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P R O F I T- D R I V E N
DIGITAL MARKETING
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Profit-Driven Digital Marketing


According to a Gartner report, digital marketing budgets now average about 2.5 percent of revenues and are growing at 9 percent this year, but as the report concludes, Increased funding is a double-edged sword. It brings new opportunities but puts more pressure on marketers to deliver and prove a return on the investments. Its probably fair to say that most companies still see marketing as a cost center, a necessary evil that needs to be justified in order to survive the line item veto. Thats unfortunate, because marketing can do much more than justify itself through ROI analysis. It can become a profit center.

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Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service and that bring friends with them.
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W. Edwards Deming

Setting Goals
The Big Picture
The role of marketing and the funding it receives need to be defined and planned in order to deliver profitability. There are many moving parts, including: Business Goals - revenue growth, market expansion, market share, company growth (employees, locations, divisions etc.), talent accrual, capital formation, liquidity and profitability Sales Goals - revenue targets, cost of goods sold, cost to acquire a customer (CAC), customer lifetime value (LTV or CLTV), retention rates (churn), sales cycle, close rates, sales productivity (revenues per rep, % of targets achieved), ROI Marketing Goals - revenues attributable to marketing, opportunities delivered to sales (sales accepted leads or SAL), cost per lead (CPL), lifecycle stage conversion rates, campaign conversion rates, channel conversion rates, lifecycle stage timing (velocity), brand awareness and PR (visits, likes, follows, comments, mentions, links, syndication, etc.), thought leadership, retention rates (churn), ROI Customer Service Goals - free trial conversions to sales, retention (churn), LTV/CLTV, support plan sales, upsells and upgrades, brand reputation (sentiment, reviews & ratings, brand advocacy, response time)

Marketing thought leaders talk a lot about sales and marketing alignment, but really all four of these business segments need to be aligned and measured on a continuous basis in order to achieve primary business goals. Some of the most common challenges include: Sales and Marketing dont agree on the criteria for marketing qualified or sales qualified leads Marketing messaging and sales communications are not aligned with each other Neither Sales or Marketing are aligning their messages with customer interests and pain points There is no well defined process for lead generation, lead scoring and hand-off to sales when leads reach established thresholds Marketing automation and CRM platforms are not integrated, sales and marketing data are not in sync, and sales reps fail to update their lead databases with current lead status and sale data Marketing communications cease after a sale is made, leaving Customer Service to handle customer satisfaction and future sales

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Sales may not be waning because of shortcomings in staff, but because the vendors marketing strategy and sales methodology hasnt adjusted to changes in customers and their purchasing process. Today 80% of B2B purchase cycles are completed before the buyer considers contacting the vendor and, even then, they are loath to do so.
Forbes

80

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How to Achieve This Kind of Alignment?


Start with the business goals and identify the outcomes you are looking for over the next several quarters and years. Now each department or division leader should suggest ways to meet or exceed those outcomes, the benchmarks they will use and their own challenges that need to be overcome. The leadership team then needs to develop a working plan and budget for executing it. Finding solutions for sales and marketing alignment challenges may require some outside help from consultants or agencies, but once all of your business segments are working together to achieve companywide goals, there is a very real possibility that your company can become profitable and stay that way despite market fluctuations and unforeseen competitive factors.

Where Does Digital Marketing Fit In?


Digital marketing has some unique characteristics that can be exploited to drive profitability. Accountable - Every facet of digital marketing can be measured for effectiveness and impact on identified key performance indicators (KPIs), such as website traffic, lead volume, conversion rates, additions to pipeline, cost-per-lead, cost to acquire a customer (CAC), churn rates and customer lifetime value (LTV). Agile - There is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing. Each channel, campaign, content piece and persona can be tested and optimized for success. New strategies and technologies should be added to the mix as they are developed and tested. Cost-Effective - Marketing leaders can easily identify the most effective strategies, sources and channels that optimize KPIs and double down on the most effective ones. Scalable - Once processes have been identified and refined (including human capital needs, training and technology), they can be reproduced and adapted to new markets, products and changing conditions. Customer Centric - Digital marketing is now the natural approach to attracting and retaining customers due to the overwhelming adoption of mobile and social tools and changing customer journey favoring research and conversation prior to buying. Integrated - Sales and marketing technologies, such as marketing automation and CRM integration, are driving new levels of cooperation and communication between sales and marketing professionals. Fold in the ability to capture and analyze a wide variety of BIG DATA across multiple enterprise platforms, and you are now making it possible to optimize the entire sales funnel and sales process at the same time. Measurable This sets digital marketing apart from traditional direct marketing and advertising. You can measure every interaction and engagement across all digital channels for lead generation, optimization and management.

