You need evidence of how your marketing budget is providing ROI, and one way to do that is by profiling your IT leads. So how do you do it exactly?
1. Define ROI
The definition of ‘return on investment’ will vary from business to business, so first up it’s vital to agree on what ROI means for your IT firm. Do you want an increase in first-time customers? Are you aiming for repeat sales? Or is heightened brand awareness your goal?
2. Determine where your leads originate
If lead generation is your aim, then you’ll need a cross-platform way of capturing data. Whether your leads are coming from email marketing, social media or organic SEO, it’s vital to know where the leads are coming from, so you can focus your efforts on the most successful channels or tweak your approach to under-performing platforms.
3. Profile your leads in real-time
Set up an easy way of capturing and reporting on data in real-time, so you can monitor ROI as your marketing campaigns progress. By monitoring from go-live of your latest marketing efforts, you can better understand how your efforts are performing and why.
4. Use ‘lead scoring’
Lead scoring gives marketers a way of ranking their leads, using profiling. By analysing the profile of your IT leads - including key factors such as what their industry and budget are - you’ll have a better idea of lead quality. If your leads don’t fit the profile of your target audience or ‘ideal buyer’, you’ll need to tweak your marketing tactics. Lead scoring also takes behaviour into account, such as whether they download ebooks, spend time reading your blog posts or open your email newsletters. The higher the ‘lead score’, the more chance your marketing efforts will result in sales.
5. Set up a team to hone your IT lead profile
If you’re in charge of marketing, don’t assume you know what an ideal lead looks like. Assemble a team, and create shared ownership of your lead profile, taking into account:
The professional role of your lead (are you targeting CEOs, CTOs or IT managers, for example?)
The size of your ideal company or customer (such as SME, PLC or public organisation)
Which part of the lead cycle should your marketing campaign target?
Armed with accurate information, collated in collaboration with other teams, you’ll have a good idea of who you should be targeting.
6. Choose a way of measuring conversions
If you’re focusing on lead generation, you can either measure ROI by ‘cost per lead’ or ‘cost per acquisition’. Once you know your marketing expenditure - including staff time costs - you can calculate how much you actually spent on each lead by dividing your first figure by the number of leads acquired by a particular campaign. If you’re more focused on actual sales, you can do the same calculation using up-to-date sales figures, as long as they can be traced back to a specific marketing activity.
7. Determine which leads are worth nurturing
Once you’ve gathered a large and meaningful bulk of data, you’ll start to understand which leads hold the most potential and are worth nurturing. Do social media conversations convert, if you take the time to interact? Or is your time better spent circulating your blog posts and articles via email? To ensure you get maximum marketing ROI, your marketing efforts and ideal lead persona should be working together.
For more on this, be sure to check out our definitive 6-Step IT Marketing Strategy.