According to Harvard Business Review, there are eight ways marketers can prove financial returns of a marketing project:
1. Show business value
You can take a less precise approach to metrics, and instead focus on the value marketing brings to the business. Metrics are an important piece of the puzzle, but the marketing team adds value in many other critical ways. These include enabling growth, improving customer service, attracting a stronger talent pool and advancing the CEO’s agenda.
2. Define business value for different functions
Marketers deal with many different departments across an organization. Each of these departments has different functions. Therefore, their understanding or expectation of value will differ. You can focus on showing how your value affects each specific function with a tailor-made metrics overview that shows how your efforts impact their department. This will help your metrics make sense. You can still address value across all functions if it is better suited to your particular business.
3. Know your KPIs
Understand the KPIs that best demonstrate the impact you have on financial outcomes. Know what metrics are the most important and make sure you know them inside and out. This will take some dollars and cents info such as the costs included in the investment, what you have included in the return on that investment and if you are reporting profit increases or revenue.
4. Communicate the uncertainties of marketing measurements to management
It’s great to have a strong knowledge of marketing metrics to boost your credibility with top management, but also take the time to explain the inherent uncertainties of marketing. The unpredictability of marketing due to a variety of uncontrollable factors can make it challenging to predict specific financial outcomes. Sometimes, two or more marketing activities need to work together to provide the desired outcome, different marketing activities might work over multiple time frames or another aspect of the business may have affected the financial returns.
5. Provide valid information
Executives tend to be numbers obsessed. When you are unable to provide precise numbers, this can be frustrating for them. Your metrics are valid, if not precise. Your best chance at confirming or refuting hypotheses with confidence is using tools at your disposal. These tools can be surveys, focus groups or A/B testing which are trackable, and therefore valid.
6. Prepare and track your budget
Be prepared to defend your budget rigorously. When you can show where the money is going and how it is spent, you can illustrate the logic behind your spending. This can help build credibility and let executives see you are not wasting money.
7. Show your effectiveness and efficiency
Showing that you are making ongoing changes to improve efficiency is another way to improve your credibility. When cost savings are achieved through your changes, you can rationalize your actions. You keep executives satisfied by proving you are minimizing waste while remaining effective.
8. Meet one-on-one
Avoid major senior management team meetings and instead focus on one-on-one meetings. You’ll be able to get your message across without being distracted by other senior managers who can steal your thunder and make you appear unprepared. You can then educate the most important senior players and eventually begin attending the group meetings when you know they understand you.
Leverage the Skills of a Digital Marketing Agency
All of this presenting stuff can be overwhelming. Even if you know what you’re doing, there’s no reason to go it alone. You can work with the digital marketing experts at The Rebel Unicorn to help demonstrate the financial returns of a marketing project.
We can help you prove your worth to the big brass using easy-to-digest data visualization. Let us help you blow them away!
Contact us today.