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The Top 7 Ways to Prove Digital Marketing ROI

ROI; everyone wants it. Few people know how to find it. It’s become a buzzword, but ROI is so much more; it’s a vital success metric for clients and agencies, a useful way of measuring marketing campaigns and often the difference between an agency retaining clients or losing them.

Marketing ROI is equally important — and pressure-packed — for CMOs; 53 percent of CMOs say their higher-ups are primarily concerned with increasing revenue.  If you've got a CMO client, you can be sure they're monitoring this metric.

One reason we created WhatConverts is to help marketers show their full value to clients or their own company, proving ROI and ensuring client satisfaction. Below, we outline seven ways that marketers and agencies can prove ROI, and how WhatConverts and other marketing technology fits into the ROI equation.

1 Shift the conversation away from marketing metrics

As an experienced marketer, you can easily see the value in marketing metrics like awareness and impressions. Clients and salespeople live in a different world though — one devoid of metrics like CTR and CPM. They may struggle to see the connection between marketing metrics and actual sales. The simplest way to prove digital marketing ROI is to connect your marketing to actual leads. If others can’t see how many leads they’ve gained from your marketing, they may not see the value in your efforts.

ROI Agency Total Leads
2 Take credit for every possible lead.

You probably leap at the chance to take credit for leads that come from your marketing efforts, but it's impossible to take credit for leads you can’t track.

Most marketers can only track surface level information about leads that come from form fills. They know that leads are coming in, but have no insight into whether or not the leads are qualified. In order to take credit for the leads that come from your marketing, you have to be able to explain whether or not those leads are worthwhile.

For local companies, many of the most qualified leads come via phone call. Consumers who call companies tend to convert 30 percent faster than people who contact companies through other methods.

Capturing the full data associated with every phone call and online conversion can help you ensure you capture every lead and every bit of information about those leads. Plus, adding call tracking software will instantly boost the number of leads shown in every report. Clients and CEOs like to see that.


3 Prove that your leads are quotable and qualified

Some of the people in your company might be satisfied with raw conversion numbers and feel no need to dig into conversions to see which ones actually resulted in qualified leads. Others might act more like interrogators; second-guessing conversions and requesting lead capture details to back up the raw conversion totals.

If you’re all too familiar with being interrogated about your leads, consider exploring a lead-tracking tool with lead qualification. This type of tool allows you to generate reports that feature lead details, including lead value in some cases. According to SalesForce research, 32 percent of B2B marketers say “lead quality” is one of their biggest challenges. Solving this conundrum is a great way to prove ROI on your marketing.


4 Report on quality of leads, not just quantity

The ability to qualify leads — through simple feedback — allows you to bolster conversion reports with concrete lead details. When a client or CEO asks about ROI, you’ll be able to show them the lead quality, lead detail, and lead value numbers right there in the report. Once you can calculate the value of a single lead, you can explain how many potential sales you’re driving and prove your marketing effectiveness.


5 Use landing page reports to prove the value of content

In WhatConverts, you can filter your data by source, and by landing page.

Let’s say you want to focus on a landing page that you recently developed. Maybe it’s a page about a new product, or maybe you’re A/B testing different landing pages with Unbounce conversion tracking.

With WhatConverts, you can generate a report that shows how many leads discovered your client as a result of that landing page.

You can then filter that report to show how many phone calls (or chats, or form fills) came from that landing page, see the contact info and even play the call recording for each of those leads.

Landing page reports can help you do a number of things, including:

  • Prove the value of a content strategy
  • Identify the pieces of content that generate the most leads.
  • Optimize organic search efforts based on which landing pages drive the most conversions

The last one, organic search, is an especially murky area for many marketers, and clients tend to value marketing agencies that can help solve the organic search equation.

The best thing about these kinds of detailed reports? They feature plenty of sales-focused metrics, like leads and conversions, that most people can easily connect to ROI.


6 Integrate your technology with your clients’ technology

Proving ROI is no easy task, but we should all be grateful that we get to prove ROI in 2019, as opposed to 1999. Technology has made it possible to actually show the financial impact your marketing has on a business' success. Depending on the level of sophistication in your lead tracking, management and reporting system, you may be able to calculate client ROI down to the cent. It all comes down to how your systems are integrated — and whether or not your technology is used to its full potential.

More than half of marketers believe CRM reporting tools and marketing analytics tools are the two technologies most critical to their marketing efforts. That’s why we recommend that marketers integrate marketing analytics technology (like WhatConverts) with  CRMs whenever possible. Most CRMs won’t include details about where leads come from or what marketing led to each conversion. By integrating the two systems, however, you can show how your leads translate into potential sales.

Smarter marketing reporting requires integrated technology, from the website to the marketing tools to client reporting and communication.


7 Learn how to look good in their board meetings

Here's a stat every marketer should know; 46 percent of CMOs indicate that their number one concern is driving efficiency in marketing.  CMOs can increase efficiency by finding a marketing solution that delivers quotable leads time and time again.

Marketing agencies have to answer to CMOs, who have to answer to a board of directors, who are primarily concerned with revenue and ROI. This dynamic creates a situation in which marketers must consistently prove digital marketing ROI in every report. If you can prove your ROI and prove that you're driving valuable leads, you can quickly become your client or CEO's best friend.

Proving ROI is all about drawing clear connections between your marketing efforts and the business' sales efforts. The more you can do that, the more you’ll be able to rely on long-term marketing relationships and sustained revenue streams.

WhatConverts was built to help marketers prove ROI. Click here to see how we do it

Mac Mischke
Mac Mischke

Mac Mischke is a Writer and Content Marketer at WhatConverts. Connect with him via email at

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