The ROI of marketing
Years ago, a mentor of mine would describe marketing as "the things you do to make the phone ring". While, for the most part, that concept holds true today the tactics we need to employ have drastically changed. Marketing today requires a lot more depth than when we were creating brochures, conducting case studies, working tradeshows or performing market research. When you would ask a salesperson where a lead came from that would almost certainly tell you it was from their prospecting efforts. Your marketing person would have a different answer and the client something completely different. You rarely had a clear picture of how they found you, you were just glad they did. However, as the B2B world became more competitive, not knowing became more and more costly.
The old saying "I know 50% of my marketing budget is effective. The trouble is I don't know which 50%" is no longer acceptable.
Today we focus on the tighter integration of our marketing programs. Offline campaigns such as direct mail or tradeshows need to tie back to our digital programs. The technology exists to identify the total cost of acquisition and the conversion path for virtually every new client ensuring every dollar you spend on marketing generates a measurable return on investment.
Today's marketing team
Are you thinking about hiring a marketing person and bringing them in-house? What skills are you looking for? What's your expectation of the role? As mentioned earlier, today's marketing team requires a lot more depth than we need in the past. Below is a break down the skills necessary to be genuinely impactful in the digital space. The good news is you don't need 12 people to cover all the skills. However, the reality is that you won't find one person who embodies all of these skills. Whether the number is 3 or 5, the fact is bringing all of these skills under one roof will require approximately $425,000 in annual salary based on the current Canadian pay-scale guide for the Toronto area.
- Inbound marketing strategist
- Analytics and reporting
- Website development
- Web design
- Search engine optimization
- Paid media advertising
- Conversion rate optimization
- Email management
- Social and community management
- Project management
- Graphic design
One of the perceived benefits of bringing these skills in-house is that they will be closer to your business. Someone who is immersed in your world will have better knowledge than an outsider, right? Yes, and no. Remember, I've been in your seat before. There were times where I would convince myself, the best path for growth was to bring this in-house. After all of the training, and months of living our corporate culture, my marketing people seemed to be ineffective. Results were stagnant, or worse dropping. The problem? They were too close to the business. They began to adopt all of our assumptions without challenge, they started using our jargon instead of aligning content with our clients', and they stopped focusing on the person searching.
On the flip-side, a professional agency would always challenge our assumptions. They would help us see the bigger picture. The outside perspective forced us to think differently, think like or prospects, which lead to higher engagement rates, increased leads and ultimately improved growth and prosperity.