Without much ado the answer is “minimally”. Digital marketing, by itself, does not drive new revenue. Improvements are in process execution and awareness.
Digital marketing makes sense in broad-reaching marketing campaigns, such as newsletters, that touch a large volume of prospective customers, not measurable in ROI terms. Yet today’s business-to-business marketers have thoroughly embraced digital marketing, even if over two-thirds do not know how to quantify the revenue it brings to the overall marketing-sales cycle.
There is a plethora of advice about how to maximize the benefits of digital marketing in terms of “opens”, “click throughs”, inquiries, etc. However, attempts to measure digital marketing ROI contribution has yielded minimal results in terms of its impact on the “holy grail” of sales and marketing, new revenue. While digital marketing in terms of speed and cost is a great improvement over past direct mail campaigns, contribution rates hover around 0.5% for non-customer base accounts.
There are several contributing factors that inhibit tracking ROI.
Prospects are experiencing email “weariness”. They are literally
bombarded on a daily basis with various webinars and offers using “click
Once a contact downloads a marketing asset the information goes to
inside or outside sales or agency, quota driven resources. These
“qualifying” teams are generally composed of lower skilled staffers who
are not trained to inform “live” contacts adequately to position their
company’s benefits relevant to the specific account and vertical. The
qualifying team generally tracks respondents but don’t view their
accounts holistically. If a contact is not responsive quickly, the team
moves on to the next contact.
The back end of the sales process rarely includes adequate tracking back
to the source digital campaigns.
There is hope as progressive companies turn to Account Based Marketing to drive new revenue gains, but which require higher skilled personnel and better discipline. Until organizations examine and re-align their business marketing strategy holistically and produce transformation, the problem of measuring ROI of digital marketing to business will remain.
Transformation comes from the top Chief Marketing Officer who has a strategic account-based outlook to their markets, of which digital marketing is just a single component.