?

If you are a CEO that cringes when you think about marketing (especially if you have bitten the bullet and invested in a marketing leader or are about to), you might need to ask yourself… have I really set this marketing leader up for success? Here are three things you may have overlooked. 

1. You hired a skilled marketer with the expectation they are going to modernize and accelerate your sales and marketing pipeline.

Here’s the deal. Your marketing leader is a boss at creating a strategy to get the right message in front of the right people, on the right channel, at the right time. Your sales leader excels at building the right relationships, getting to “YES” and securing contracts. Neither is trained in cross functional transformation. The journey in to modernization begins with YOU as the leader, making this a company priority, communicating it clearly, assigning change champions and getting your sales and marketing people the right resources to lead this change so they can focus on what they do best. 

Pro tip: Enable your team with the expertise they need to be successful and they will be. 

2. You don’t think marketing needs technology.

They have a website and can email customers – what more do they need? If you want your marketing to be able to impact revenue and report to you about it, they need to have the right systems. Marketing departments are among the last in any business to receive investment in a system and technology, and yet they get asked at every budget meeting what their contribution to revenue is. The ability to gather data, track performance and optimize assets is all enabled by technology. To get the answers you want, provide them with the technology they need. 

Pro tip: what is the best technology? That depends on your organization - get expert advice to ensure you are not investing blindly. Hint: this is the type of work we do with our clients.

3. You have mistaken your marketer for an engineer or IT person. 

Your marketing leader has done the work to know what systems and technology they need to modernize, digitize and automate. They have worked with sales to identify what data and processes they need to align with technology. So, you invest in an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution and you’re good to go, right? Wrong. Your marketing leader is not an IT person. They aren’t skilled at mapping fields, integrating systems and understanding plugins, widgets and API’s.

Pro tip: to use your systems to the fullest, you must have someone expert in engineering and technology work with your team to set their systems up, align to your strategy, augment processes and properly train BOTH sales and marketing teams on how to use them. 

Enable your teams with the skills they need – one person, however skilled, cannot put all of that together. 

Your marketing leader wants to be able to answer you when you ask – what was your contribution to revenue last quarter. They want to be able to make data driven decisions, know what’s really working and advocate for their team’s performance. But they need to be set up for success and supported properly – just like any other department in your company. If they win, you win - have you set them up to win?

Do you need help assessing whether your marketing professionals are really set up for success? Book a free consultation and we’ll look into it together. 

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Topics: Automation, Revenue Generation, Revenue Growth, Data, Revenue Leaks, Revenue Operations, Analytics, Data Analytics, Business

Jennifer Aplin

Written by Jennifer Aplin

Jennifer is our CEO and lead Business Strategist. She is a highly experienced, process-oriented business executive. She fluidly integrates her data science-informed perspective with revenue-driving business strategies.