As the first quarter of 2023 grows smaller in the rearview, it’s easy to have mixed feelings about working in marketing. There are some brilliant opportunities, yes, but the pace of change is furious and the barrage of new tools and techniques feels neverending. Add to that some serious economic and political uncertainty – it’s a lot. So, amongst all the noise, what’s really important to focus on as you plan your marketing?

Simply put, it’s making sure that your marketing efforts deliver a return on investment. Marketing is a business function, and whatever new and shiny tech is the next big thing or whatever unforeseen hurdles spring up in the way, this is the one non-negotiable. But with increased competition and seemingly ever-tightening budgets, just how do we do that? In this article, we’ll outline how you can ensure your approach to marketing is as solid as it can be.

All ‘bout da money

Marketing success is not intangible. More than ever we live in a world where we can prove the impact of campaigns using all kinds of metrics. But the real impact of marketing must be measured in business impact. This means focusing on metrics that tie back to revenue, such as sales lift, average order value, and cost per action. By honing in on the correct metrics, businesses can gain valuable insights into which channels and campaigns are generating value — driving sales, building pipeline, net-new acquisition — and which are not.

Delivering intelligence starts with looking at individual campaign performance. This helps you to identify the useful metrics that tie back to revenue in a focused way. You can scale this up across channels and campaigns to make data-driven decisions about where to best allocate marketing spend.

The ultimate goal of marketing is to impact the bottom line, but remember too that there are short- and long-term impacts, and while month-on-month sales and revenue growth are important, so too are more far-reaching metrics like market share, share of wallet, and customer lifetime value.

If at first you do succeed, try, try, and try again

Did your campaign go well? Terrific. Now it’s time to make it better. Did it not deliver? Not so great. Time to make it better. Trial, iterate, and optimise is the key to success in today’s marketing. Even if your campaign went well the first time, if you are running a second iteration, or a continuation, you need to keep your eyes open for what’s changed (or is changing) with your market, competition and customers, so you can ensure the same or better results.

Maintaining consistency with the metrics by which you measure success is also important, otherwise if you’re not comparing apples with apples, it’s harder to take away concrete insights. Of course, you can break down your analysis by channel and campaign performance, as this will help to optimise marketing spend for maximum impact.

Once you’ve settled on the right metrics that tie back to revenue, and you’re measuring effectively to prove impact, it’s time to revisit and tweak your marketing strategies. Maybe the data shows you should go niche, or create more visible brand marketing. Whatever the numbers tell you, it’s crucial to continue listening and adapting to changing market conditions.

Cut through the noise with a sharp focus on ROI

With the dizzying pace of change and a whirlwind of external stress factors, distraction is common in marketing teams today. Let’s remember what we’re here for! A strong focus on delivering a return on investment is an great grounding strategy, and we can stay on track by ensuring our key metrics tie back to revenue. Then it’s about iteration and optimization, maintaining consistency in metrics, following the data to make informed decisions about where to allocate marketing spend. The result should be campaigns that impact on the bottom line – and that’s why we get up in the morning.

Are you having trouble generating the ROI you need from your marketing spend?

Take a look at our ROI challenge and consider applying today. Available to select brands that can set us a specific challenge based on past performance, our team is ready to show you how simply paying attention and being focused on just the right things, can yield better performance for the same or even less spend.