As a CEO, you have a specific way of looking at your company’s success. You see the big picture: where you are, where you’re going, and how you need to get there. That view hinges on the ability to look at each facet of your business and see the value it brings to your company’s bottom line. A data-centric inbound marketing strategy can give you the data you’ve been looking for from your marketing investments.
Measuring return on investment for each business category shouldn’t be difficult. But when it comes to your marketing budget, historically, it’s been riddled with complexity. You haven’t been able to see a straight line from the money you spend, to the leads you bring in, to the sales you’ve made. The ability to tie marketing investments to your bottom line is why a data-centric inbound strategy - and its proper execution - is paramount to your marketing data’s success.
Data-centric inbound strategies focus on proving ROI
Proving ROI is the most important goal of a data-centric inbound strategy. To accomplish this goal, each recommendation made in the strategy will be tied back to one of four metrics:
- Website traffic
- Website conversion rate
- Lead quality rate
- Close ratio
If marketing dollars are going toward events, advertising, materials, or production that can’t draw a direct line to one of these markers, then you’re spending money - not investing it. When you’re choosing an inbound strategy, the return is the difference between spending and investing.
The strategy lays out a marketing plan to attract qualified leads.
A data-centric inbound marketing strategy is focused first and foremost on return on investment. To get returns, your website and entire marketing plan must focus on qualified leads. Here’s the why:
Leads are useless if they’re not qualified. It’s that simple. Unqualified leads will never convert to opportunities, and will never convert to sales. Return is only dependent on closed sales. Therefore, unqualified leads are a waste of your time and effort.
Ensure your leads are more qualified by following an inbound marketing strategy focused on attracting and converting those ideal customers - your buyer personas. When your website, marketing, and sales teams are all on the same page, your returns go up.
Data enables your sales team to close more leads.
There are a number of important data available when it comes to an inbound strategy paired with a marketing automation system (such as HubSpot) and a client management system (like Salesforce). Some of the most important data identified by our own salespeople and clients when utilizing these tools include:
- Form fills: When a new qualified prospect fills out a form, your sales team gets a notification to their phone, email, watch, or wherever they find most useful.
- Lead score: Each page visited, form filled, email opened, and CTA clicked on your site by a prospect adds to their lead score. In addition, you can assign points (positive or negative) to attributes of the lead - geography, budget, decision-making power, etc. This is powerful information in the hands of a salesperson.
- Pages visited: A look into the pages your prospect has visited is the difference between assuming what problem they’re facing, and knowing the solution you can provide. This saves time when sales contacts the lead; you can immediately address the reason they were researching your company.
- Emails opened/clicked: Cold emails are just as frustrating as cold calls. With access to a marketing automation system, your salesperson can email a warm lead, see when they opened the email, and have access to the data showing what links they clicked inside.
These metrics are typically available via app, email, or by logging into the CRM. Within five minutes, your salesperson gets a notification of a new form fill or a prospect on your site and is able to see what they’ve looked at on your website, what problems they’re most likely experiencing based on the pages they’ve visited, and can call them to follow up and address potential solutions that your business offers. If lack of insight into prospects is a challenge with your sales team, imagine the success they could see with access to this data.
Reporting from a data-centric inbound strategy shows what’s working - and what’s not.
So, how can you tell when your strategy is working?
That seems easy: the strategy works when it meets your goals. A data-centric inbound marketing strategy with the goals of increasing website visits, improving conversion rate, improving qualified lead numbers for your sales team to close, and ultimately, positively impacting your bottom line is working when you can prove that it’s doing these things.
Showing the returns from each marketing tactic you use when implementing the inbound strategy is paramount to its success. Without the ability to show closed-loop reporting, you’re back to square one with guessing at your marketing and hoping that it’s working.