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CMOs must make a strategic commitment to innovation and stop thinking about digital as another media channel. Digital is everywhere and should elevate marketing and business priorities for consumer benefit.
Forrester

The Digital Marketing Balance Sheet - Assets


In order to analyze the future profitability of digital marketing, it makes sense to create a pro forma balance sheet. Lets break down digital-marketing-driven revenues, costs and investments into Assets, Liabilities and Owners Equity, as we would do for any business planning exercise. First, lets look at Assets, the value of what we have sold and what we will sell in the future by means of digital marketing. Lets take a look at a hypothetical digital marketing department (or agency) working on a recurring revenue model and make some reasonable definitions and assumptions.

......................................................... Reinvesting savings into digital marketing activities is a smart move. And its a relatively new activity in a corporate culture where technology has primarily been used in recent years to cut costs. We dont recommend chasing shiny new objects unreservedly. Rather, we suggest supporting a culture that is agile and keeps an open mind to testing new techniques and underlying technologies. Its okay to fail as long as you fail fast in a program with a limited scope and budget, and you intend to learn from these early failures. Gartner .........................................................

Definitions
Recurring Revenue Model Sales revenues accrue from monthly subscriptions or fees, for example software license fees, communications services or professional services. Current Revenue - Sales revenues received this month directly attributable to digital marketing. Identify all customers who have closed this month and first became leads via one of your digital marketing initiatives: SEO, PPC, email, social media, blog, website referral, download, video, webinar, etc. You should be able to easily identify customers from digital marketing if your marketing automation system is integrated with your CRM system. New Account Revenue - How many new customers can we reasonably expect based on current digital marketing KPIs and reasonable growth rates, for example as a base model: Current Website Traffic - 10,000 unique visits per month New Leads (form conversions) - 100 per month Visit-to-Lead Conversion Rate - 1% Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate - 1%

In this model, and with no growth in primary KPIs, we can expect (on average) to add one new customer per month.

Initial Financial Assumptions


Sales and Marketing are aligned and operate as a single entity, and they are using an integrated marketing automation and CRM solution so that we can break out revenues and costs for the entire sales cycle Average revenue per customer - $1000 per month 10 current customers (already under contract at the start of the first year) = $10,000/month Annual churn rate - 20% All data are rounded to the nearest integer or dollar

Base Model - No Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


Assumptions: No monthly growth in KPIs over 12 months, 1% visit-to-lead conversion rate, 1% lead-to-customer conversion rate, 20% churn (over 12 months). All revenues are in U.S. dollars.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Traffic 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000

Visit/Lead % 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% New Leads 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Lead/Cust. % 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% New Cust. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Current Rev. New Rev. Churn Total Rev. 10000 10833 11653 12459 13251 14030 14796 15500 16290 17019 17735 18440 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 167 181 194 208 221 234 247 259 272 284 296 307 10833 11653 12459 13251 14030 14796 15500 16290 17019 17735 18440 19132

Annual Revenues: $181,188 at the end of Year 1


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Model 2 - Slow Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


Assumptions: 25% growth in traffic during the year, 1% visit-to-lead conversion rate, 1% lead-to-customer conversion rate, 20% churn (over 12 months). Requirements: To achieve this model, we need to ramp up our digital marketing efforts across the board - blogging (and blogger outreach), social media, SEO, PPC, press releases and email marketing.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Traffic 10000 10227 10455 10682 10909 11136 11364 11591 11818 12045 12273 12500

Visit/Lead 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% New Leads 100 102 105 107 109 111 114 116 118 120 123 125

Lead/Cust. 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% New Cust. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Current Rev. New Rev. Churn Monthly Rev. 10000 10833 11653 12459 13251 14030 14796 15550 16290 17019 17735 18440 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 167 181 194 208 221 234 247 259 272 284 296 307 10833 11653 12459 13251 14030 14796 15500 16290 17019 17735 18440 19132

Annual Revenues: $181,188 No growth over Base Model at the end of Year 1

Model 3 - Moderate Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


Assumptions: 25% growth in traffic during the year, increasing lead-to-visit rate (1% to 2%), 1% lead-to-customer rate, 20% churn (over 12 months). Requirements: In this model, we not only need to increase traffic through digital marketing, but we also need to improve lead conversion rates through demand generation campaigns, calls to action, email marketing and conversion rate optimization (A/B testing) on landing pages, CTAs and emails.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Traffic Visit/Lead New Leads 10000 10227 10455 10682 10909 11136 11364 11591 11818 12045 12273 12500 1.00% 1.09% 1.18% 1.27% 1.36% 1.45% 1.55% 1.64% 1.73% 1.82% 1.91% 2.00% 100 112 124 136 149 162 176 190 204 219 234 250

Lead/Cust. 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% New Cust. Current Rev. New Rev. Churn Monthly Rev. 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 10000 10833 11653 12459 13251 14030 15796 17533 19241 20920 22571 24195 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 3000 167 181 194 208 221 234 263 292 321 349 376 403 10833 11653 12459 13251 14030 15796 17533 19241 20920 22571 24195 26792

Annual Revenues: $209,274 - 16% increase over Base Model at the end of Year 1 ............................................ ....

