3 Ways to Improve Your Marketing ROI and Score Bigger Budgets

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What if we told you that your marketing department or agency doesn’t have to prove higher marketing ROI?

Not yet, anyway.

First, let’s talk ROI—Return on Investment. It’s no secret to those who practice inbound marketing that ROI is an integral part of the process. Yet, many marketers don’t measure it, and if they do, they’re not analyzing the data and using it to improve.

Some of the leading challenges marketers faced this year include proving ROI and receiving a bigger budget.

What if these two challenges were not mutually exclusive challenges, but connected. What if accomplishing one would help you attain the other?

According to the respondents in the State of Inbound 2015 Report, that’s just the case.


Proving inbound marketing ROI can lead to more budget allowance.

Take a look at some interesting facts about ROI and marketing budgets.

From those surveyed, teams who demonstrated positive marketing ROI were more than twice as likely to receive a higher marketing budget.

If that didn’t hit you yet, think of it this way: demonstrating positive marketing ROI means you’re nine times less likely to see a lower budget than if you failed to prove a positive ROI.

So, positive ROI this year leads an increase in budget next year.


How do you get positive ROI for your marketing efforts? 

Improve Marketing ROI (And Unlock a Bigger Budget)

1. Improved ROI Starts with Measuring ROI in the First Place.

It’s not just positive ROI that reveals an increase in budget, but tracking ROI at all, (even if ROI results come back negative) can mean an increase in budget.

According to the survey, 81% of marketers who tracked ROI in the previous year but failed to show a positive ROI still saw an increase in marketing budget. 
No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget.
As you march your way to greater ROI, keep this stat from the State of Inbound report in mind: Inbound marketing efforts achieve higher ROI than outbound marketing regardless of company size or total marketing spend. The champions of inbound marketing track ROI, prove its growth year over year, and in turn get an increase in budget.

In fact, these top-of-the-class marketers are obsessed with ROI. They report checking analytics at least three or more times a week.

By tracking and interpreting these analytics, you can improve your marketing strategies and investments, and your ROI as a result.

Take a look at some more facts from the State of Inbound on tracking ROI:

  • You’re 20% more likely to receive a higher budget in the coming year if ROI was tracked in the previous year (regardless of performance).
  • You’re twice as likely to see an increased budget if that tracked ROI proves to be higher than the previous year.
  • You’re nine times more likely to receive a lower budget if you fail to demonstrate a positive ROI.

This shows just by tracking ROI at all, you’re more likely to increase your budget!

Now you can recognize the importance of tracking marketing ROI. Let’s talk about ways the top marketers are increasing their ROI to prove inbound success and score bigger budgets.

How do these marketing champions make it to the top?

Let's ask a couple questions about these leading marketers:

  • What tools do they use?
  • How do they view Sales and what type of relationship do they have with them?

2. Use Marketing Automation Software (the Right Way)

Research shows that the most successful marketers use marketing automation software to scale successful efforts for lead generation, and center their inbound marketing efforts around their audience and personas.

Contrary to some opinions, marketing automation software won't do the work of marketing for you. But, if implemented correctly, it can show some big results for your efforts. 

Inbound marketing is not an instant gratification game. It takes times, effort, and the right resources to be successful. Marketing automation software wasn't made for a single channel (like email only) and won't be successful if you forget about the actual, live people you're marketing to (all auto-replies).   


3. Develop an SLA with Your Sales Team

The top marketers of today aren’t stand-alone marketers.

The most successful marketers came to be where they are today with a little help from their Sales friends. Strong ties between Marketing and Sales go a long way.

Marketing teams who have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Sales yield higher ROI and higher budget. And this works in favor of Sales too. Sales teams who collaborate with Marketing under a formal agreement are more likely to expand their Sales teams. Additionally, when marketers get involved with Sales in the sales software selection process they are 13% more likely see a positive ROI—and 11% more likely to receive an increased budget.

Set up an SLA, establish goals in the SLA, and track progress against those goals.

If you want to score a bigger budget next year, start tracking ROI this year. If you want to see positive ROI and a bigger budget next year, create an SLA with Sales and educate your marketing team on the sales software.

Sure, you may not have to prove marketing ROI to see an increase in budget, but we bet with the right inbound marketing practices, you will see that ROI on the rise.

What else is new for inbound in 2015? Find out about trends, successes, and how the world’s best marketers and salespeople win in the State of Inbound 2015 Report.

State of Inbound Marketing and sales data



images via State of Inbound 2015