The Truth About B2B Marketing ROI


This book is designed to bridge the gaps between marketing and other departments in order to make marketing measurable, strategic and successful. Includes a discussion of ROI, measuring brand and other metrics.

According to CFO magazine, fewer than 20 percent of finance executives report full cooperation with marketing in developing metrics to gauge the effectiveness of the company’s  marketing efforts (McCafferty, 2007). This disconnect between marketers and finance also exists between the marketing department and members of the executive team, known as the C-suite.

This problem is not limited to B2C (business to consumer) companies. Like their B2C counterparts, B2B (business to business) companies—businesses whose customers are other businesses—struggle with this problem. I have worked with marketers at hundreds of B2B companies, from Fortune 500s to mom-and-pop shops, and most would have served their organizations bet- ter if they’d had some support for measurement from top executives. While many executives encourage  or even demand that marketers demonstrate a return on investment (ROI), they don’t often provide the necessary support to accomplish this.

Companies that are willing to apply the discipline of measurement have untapped potential for profitable growth. That potential is in the marketing department, specifically in marketing communication. When the marketing function is expected to operate as a profitable business, its efficiency will increase and its profitability will improve. That’s a good thing, but marketers can go further by making tangible contributions to the bottom line, such as continually improving their return on marketing investments and measuring their contribution to brand equity in the long term. That’s a pretty tall order for most B2B marketers, or for anyone really, without some support.

Making measurement systemic to marketing involves significant change for most B2B companies—a change that requires input from finance, sales, IT and HR. But marketers are often isolated from other departments. CEOs have the power to repair that disconnect. But B2B CEOs have typically come up through operations, legal or accounting departments—seldom through marketing. They sometimes fail to  fully grasp how marketing—applied strategically as an integral part of the business plan—can impact their company. Furthermore, marketers have not historically been well versed in the discipline of measurement, especially if their focus is on communication. This book is designed to bridge that gap.