Marketers Don’t Care About ROI

As much as they say they do – they don’t, not really. Because if they did, they would stop doing things that don’t work — in favor of things that do.

Let me give you an example:

Have you ever heard a marketer tell you about an idea for a campaign that will drive great awareness? I have. Typically these initiatives are things like celebrity endorsements, ‘viral’ social media campaigns, Facebook live videos, and my personal favorite — sponsoring “tent-pole moments.”

When a marketer tells you something is going to drive great awareness, what they’re really saying is that they don’t actually know what value it will provide. That’s because they don’t know. What they do know is that lots of other brand advertisers do these things, and they get a lot of exposure, and sometimes even awards. Some marketers also love to do things for the sake of doing them. It’s rare in a marketing organization that anyone can concretely answer the question: ‘What value does this activity really provide to the business?’

Marketers can do all this because, at the end of the day, they aren’t accountable to the same set of KPIs the rest of the business is bound to. Things like win rates, sales pipeline and velocity, retention, revenue, and return-on-investment.


While the rest of the business reports on straightforward sales numbers, marketers have metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through rates, and page views to fall back on. They’re incredibly skilled at taking these metrics, and making them feel like ROI. But the reality is that, while those metrics can certainty provide important information, they don’t tell me remotely how much business value I’ve influenced. Who cares if my campaign drove 200,000 visits to my website, if I can’t tell you that a single one of those people became a lead or turned into revenue?

The truth is, I’m being a little bit unfair. All good marketers do care about ROI — they just don’t always have the right set of tools to measure it.

But, if you can connect leads, pipeline, and deals in your CRM to click-stream data in your web analytics platform, then you can finally get the insights — and hard numbers — you need to put a dollar figure on the value of your content.

And that is when marketers will start caring about ROI.

Cameron Warren is lead analyst and product marketing manager for Stoke Pulse. Stoke Pulse sits between Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics and Salesforce to help B2B marketers connect online content to offline deals.

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