Without website visitors, your online business would not survive for very long: They are the most important elements to any website! If you meet their needs better and make them happier, the result is higher engagement and conversion rates.
MarketingProfs

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Model 4 - Aggressive Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


Assumptions: 50% growth in traffic during the year, increasing visit-to-lead rate (1% to 3%), increasing lead-to-customer Rate (1% to 3%), decreasing churn (20% to 10% over 12 months). Requirements: In this model, we need to turn on the jets across the board - aggressive content marketing schedule, demand generation and conversion rate optimization, effectively doubling the output and engagement in all channels.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Traffic Visit/Lead New Leads 10000 10455 10909 11364 11818 12273 12727 13182 13636 14091 14545 15000 1.00% 1.18% 1.36% 1.55% 1.73% 1.91% 2.09% 2.27% 2.45% 2.64% 2.82% 3.00% 100 124 149 176 204 234 266 300 335 371 410 450

Lead/Cust. 1% 1% 1% 1% 2% 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 3% 3% New Cust. Current Rev. New Rev. Churn Monthly Rev. 1 1 1 2 4 5 5 6 10 11 12 14 10000 10917 11826 12727 14621 18499 23345 28151 33916 43633 54270 65817 1000 1000 1000 2000 4000 5000 5000 6000 10000 11000 12000 14000 83 91 99 106 122 154 195 235 283 364 452 548 10917 11826 12727 14621 18499 23345 28151 33916 43633 54270 65817 79269

Annual Revenues: $396,991 - 219% increase Over Base Model at the end of Year 1 ...........
90000 80000 70000

Monthly Revenue for Each Model Year 1

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Revenue ($)

60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0

Month (Year 1)
Base Case Model 2 Model 3 Model 4
Note: Base Case and Model 1 are identical.

Assets Summary Years 1-5


Now lets assess these models as they play out over Years 1-5 using the same financial assumptions and growth in KPIs each year.

Year 1
Model Traffic Leads Customers Revenue Growth* No KPI Growth 120000 1200 12 $181,188 0 Slow KPI Growth 135000 1350 12 $181,188 0 Moderate KPI Growth 135000 2055 21 $209,274 0 Aggressive KPI Growth 150000 3118 73 $396,991 0

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Year 2
Model Traffic Leads Customers Revenue Growth* No KPI Growth 120000 1200 12 $279,597 54% Slow KPI Growth 172159 1722 17 $289,436 60% Moderate KPI Growth 172159 4483 45 $539,538 158% Aggressive KPI Growth 233182 6995 210 $2,141,682 439%

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Year 3
Model Traffic Leads Customers Revenue Growth* No KPI Growth 120000 1200 12 $360,031 29% Slow KPI Growth 219111 2191 22 $475,505 64% Moderate KPI Growth 219111 6573 66 $1,072,084 99% Aggressive KPI Growth 360373 10811 432 $5,656,052 164%

*Growth annual growth in revenue compared to the previous year.

Assets Summary Years 1-5 cont..


Year 4
Model Traffic Leads Customers Revenue Growth* No KPI Growth 120000 1200 12 $425,777 18% Slow KPI Growth 278869 2789 28 $654,651 38% Moderate KPI Growth 278869 8366 84 $1,699,363 59% Aggressive KPI Growth 556942 16708 668 $11,478,975 103%

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Year 5
Model Traffic Leads Customers Revenue Growth* No KPI Growth 120000 1200 12 $479,518 13% Slow KPI Growth 354924 3549 35 $890,454 36% Moderate KPI Growth 354924 10648 106 $2,727,829 61% Aggressive KPI Growth 791446 23743 950 $19,807,098 73% *Growth annual growth in revenue compared to the previous year.

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20000

Annual Revenue for Each Model

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Revenue (Thousands $)

15000

10000

5000

0 1 2 3 4 5

Year
Base Case Model 2 Model 3 Model 4
Note: Base Case and Model 1 are identical.

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Discussion
For these models and their underlying assumptions, several conclusions can be reached about the impact of marketing priorities, activities and levels on revenue growth.
1. At the end of Year 1, even a doubling of visit-to-lead conversion rate, with a 25% increase in website traffic has a modest impact on revenue growth (16%). Why? Because traffic increase and lead generation alone are not sufficient to generate new customers as long as lead-to-customer conversion rates remain low. We must focus on the entire sales funnel. 2. To achieve a substantial increase in earnings (200%) in Year 1, you need an aggressive program to increase traffic and lead conversion rates. Explosive growth is possible within a few months of launching digital marketing initiatives, but only if you include effective lead nurturing campaigns aimed at increasing mid-funnel and bottomfunnel (i.e. lead-to-customer) conversion rates. 3. Year-over-year, revenue growth is highest in Year 2 and tails off in years 3-5 for all of the models. To maintain or increase revenue growth rates, marketing KPIs need to be increasing year-over-year on a sustainable basis. This means that digital marketing initiatives need to be increased in frequency and market breadth while maintaining high quality and effective targeting of buyer personas.

