Home > Marketing > Marketing ROI: You Can’t Buy a Beer with an MQL [UML]

Marketing ROI: You Can’t Buy a Beer with an MQL [UML]


“What’s the ROI of putting your pants on every day?” asked Scott Monty in a modestly famous quip. “It’s hard to measure but there’s negative consequences for not doing it.”

The point this comment gets after — I believe — is that some businesses hold some aspects of marketing – PR, social media and content marketing – to a higher standard. It’s not the right standard either.

As Einstein allegedly said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Certainly, the digital fingerprints of the web provided better mechanisms to measure indicators in these areas.  Marketing automation can take it even further.  A CMO I knew a few gigs back quantified the value of our (then) corporate blogging efforts this way: people who engaged our content on the blog were 50% more likely to make a purchase.

But as anyone that’s ever watched an organization struggle to implement marketing automation tools knows, it’s really hard — and even harder to get to that level of marketing maturity. This is because the digital skillset in large corporate businesses is abysmal.

And even when you get past all that, one big challenge remains for the PR folks:  What’s the value of a placement in the Wall Street Journal?

It’s pretty valuable – any enterprise salesperson will tell you that – but it’s not for sale. You can’t buy it. You have to earn it. That is the ONLY way.

There are, it seems, two ideological camps: “can’t measure” and “measure everything.” These two camps don’t like to talk to each other.  Part of the job in PR is peacemaker and the reality is, the answer to ROI, probably rests somewhere in the middle.

There are aspects of marketing you will be able to measure definitively and optimize. There are other aspects you can’t, but that doesn’t necessarily make them less important.  However, if you listen closely, if you develop systems and process for capturing indicators and anecdotes, the evidence mounts.

Even CFOs can approximate the value of quality visibility.

And so ROI is the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links.  As in every week I’ve curated interesting articles or blog posts and while I call out a few salient points, the full article (or recording) is well worth your while.


1) Digital and ROI are Killing the CMO

Survey research suggests digital talent is the top skill CMOs are seeking on their teams.  And if this AdAge piece – Why Are CMOs Dropping Like Flies? – is any indication digital along with ROI are the leading causes of a short tenure as CMO.

Guest author Adam Kleinberg of digital content firm Traction, takes is a step further and sums up eight distinct factors leading to a CMO-let-go as:

“Digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, digital, and CEOs making scapegoats out of CMOs to buy more time to deal with digital.”

 Immediately afterward he weaves in ROI:

“The business world today places intense demand for a quantifiable ROI on every dollar of marketing expenditure — and an overly optimistic expectation that digital will be able to deliver it.”

So what happens next?  The business hires a new CMO who, makes a case for how his or her predecessor was completely jacked up, and then proceeds with the following:

  • fires an agency and hires one from a previous gig
  • launches a rebranding program or advertising blitz to show short term results
  • conducts a reorganization and puts a revolving door on experience

It’s a page from the CMO playbook!

Also see these related posts:
Proof of B2B Marketing Value Does Not Start with the Competition
Marketing: Investment, Cost or Profit Center?
In Content Marketing, Marketers Might be Losing Their Way

2) You Can’t Buy a Beer with an MQL

“You Can’t Buy a Beer with an MQL,” according to Matt Heinz in a Marketing Smarts podcast. The CEO of Heinz Marketing is out with new book called “Full Funnel Marketing” and in the podcast he shares some strong sentiment around the math for sales and marketing alignment.

It’s the antidote to this anecdote in a podcast summary on Marketing Profs:

“Executives tend not to geek out over things like retweets and Instagram likes. Even total reach, site traffic, click-through rates, and leads are losing their luster, it seems. Luckily, we can do better: Measuring marketing’s impact on the business as a whole is getting easier.”

His answer rests in marketing embracing revenue responsibility. In the podcast, he dispels the marketing objection of “control.”

PS:  Leads haven’t lost their luster unless they are MQLs that sales can’t close. I’ll bet your CMO a beer on it!

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3) Measurement Month in Communications

It’s measurement month for PR pros, according to a contributed piece in O’Dwyer’s PRROI in Today’s Communications Landscape – by Nicole Moreno.

She writes about micro-moments and that it means it’s no longer feasible to reproduce “the same media measurement reports that you have always done and expect to show value that resonates with management.”

She later adds:

“It’s going to take time to make people realize that a simple pie chart showing share of voice in percentages isn’t enough.”

Her piece notes that while Measurement Month is a global initiative, the “North American chapter is focusing on events the week of September 19.”  You can follow events through the Twitter handle @AmecOrg and hashtag #AmecMM.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
B2B Solved the Biggest Content Marketing Challenge Yesterday  

Photo credit:  Instagram.com/frankstrong

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