Huffpost Business
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Joseph Parker Headshot

Conquer 4 Problem Areas to Prove Marketing ROI

Posted: Updated:

You're pleased with your marketing program. Your campaigns achieved short-term goals and the marketing department made important headway toward overarching strategic targets. Yet, when it comes time to prove ROI and show corporate leaders and other teams how and why your marketing efforts were a success, you might find that you come up short. Surprisingly, you're not alone.

According to a 2013 survey by Teradata, a staggering 75 percent of marketers who try to calculate their ROI run into a problem. This is a serious problem for securing corporate resources in today's business world. It's crucial that marketers are able to demonstrate progress and overall success with credible data. Why are so many marketers unable to deliver this proof of success?

Based findings in Teradata's eBook, "Got ROI? Prove It!," most marketers are unable to prove their ROI because of failures in one or more of the following four key areas.

Data visibility and management
If you find yourself unable to accurately prove ROI with the data you have available, it might be time to take a closer look at your data management tools and techniques. Accurately measuring ROI requires that you have accurate data available as well as organized, visible and ready to go. In other words, having all of your marketing data in a consolidated, integrated location--so you can analyze and access performance metrics--makes finding ROI much easier.

One option for managing data is to use marketing software that integrates data from various campaigns into a consolidated view. Another option, and one that many chief marketing officers are embracing, is to hire new talent. As marketing grows beyond creativity and artistry and more into the sphere of data, nearly 60 percent of marketing executives are recruiting new marketers who posses sharp data, technical and analytics skills.

Department alignment
Developing the most compelling ROI statements often integrates the information, needs and goals of other departments in your organization - especially your IT department. Yet accessing cross-functional information can be tough unless you're already closely partnered and synced.

With the amount of data and information management involved in successful marketing, being closely aligned with your IT department - and having data savvy people on your team - can make all the difference. Go beyond IT to make sure all of your teams and departments - including sales and lead generation - are on the same page, with a common goal in mind. To get started, look at how all departments affect the customer to realize the value that internal teams bring to the table when it comes to technology and data.

Silos and fragmented marketing channels.
If your marketing team is fragmented across the organization and not operating on the same Proverbial page, then it should come as no surprise that you're having trouble proving ROI. Add in the number and complexity of marketing channels now available, and it becomes even more difficult to ensure that different departments and marketing channels are working together--instead of against each other.

Eliminating silos is crucial to your success as a marketer. After achieving the sometimes-significant task of breaking down internal silos, make it your mission to integrate marketing and customer-behavior data from across your organization and online channels to get an accurate picture of your marketing performance.

Expectation management.
In the digital age, an increased availability of data and online communication channels make it seem like proving ROI would be a snap. But when expectations about reporting campaign performance are set too high, you may inadvertently set yourself up for disappointment.

Keep in mind that when your marketing organization rolls out new channels for online marketing and data management, expectations will automatically heighten. To manage expectations, explain to your internal stakeholders what the new digital channels are designed to do and what the organization can expect to see as a result. Setting realistic expectations early on can help you meet goals grounded in the real world.

By examining these four problem areas, you may have a better idea of why you're having trouble proving your marketing ROI and find out what you can do to resolve each problem. Use this success toolkit to tighten up your marketing operations even further and continue to prove - and even improve - your ROI year after year.