How Top Marketing Agencies Prove ROI to B2B Clients Jessica Lunk Showing your clients the return on investment of your service offering is the single most important thing the best marketing agencies do to thrive. Turning your client’s investment into revenue isn’t a magic trick – it’s part art, and part science. But, like a magic show, presentation is everything. Telling a clear story of how your agency is generating success is a simple way to increase investment from your current B2B clients while also attracting new business. If you’re running a marketing agency, calculating ROI may not seem like the most glamorous task, but it’s vital for keeping your business going long term. It doesn’t have to be a difficult, dreaded chore. Check out these tips for measuring and reporting on your B2B client’s investment in your firm. How to Calculate Marketing ROI Let’s get back to the basics for a second and dust off the old business textbook. A simple calculation for marketing ROI is: Gross Profit – Marketing Investment ——————————————- Marketing Investment This generic calculation makes the most sense for clients selling B2C products, like widgets or t-shirts, that are typically one-time transactions. However, if you mainly work with B2B clients you may want to swap out Gross Profit for customer lifetime value. For instance, if your client is a cleaning business that charges a monthly fee, and their average customer stays on for three years, the value of the customer is much greater that their first payment. Setting the Stage for Your Clients The ROI calculation is simple, but marketing campaigns are extremely nuanced and not every activity can be directly attributable to a specific outcome. Brand awareness, for instance, is crucial to filling the funnel with leads. But it can be tough to tie an impression from social media to a sale. That being said, it’s important for your client to understand that an investment in your firm probably isn’t going to pay off the biggest dividends during the first month of your retainer. The programs you build for your client today will lead to more sales this month, next month and next year. The best marketing agencies set the stage for their clients with clear goals for each activity. Then they consistently measure and report on ROI every month, demonstrating increasing value over time. Metrics by Channel Content Marketing & SEO Adding top of the funnel content to your client’s website may not directly impact sales in month one. But over time, it’s going to generate organic traffic and brand awareness for your client. So how do you show that you’re being effective? Measuring an increase in traffic is an important part of the equation. Using data from Google Analytics is a simple (and free) way to show how your SEO and content efforts have gotten more people to your client’s website. At the same time, traffic does not always tell a complete story. So dive a little deeper into activity on your website to see if traffic is converting or not. If traffic is increasing, but your conversion rate is dropping, you’re not attracting the right people, and need to adjust your content strategy. Setting up conversion goals in GA is one way to measure conversions and conversion rate. If you need help, this is a great article on how to create goals in Google Analytics. You can also check in with your marketing automation platform. In Hatchbuck, you can track form submissions and opportunities generated each month to measure the overall effectiveness of your content strategy. With data around your SEO and content marketing efforts, your client can gain confidence that your services are of value and moving their business in the right direction month after month. Paid Ads In addition to improving organic search results through content marketing and SEO, your agency may be charged with generating leads through paid advertising channels. Whether you’re using Bing Ads, Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or a niche advertising program, these platforms typically report well on detailed metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversions by each campaign. While these metrics are crucial for helping you improve ad campaign performance, your client cares less about the minutia and more about how your efforts are driving sales. Reporting on the source of each opportunity can easily show your client which channels are driving leads into their sales pipeline. You can also demonstrate how a mix of these strategies can give an overall lift to the number of opportunities your generating every month. Pro Tip When you create a lead in Hatchbuck from a paid advertising channel, you can automate a follow-up process to ensure that the leads your client has invested in have every chance of converting into a customer. Not only does this help increase ROI for your client, but is an added service you can build into your monthly retainer. Email Marketing For B2C businesses selling to individual consumers, it can be fairly simple to tie email activity to sales…send and email with an offer, get sales from the website, right? However for B2B businesses, the sales process is longer and includes a multitude of touch points through several channels. Typically, there are several email touches before a sale is made. When it’s not practical to tie an email send directly to a sale, reporting on metrics like open rate and click-through rate shows how responsive your client’s audience was to your message, getting them one step closer to a sale. From Hatchbuck’s marketing dashboard, you can quickly see engagement metrics: And pinpoint the email templates that have the most engagement: Campaigns A marketing campaign for your client can include several tactics. For instance, you may have an ad on LinkedIn that is tied to a form. After filling out that form, the lead may receive a series of calls and emails until they are determined to be uninterested, or they convert. By showing how many opportunities your campaigns generate you can continually test to improve your messaging and cadence. In Hatchbuck, you can also see how many deals (or opportunities) that are generated from your campaigns. It’s a simple way to show revenue potential being generated to your clients. New & Redesigned Websites For creative web design agencies, demonstrating ROI might seem almost futile. Afterall, how can you prove ROI months after you’ve launched or redesigned a website? The key is retaining your client long after your one-time project is complete. Not only does your website look amazing, but hopefully you’ve turned it into a lead generation machine for your client. But what happens to website leads once they take action on your client’s website? Many agencies are turning project-based webdesign services into an ongoing retainer with their clients by incorporating email marketing into their service offering. With a marketing automation platform, like Hatchbuck, you can capture leads from your client’s website, and then nurture them on the appropriate email campaign. This greatly boosts the chances that these leads will convert. By adding marketing automation to your client’s website strategy, you’ll also have the tools to report on the leads generated from the website you built. So, each month, you can show how many leads were acquired, how well your email nurturing performed, and how many leads converted to customers for your clients. It’s an extra service offering, but by incorporating email marketing and marketing automation into your web design services, you can turn a web design project into a long-term contract with your client.