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Since customers have such an aversion to being sold to, and now have real control over the buying process, the old ways of moving them through a conversion funnel will usually have mediocre results. Getting superb results requires thinking outside the box and creativity.
David Skok
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The Digital Marketing Balance Sheet - Liabilities


Next, lets take a look at the cost side of the balance sheet liabilities. How much does each model cost in terms of manpower and other resources?

Resources Needed for Each Model


Financial Assumptions: Hourly rate - $100/hour: an average that includes benefits and overhead (office, electric, other services) for each participant in executing the project. NOTE: This estimate does not include profitsjust the costs for an average employee involved in sales and marketing. Your rate will vary depending on salaries, overhead, turnover, etc.

Base Model - No Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


In this model, we need to maintain basic website metrics, 10,000 unique visits per month and a 1 percent visit-to-lead conversion rate. Depending on your industry and current online visibility, this model calls for a relatively light effort to maintain that profile. For example: 1 blog post per week 4-5 social media updates per week SEO-optimized content 1 demand generation campaign per quarter (email, PPC, social media, etc.) 1 new landing page and CTA (for downloads etc.) per quarter promoting existing content (no new advanced content needed) 1 press release per quarter

To get that done, we need the following team, time commitments and technology:
Copywriter/Content Specialist - 2 hours per week Inbound Marketing Consultant - 6 hours per week Graphic Designer - 1 hour per week Product Manager - 1 hour per week Marketing Director/Reviewer - 1 hour per week Sales Team - 4 hours per week Software - $500 per month Press Release Fees - $100 per month PPC budget - $1,000 per month

Total: 60 hours per month @ $100/hour + $1,600 = $7,600 per month


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...recent research finds that marketers will continue to invest in the digital channels and advanced marketing technology with 71% of companies increasing digital spend in 2013 vs just 20% increasing offline spend. This is largely fuelled by the desire to have individual conversations with consumers at scale, measure ROI across channels and derive value from the vast amount of data available to marketers. To that end, this years figures show that over two- thirds of companies are driving more than half of their revenues from digital marketing spend.
Econsultancy

71

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Model 2 - Slow Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


In this model, we need to grow website traffic 25 percent per year while keeping conversion rates constant (or growing slightly). To accomplish this, we focus on brand awareness and thought leadership via content marketing, social media marketing and possibly PPC and/or email marketing. 3 blog posts per week 1 video per month 8-10 social media updates per week SEO-optimized content 1 demand generation campaign per quarter (email, PPC, social media) 1 new landing page and CTA (for downloads etc.) per quarter promoting existing content (no new advanced content needed) 1 press release per month

To get that done, we need the following team, time commitments and technology:
Copywriter/Content Specialist - 4 hours per week Inbound Marketing Consultant - 8 hours per week Graphic Designer - 2 hours per week Product Manager - 1 hour per week Marketing Director/Reviewer - 1 hour per week Sales Team - 4 hours per week Software - $1,000 per month Press Release Fees - $300 per month PPC Budget - $2,000 per month

Total: 80 hours per month @ $100/hour + $3,300 = $11,300 per month


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Model 3 - Moderate Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


In this model, we need to increase visit-lead conversion rates by developing and promoting top-funnel content (inbound marketing). Depending on your industry and current online visibility, this model calls for an increase in content marketing, demand generation, landing page and CTA optimization and marketing automation capabilities. For example: 5 blog posts per week 1 video per month 12-15 social media updates per week SEO-optimized content 2 demand generation campaigns per quarter (email, PPC, social media) 1 new landing page and CTA (for downloads etc.) per month promoting new content 1 press release per month

To get that done, we need the following team, time commitments and technology:
Copywriter/Content Specialist - 10 hours per week Inbound Marketing Consultant - 10 hours per week Graphic Designer - 3 hours per week Product Manager - 1 hour per week Marketing Director/Reviewer - 1 hour per week Sales Team - 5 hours per week Software - $1,000 per month Press Release Fees - $300 per month PPC Budget - $3,000 per month

Total: 120 hours per month @ $100/hour + $4,300 = $16,300 per month

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Model 4 - Aggressive Growth in Marketing KPIs Year 1


