Posted by Bethany Handy ● November 6, 2013

Closed Loop Reporting: Prove Return on Investment in Marketing

When it comes to business, the efforts of the marketing team are just as valuable as the efforts of the sales team.

The sales team works with leads to close a deal, while the marketing team’s job is to help bring in leads that can be converted into sales.

While the efforts of the sales team can be directly seen in whether or not a lead signs a contract, the work a marketing team does can be harder to justify. Fortunately, closed loop marketing is an effective way to prove return on investment in marketing, and determine the best ways to communicate to leads.

What is Closed Loop Marketing?

Closed loop marketing is a methodology that closes the “gap” between marketing and sales. Essentially, it allows the marketing team to track a lead from first visit to the website and lead scoring all the way through closing. To be effective, the sales and marketing staff need to work closely together to bring in leads and nurture them along the way. Closed loop marketing helps that happen.

The information that is gathered from reporting then drives the marketing efforts of the company, using it to seek better leads and more effective lead scoring, tailor information to the target market, and keep the leads moving forward toward becoming customers.

With closed loop marketing, a team can track a lead’s every step through the sales funnel, from initial interest through contract customer. By tracking this information, a marketing team can learn what marketing pieces and styles are more effective to reach the target market, allowing them to tailor their efforts to what is needed. In other words, a marketing team goes from using a fire hose to try and bring in leads (many different formats, styles, and methods) to a garden hose (targeted pieces tailored to the audience).

How does Closed Loop Marketing prove Return on Investment?

Closed loop marketing helps a marketing team prove return on investment because, through the tracking and reporting, the team can provide evidence of the results from their marketing campaigns. For example, a team look at one particular email blast and show how many leads read it, how many clicked through to get more information, and what happened after that. This can then be translated into dollars when the company looks at the money that went into marketing vs. the customers (money) that came back as a result. In addition, the marketing team can show that the more effective lead scoring has brought in stronger leads, increasing the conversion rate.

What is needed for Closed Loop Marketing?

One tool that is needed for effective closed loop marketing is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This system helps automate communications between the company and the customer. Quality CRM systems will be able to be flexible, adapting to the specific needs of your business.

The marketing team should also have some sort of tracking system in place to be able to report on the activity set up through the CRM. This provides the data needed to prove return on investment, and to adjust marketing efforts as needed. Ideally, these two elements work together to provide the tracking and reporting for your business.

Marketing can be difficult to justify in some companies, particularly with the changes to marketing that have come from the push for digital and mobile marketing. However, with the right tools, a marketing team can not only use tracking and reporting to show the results of their efforts, but can use the data to strengthen their marketing efforts and bring in more leads for the sales team.

Have more questions about Closed Loop Marketing?

Speak with one of our marketing experts about how you can better align your teams to increase sales and leads for your organization.

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