Prioritizing ROI within your marketing mix

We spoke with Grant Johnson, CMO of Billtrust, about prioritizing ROI within your marketing channels on this week's episode of Demand Gen Visionaries.

Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
April 4, 2023
min read
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As B2B marketers, our goals are to generate leads, drive revenue, and maximize return on investment. That’s easily said, but putting it into practice can prove to be difficult. How do we focus on the right play, at the right time, with the right budget? 

We spoke with Grant Johnson, CMO of Billtrust, on our podcast Demand Gen Visionaries to get his thoughts on how we can better prioritize ROI within our marketing mix.  

Narrowing your scope for a more predictable impact

With so many tactical options, it doesn’t take much for us as marketers to spread our attention too thin–it’s hard to know where to focus when. Ian and Grant quoted one of our recurring guests on the show, Chandar Pattabhiram, and his theory that you can only do three plays well at once, and that’s it. After that, you’re losing focus and losing your edge. 

Grant agrees, which is why he’s set out to approach things with a more narrow scope. The goal is to be more prescriptive and predictable with marketing investments, aiming for a better return and outcome. By focusing on doing three plays well instead of ten plays just okay, B2B marketers can optimize their efforts and generate more significant results.

“I did a blog on 2023 being the year of Predictable Marketing, and that's part of my vision of where we can get to if we just leverage the tools, we have the right discipline and focus and execution,” says Grant. 

Check out Grant’s blog post, Predictable Marketing in 2023, here ➡️

The key to knowing when to commit to a marketing channel

The three channels or tactics for marketing success are PPC, webinars, and events. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website and generate leads, it’s proven to work and every marketing team uses some form of PPC advertising. Webinars are a great way to educate prospects and engage with them on a deeper level, whether it’s a top-of-funnel thought leadership event or a mid-funnel tactical workshop, webinars provide valuable content for your buyers. 

Grant finds that events work well because they focus on specific verticals and can make a big impact on potential buyers by having an intriguing booth presence. 

The key to knowing which channels to commit to? Giving it time to gather the data you need to make an informed decision. If you aren’t sure whether a channel is working for you, here are a few considerations to help you determine if you’re working within the right marketing mix: 

1. Customer preference

Where do your specific customers go to look for content? Not everyone is marketing to the same audience, sometimes the channel du jour isn’t right for your market segment. Find what’s most effective and don’t worry about other channels, even if everyone else seems to be sprinting toward them. 

2. Ease of use

Are the channels you’re prioritizing easy for your customers to use. Your website is an essential tool for your business–is it optimized for and personalized for your buyers? Does it offer them everything they need to engage with your sales team? What friction do you still need to remove?

3. Time

One of the most important factors–what’s the flash-to-bang ratio between when you generate a lead and close the deal? Long selling cycles can be tough for marketers to nail down attribution and know that something is working. 

4. Automation

Where in your marketing operations can you benefit from automation? AI tools can take repetitive tasks that suck up your time and automate their execution, freeing up your time for more creative pursuits. 

With these considerations in mind, Grant summed it up, “You have to commit. You can't declare [a tool or strategy] unsuccessful if you haven't given it a chance and tried a few tweaks and after a certain period of time, you don't hit your head against the wall–you let it go.”

As B2B marketers, we’re facing a lot of challenges right now, and knowing where to focus our precious time and resources is crucial to generating more pipeline and maximizing ROI. As Grant shared, it’s best to meet your customers where they are and do a few things really well instead of trying to hit every channel with subpar content. 

Determining where to prioritize ROI comes down to considering what channels your customers use, optimizing the content within those channels to make for a frictionless buyer journey, understanding how the length of buying cycles plays into the perceived success of a channel, and automating where you can in order to free up time for bigger plays. 

Want to hear more from Grant and Ian’s conversation on Demand Gen Visionaries? Click here to watch the full episode. 

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