In this model, we are seeking to grow all primary KPIs in order to drive significant new revenues. We need to optimize the entire sales funnel by increasing our efforts in content marketing, social media marketing, conversion rate optimization, lead nurturing, lead scoring and marketing automation. Our sales team becomes more involved due to higher conversion rates, lead intelligence and CRM integration. For example: 5-7 blog posts per week 18-20 social media updates per week SEO-optimized content 1 new demand generation campaign per month (email, PPC, social media) 1 new top-funnel piece per month (ebook, whitepaper, infographic, etc) 1 new top-funnel landing page and CTA (for downloads etc.) per month 1 new lead nurturing campaign per month (includes content for 4-5 emails, landing pages) Optimized/repurposed and promotion of ongoing lead nurturing campaigns 1 press release per month

To get that done, we need the following team, time commitments and technology:
Copywriter/Content Specialist - 15 hours per week Inbound Marketing Consultant - 15 hours per week Graphic Designer - 5 hours per week Product Manager - 4 hours per week Marketing Director/Reviewer - 3 hours per week Sales Team - 8 hours per week Software - $1,500 per month Press Release Fees - $300 per month PPC Budget - $4,000 per month

Total: 200 hours per month @ $100/hour + $5,800 = $25,800 per month

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Financial Summary Years 1-5


Year 1
Model Revenue Cost Net Revenue No KPI Growth $181,188 $91,200 $89,988 Slow KPI Growth $181,188 $135,600 $45,588 Moderate KPI Growth Aggressive KPI Growth $209,274 $396,991 $195,600 $309,600 $13,674 $87,391

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Year 2
Model Revenue Cost Net Revenue No KPI Growth $279,597 $91,200 $188,397 Slow KPI Growth $289,436 $135,600 $153,836 Moderate KPI Growth Aggressive KPI Growth $539,538 $2,141,682 $195,600 $393,600 $343,938 $1,748,082

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Year 3
Model Revenue Cost Net Revenue No KPI Growth $360,031 $91,200 $268,831 Slow KPI Growth $475,505 $135,600 $339,905 Moderate KPI Growth Aggressive KPI Growth $1,072,084 $5,656,052 $195,600 $561,600 $876,484 $5,094,452

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Financial Summary Years 1-5 cont...


Year 4
Model Revenue Cost Net Revenue No KPI Growth $425,777 $91,200 $334,577 Slow KPI Growth $654,651 $135,600 $519,051 Moderate KPI Growth Aggressive KPI Growth $1,699,363 $11,478,975 $195,600 $729,600 $1,503,763 $10,749,375

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Year 5
Model Revenue Cost Net Revenue No KPI Growth $479,518 $91,200 $388,318 Slow KPI Growth $890,454 $135,600 $754,854 Moderate KPI Growth Aggressive KPI Growth $2,727,829 $19,807,098 $195,600 $897,600 $2,532,229 $18,909,498

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Discussion
Estimated levels of activities, time commitments and costs are all based on our experience as a digital marketing agency, with an eye on our customers marketing budgets, as well. You will need to calibrate these levels and costs based on your industry, competition and internal practices, but they should serve as guidelines for planning and setting expectations for success. These models may not be relevant to a small business with a limited marketing budget, [ and good SMB marketers can (and often do) fulfill several of these roles.] However, the manpower efforts still apply if you want to achieve these targets. With respect to the Aggressive Growth Model, in Years 2-5, we added two new employees per year at $7,000 per employee per month to keep up with the demands for new content and sales. In reality, such explosive growth will probably require more manpower and expertise, especially if year-over-year revenue growth is a business goal. The other models could probably also use some additional resources in years 2-5, but lets keep this model relatively simple. We also capped visit-tolead conversion rates at 3 percent and lead-to-customer rates at 3 percent based on our experience with practical limits in these KPIs. In theory, both of these could be improved by a skilled, highly aligned Sales and Marketing Team.

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Active digital marketers tend to devote about 30 percent of their marketing budgets to paid media and 50 percent to content. Customers do more of the heavy lifting as they decide what to look at, play with content, and forward it to their online communities. We have found that by making the right investments, active digital marketers can spend significantly less on marketing as a percentage of sales, with little to no deterioration in performance.

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An aggressive program to achieve rapid growth in KPIs and revenues would require a full spectrum of digital marketing tactics and commitment of resources involving: Increasing qualified (targeted) website traffic via content marketing (blogging, social media, advanced content) aimed at attracting buyer personas on an aggressive publication schedule Demand generation campaigns (email, ppc ads, social media ads, print and media ads) designed to reach out to targeted lists and communities that fit buyer personas Increasing visit-to-lead conversion rates via landing page, CTA and email conversion rate optimization (A/B testing) and personalization, channel-based metrics (which channel converts best), campaign-based metrics (which type of campaign converts best) Increasing lead-to-customer conversion rates via lead nurturing, content personalization and sales and marketing alignment and training Reducing churn via content marketing and lead nurturing aimed at customers, customer-centric social channels and support forums, sales and marketing alignment Many companies will look at these liabilities and decide that the necessary investments in manpower, technology and thirdparty fees arent worth the short-term losses, especially at the beginning of the revenue cycle. As we will see, its a mistake to be short sighted about digital marketing. The long-term benefits will greatly outweigh short-term losses.

