How to Prove the ROI of Your Tech Stack

6 minute read

Upland Admin

As content operations continues to gain more traction among companies of all shapes and sizes, marketers still strive to understand better how changing teams, tools, and technologies impact their goals.

More specifically, they’re struggling to understand how their various strategies and tactics contribute to revenue. Understanding and proving ROI of marketing efforts has become the focal point for revenue-driven marketers, evaluating data from the content they create to their tech stacks and everything in between.

The Importance of MarTech

When properly implemented and understood, there is no question that marketing technology equips marketing teams to optimize their content operations.

Marketing automation technologies like Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua have enabled marketing teams to understand buyer behavior better. Even more importantly, they have allowed marketers to attribute specific buyer activities to real revenue dollars.

What’s less clear is how to measure which activities should be attributed to the ROI of MarTech.

Even though ROI is one of the most important things to pay attention to as a marketer, it’s also one of the greatest challenges.

According to Kapost’s B2B Content Strategy & Operations Benchmark, 54% of marketers ranked “proving the ROI of content marketing” as one of the greatest barriers to success. And 43% of marketing organizations surveyed said they don’t have a system in place to account for marketing’s ROI, with almost 25% of marketers not using any metrics to assess ROI.

With such little consensus on how marketing organizations should best measure the ROI of their overall marketing efforts, one can imagine how difficult it might be to prove to the ROI of the technology that’s helping them accomplish these tasks.

What are Marketers Saying?

Kapost’s benchmark survey found that the only metric marketers ranked as “most important” in determining technology ROI was increased funnel conversions. And this was from less than 20% of those surveyed.

Let me repeat that—less than a quarter of marketers agree on a way to determine ROI of MarTech. Yikes! Think about the amount of marketing budget going towards technology that’s not being evaluated by performance.

That’s not to say increased funnel conversions are a bad way to evaluate your tech, just that we wish the number of marketers using it were higher.

So, how do marketers take responsibility for revenue attributed to MarTech? We’ve already mentioned tracking funnel conversions, but here are some other data points to consider.

Improved Funnel Velocity

The rate at which marketers are able to convert leads into opportunities—and opportunities into actual customers—is a great way to measure how effective your marketing technology is. This is important because it can help identify which processes are helping move prospects down the funnel toward a sale; the quicker a technology can help achieve a sale, the more revenue a company can expect to see from those processes.

For example, a marketing team that adopts a solution that works to better align teams, tools, and channels would ideally find that it’s able to move prospects closer to a sale at a much faster rate than before implementing that solution. But if your organization isn’t tracking that metric, how would you know?

Productivity Gains during Content Creation

Marketing technology that enables productivity gains within a content operation is a good metric to pay attention to when determining the ROI of technology. These productivity gains could result in a number of  outcomes as a marketing team implements a technology.

Some examples include a technology’s ability to enable marketing teams to produce more content in less time, more content with fewer creators, or less content of higher quality. By optimizing inefficient processes that exist today, a marketing team may find that it spends a lot less time in spreadsheets, searching for content, and creating ad hoc content, which can be more strategically spent creating quality content at a faster rate.

All of these productivity gains equate to more revenue in an organization’s pocket.

Productivity Gains for Content Consumers

The gains from those who access content internally, such as sales teams, can be great in terms of the time they spend searching for content. Adopting a marketing solution that relies on a common tagging foundation is a very efficient way to keep track of the different assets and campaigns an organization uses; not to mention the amount of time it will save teams when searching for a certain asset.

This is important because the less time sales teams can spend searching for content, the more time they can spend selling product and driving revenue. When it comes to sales, you know what they say: “time is money.”

Tagging can also help internal stakeholders identify which pieces of content to target certain customers with depending on who they are and where they’re at in their buyer’s journey. This can help increase funnel velocity as well.

Productivity Gains during Content Planning and Communication Status

When it comes to building a content operation, some of the more time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks often revolve around the lack of planning and communication between teams, tools, and channels. The top three areas where marketers are the least efficient is meeting task deadlines, redundant creation, and coordinating the people contributing to content.

Finding a marketing tool that can automate workflows, break down silos, and better align teams is crucial when it comes to maximizing the efficiency of a marketing organization. Being able to clearly communicate the steps involved in creating a campaign or individual asset in real-time will help marketing leaders track progress and will hold creators accountable.

Similarly, combining these capabilities with a taxonomy for your content will allow creatives to identify gaps in personas and buyer’s stages. Being able to visualize these sorts of bottlenecks and resolve them as they happen, will directly contribute to improved conversions and better processes.

Cost Savings from Reduced Creative Agency Spend

B2B marketing organizations that rely on agencies often find that there is no clear way to track the number of hours an agency truly spent working on a piece of content, and therefore, have no way to truly know how much money they should be spending there.

Investing in a technology that holds creators accountable for their exact role in the creation of content is crucial in being able to reduce the amount of money spent on agencies.

Being able to templatize workflows of certain assets and campaigns ensures that people are following the proper steps to create quality content in the most timely manner possible.

The Kapost Takeaway

These data points and the means of achieving them scratch the surface on what Kapost strives to do for marketing teams and B2B organizations as a whole. While there isn’t a golden rule when it comes to proving the ROI of marketing, let alone your tech stack, these are some helpful things to pay attention to when adopting a new technology.

Being able to prove the value of marketing efforts is extremely important when it comes to strategizing, planning, and budgeting for future initiatives, and marketing technology—when used in the right way—can be the means to achieve that.

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