How Marketing Automation Can Help Track Return on Investment - dummies

How Marketing Automation Can Help Track Return on Investment

By Mathew Sweezey

A savvy marketer wants to make sure the boss knows the value of his work. Marketing automation has introduced great new tracking tools to track the value of individual marketing efforts.

How to make sense of social marketing’s impact to your bottom line

The largest barrier that companies face before investing in social marketing is their ability to prove its value. Marketing automation can easily solve this problem as well by looking at social media as a publishing platform for your content.

Through marketing automation, you can track each person’s engagement with your social posts and combine the engagement activity such as lead scoring, with other data in your marketing automation system.


You can track any social channel, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or other channels in the same way. You can also connect each interaction on social media to a lead record that can then show the return on investment (ROI) of social media and prove its value to your organization.

How to prove marketing’s contribution to revenue

Before marketing automation, most marketers were looked at as an expense, not as a source of revenue. The problem was mainly attributed to the fact that the only reports available for marketing were subjective. When each tool operates in its own world, it is very hard to share data, and to connect marketing activities to closed revenue, because no clear paper trail exists.

Just consider any report that you have to create whose data comes from two different places. With email and closed revenue, for example, many email tools can show you how many opens you had, but very rarely can you tie those opens directly to revenue because no connection exists between the two data sets.

Any marketing automation tool can now combine these two data sets into one standard report because you’re using a single tool that shares all the same data.

When looking to find money for your marketing automation solution, you can easily cut back on a single campaign and reinvest this money in a marketing automation solution. The visibility of the reporting alone will help you better invest the remaining monies in the most effective campaigns.

There are plenty of companies that cut back their paid search by a small margin to reinvest this money in marketing automation. As a result, they were able to drive significantly more leads with less but more effective spending.

Marketing automation systems can produce quantifiable reports showing the revenue generated from each campaign so that a marketer can prove value to the organization.


The ability for a marketing automation tool to connect to a CRM is also a key component to allow for ROI tracking. ROI tracking can become an automated report that does not require a marketer to move, manipulate, or tabulate data. Removing the frustration of reporting is a smaller value of marketing automation.

The larger value is being able to create reports that you simply could not create before. An excellent example of a report that was not previously available but is now a standard report for just about any marketing automation tool is seeing the actual revenue generated from an email campaign.

After a CRM is connected to your marketing automation solution, it becomes very easy to see which side of the house is driving more revenue. This also takes marketing from being a cost center to a revenue center.