McKinsey & Company

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The Digital Marketing Balance Sheet - Equity


Now lets put the models side-by-side and assess the various growth models in terms of revenue. Lets also assess the cost effectiveness of each model in terms of cost-per-lead (CPL) and cost to acquire a customer (CAC). The equity from each model can then inform decisions on goals, expectations, budgets and manpower.

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Marketing has traditionally been viewed as a cost center money goes in, but it has been hard to measure the actual return on the investment. Marketers have been accustomed to speaking the language of clicks, page views, email open rates and other metrics, yet experts say these metrics dont matter much to the CEO, CFO and others who are focused on the bottom line. This dynamic is changing at a rapid pace.
DemandGen Report

Net Revenues

Model Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Total No KPI Growth $89,988 $188,397 $268,831 $334,577 $388,318 $1,270,110 Slow KPI Growth $45,588 $153,836 $339,905 $519,051 $754,854 $1,813,234 Moderate KPI Growth $13,674 $343,938 $876,484 $1,503,763 $2,532,229 $5,270,088 Aggressive KPI Growth $87,391 $1,748,082 $5,094,452 $10,749,375 $18,909,498 $36,588,798

................ Net Revenue (Thousands$ )


20000

Net Revenue for Each Model

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15000

10000

5000

0 1 2 3 4 5

Year
Base Case Model 2 Model 3 Model 4

19

$100

Cost Per Lead (CPL)


Model No KPI Growth Slow KPI Growth Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5

$80

Cost Per Lead ($)

$60 $40 $20 $0 1


Base Case

$76 $76 $76 $76 $76 $100 $79 $62 $49 $38

Moderate KPI Growth $95 $44 $30 $23 $18 Aggressive KPI Growth $99 $56 $52 $44 $38

2
Model 2

5
Model 4

Year

Model 3

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$10,000

Cost to Acquire a Customer (CAC)


Model No KPI Growth Slow KPI Growth Moderate KPI Growth Aggressive KPI Growth Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 $7,600 $7,600 $7,600 $7,600 $7,600 $10,044 $7,876 $6,189 $4,862 $3,821 $9,520 $4,363 $2,976 $2,338 $1,837 $4,268 $1,876 $1,299 $1,092 $945

Cost to Acquire a Customer ($)

$8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $2,000 $0 1


Base Case

2
Model 2

5
Model 4

Year

Model 3

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Analysis of Each Model


Now lets look at the different digital sales and marketing models and evaluate their potential impact on the financial health of the company. BASE MODEL

No Growth in KPIs
Discussion

5 Year Assets: $1,726,110 (~$345,000 per year) 5 Year Liabilities: $456,000 (~$91,000 per year) 5 Year Equity: $1,270,110 (~$254,000 per year)

Dont forget this is the entire output of the Sales and Marketing Team over five years! There are other hungry mouths to feed, for example, Products and Services, Customer Support, Management, Clerical, Human Resources, and the list goes on. That kind of overhead will eat up meager profits quickly. In fact, the No-Growth Model is a recipe for disaster. There are other ways to generate revenues, for example, through outbound marketing, direct sales and referrals, but how effective are they, and more to the point, how cost-effective are they? The real problem with the Base Model is there is no improvement over time. Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost to Acquire a Customer (CAC) remain constant (and high) over the five-year spread, which kills both profitability and growth. Add to that the likelihood that competitors arent standing still, and you can see that this model is unsustainable in both the near and longer terms.

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MODEL 2

Increase Website Traffic


Discussion

5 Year Assets: $2,491,234 (~$500,000 per year) 5 Year Liabilities: $678,000 (~$135,000 per year) 5 Year Equity: $1,813,234 (~$365,000 per year)

Were doing better, but nowhere near where we probably need to be to break even for most businesses - so whats the problem? The problem is that getting eyeballs on your brand is just one step in the process of garnering qualified sales leads online. You can have the best content, the most viral videos in the world, but if you are not set up to capture leads, and they are not the kind of leads that become customers, you can not expect to increase sales much through digital marketing. In this model, we have a fixed visit-lead conversion rate of 1 percent, which is about right for a company with a decent online presence and a few conversion opportunities. The problem is that lead conversion rate doesnt increase over time, so we are probably missing opportunities and losing ground to more aggressive competitors.

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MODEL 3

Increase Website Traffic & Visit-Lead Conversion Rate


Discussion

5 Year Assets: $6,248,088 (~$1,250,000 per year) 5 Year Liabilities: $978,000 (~$195,000 per year) 5 Year Equity: $5,270,088 (~$1,055,000 per year)

Small businesses can start to make things work with these numbers, but mid-size companies and up will struggle with both revenues and profitability. Companies that invest in content marketing and demand generation can generate some real momentum in terms of new leads that grow month-over-month. Smart marketers work to optimize lead conversion rates by A/B testing landing pages and by leveraging all of the available digital channels to promote their content. In this lean model, with no additions to the digital marketing team, CPL is at its lowest. We are leveraging content marketing and demand generation to produce relatively large increases in leads, year-over-year without increasing marginal costs. However, with low lead-to-customer conversion rates that do not improve with time, there is no proportional increase in sales and reduction in CAC. In some models, the growth in leads may outstrip the capacity of the Sales Team to respond, requiring additional resources to evaluate and nurture leads into customers.

There are two possible problems:


1. Despite the accelerated lead generation process, a majority of leads may be unqualified, and statistics show that 80 percent arent ready to buy upon first touch with your digital assets. 2. What happens to leads once they enter the sales funnel? If you dont have a well-thought-out plan to nurture them and alert the Sales Team when they are ready to buy, many of your hard- fought leads will leak out of the funnel and move on to competitors.

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MODEL 4

Aggressive Growth in Digital Marketing KPIs


Discussion

5 Year Assets: $39,480,798 (~$7,900,000 per year) 5 Year Liabilities: $2,892,000 (~$580,000 per year) 5 Year Equity: $36,588,798 (~$7,320,000 per year)

As you might expect, with aggressive growth in KPIs comes impressive return on investment. While the Sales and Marketing annual budgets might seem alarmingly high, theres no comparison with the other models in terms of overall performance and growth. Small-to-mid-size companies can use a formula like this to achieve financial goals and scale up to capture their markets. Scaling down would have the opposite effect. An enterprise-level company would likely require at least twice this budget and effort level in their Sales and Marketing programs in order to sustain and even grow profits year-over-year. Once the Sales and Marketing Team reaches critical mass (about the size and scope we have outlined here in Years 1-5), they can start to scale their efforts, as well to further accelerate capturing qualified sales leads and improving sales efficiency through lead nurturing and marketing automation without much additional technology or manpower. This efficiency is best reflected in the greatly enhanced net revenues and lowest CAC for all models in Years 1-5.

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Is There a Problem With the Aggressive Growth Model?


The only real problem is that C-Suite Executives may not buy into these kinds of models and forecasts and remain unwilling to invest the requisite amounts in digital marketing. Why? Because marketing has always been looked upon as a contingency expense, not an investment in the future. In fact, many startups fail to include much marketing at all in their initial fundraising, only to find out too late that they couldnt achieve the needed rapid growth in sales to penetrate markets and survive. From an investment perspective, here is what they are missing: Digital marketing strategies and commitments are 100 percent measurable and accountable Aggressive growth strategies can improve every aspect of the sales and marketing process, from brand awareness to lead capture to conversion to customers and beyond Digital marketing pays dividends through sustainable growth in primary KPIs and brand advocacy Cost per lead and cost to acquire customers can be reduced over time while sales and marketing efficiency increases, yielding increasing ROI with time

Planning for Profit


We have introduced several different models for financial growth and profitability using digital marketing as the primary vehicle for success. We introduced the concept of treating marketing as a profit center by setting goals. We looked at the revenue side (or assets) of the proforma balance sheet. Next, we examined the costs, or liabilities involved in achieve those goals. Finally, we showed you the potential profits (or equity) for each of the models and made some judgments on their viability in a greater business context. Lets wrap up this up with a discussion on planning for profitability via digital marketing.

Questions and Answers About Planning


What Are Realistic Goals for Digital Marketing?
Theoretically, there are no limits to setting goals, as long as you are willing to set the goals first, then do what is necessary to achieve them. If you set the sales and marketing budget first and work backward toward goals, you are likely to fail. Why? Without a clear roadmap of resources and activities needed to achieve specific goals, its impossible to get the budget right at the outset You will likely err on the side of caution and limit budget allocation for crucial components of digital marketing, like content creation and hiring expertsnot knowing in advance what the ROI of those investments will be You will likely focus exclusively on the most cost-effective parts of digital marketing (like marketing automation) and forget about the quality of the content you produce, a strategy that will fail to fill your sales funnel with qualified sales leads

Bottom lineset your goals and priorities first, figure out how to achieve them, then set budgets. 23

How Can You Avoid Going Bankrupt in Year 1?


This is a key question for small businesses and startups. The budget scenarios we outlined in the Liabilities section are examples only. The real work comes in building a sales and marketing plan that accomplishes your goals over time without incurring too much risk. This involves charting growth in sales revenues and expense at a pace that works for your company. For example: Adding talent to keep pace with anticipated sales growth Planning for early deficits as you build human resources, technology and communications infrastructure Setting up financial support, such as angel investing, lines of credit or loans to get you through the first few months of meager sales If you have a detailed sales and marketing plan in place that projects and tracks both assets and liabilities in detail each month, you have a vehicle for planning as well as attracting financial resources. For example, if you are starting from a relatively weak position in terms of online visibility and lead generation, you may have to do some deficit spending in the first few months to overcome the visibility gap. In later months, you make up for the deficits with aggressive sales activity designed to reach and convert leads into customers. Without such a plan, you are risking the health of your company as you navigate through the ups and downs of your business.

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What are the Top 5 Digital Marketing Challenges for SMBs?


1. Poor online visibility and overall brand awareness 2. Limited manpower and expertise for sales and marketing 3. Ill-defined or nonexistent sales and marketing process 4. Key personnel wear too many hats and dont focus on sales & marketing 5. Inadequate or poorly connected sales and marketing technology In terms of planning, small businesses are more likely to concentrate on brand awareness, focusing on top-funnel KPIs, such as traffic and lead volume. Inbound marketing best practices and technology have helped considerably in recent years, to the extent that this approach to digital marketing has become an important competitive factor for SMBs. However, even the most advanced practitioners struggle with their mid-funnel and bottom-funnel operations, mostly due to limited resources and priorities. As a result, their sales and marketing teams are not aligned, they lose opportunities and, sales performance suffers.

5
CHALLENGES
24

Whats are the Top 5 Digital Marketing Challenges for Enterprises?


1. Marketing is considered a cost center, and budgets are not properly aligned with sales goals 2. Sales and Marketing are not aligned in goals, processes and communication 3. Marketing is still product-focused, not customer-focused, and content assets are not tuned to the top and middle of the sales funnel 4. Content Marketing is a new concept, and there are limited resources allocated to it 5. Marketing automation technology is underutilized, and CRM is not integrated (i.e. - no closed-loop marketing involving sales, marketing and customers) Generally, enterprises have much more firepower to bring to bear, in terms of human resources and technology, than SMBs, yet they still struggle to optimize their resources. Even at the top end, companies still suffer from a lack of dedicated resources for content creation and sales funnel optimization via marketing automation. This is primarily the result of backward planning, i.e. setting the budget first, then figuring out what to do with it. By rethinking digital marketing as an investment in new business development, they can overcome current barriers to growth and profitability.

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How Can You Improve Cost Effectiveness Over Time?


Marketing Executives measure Sales and Marketing performance by cost effectiveness in addition to contribution to the sales pipeline. Cost per lead (CPL), cost to acquire a customer (CAC) and customer lifetime value (LTV) are common KPIs used to assess cost effectiveness. The good news is that these metrics are relatively easy to track using marketing automation to measure overall performance, at the channel level and on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but there are some fundamental requirements including: Marketing automation integration with CRM Marketing team accurately tracks and reports budget expenditures Sales and Marketing alignment on goals, processes and metrics Timely and complete updates to CRM lead/customer status by the Sales Team Regular review of progress and reporting by the Sales and Marketing Teams

25

How Can You Achieve a Balance Between Growth and Profitability?


Growth and profitability dont necessarily go hand-in-hand. Successful companies create detailed plans to achieve short and long-term goals based on market conditions, product development and, in many cases, directives handed down by a parent company and/or investors. Marketing plays a key role in both growth and profitability because it stands at the core of new business development. Without fresh new sales leads every month and a process to help develop them into loyal customers, how will the business grow and become more profitable? Digital marketing is the primary driver of modern marketing, because the Internet is where most B2B and B2C consumers do their research, evaluate their choices and make their decisions. Without a strong investment in digital marketing, the only thing you can count on is that your competitors will pass you by.

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Bottom Line
In evaluating marketing spend, its always a good idea to look at industry trendshow your competitors are sizing up and deploying their marketing dollars. According to a recent Forresters B2B Marketing Tactics and Benchmarks Survey, the average B2B marketing budget is about 2 percent of revenues. An earlier MarketingSherpa survey showed marketing budgets ranging from 11 percent of sales for small companies (< 100 employees) to 6 percent for large companies (> 1000 employees). It may seem counterintuitive that larger companies would spend a smaller percentage of budget, but as companies build critical marketing infrastructure (people, platforms and processes), especially digital marketing, marketing operations tend to become more scalable and cost-effective. Heres a great tool from BrainRider for evaluating your marketing budget and budget allocation. Chances are also good your competitors are increasing their marketing budgets this year. According to B2B, almost 50 percent of companies are boosting their marketing budgets, compared with 40 percent last year. Nearly 70 percent is being spent on demand generation and customer acquisition, while brand awareness gets about 18 percent and customer retention about 13 percent. Breaking this down further, 62 percent will increase budget for email marketing, 56 percent for social media, 56 percent for online video and 53 percent for search marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, companies are spending 33 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, compared with 26 percent last year, and 56 percent say they are increasing their content marketing budgets this year. More than half will spend more on CRM and marketing automation to help enable their Sales and Marketing Teams. The Bottom Line: Across the board, your competitors are likely spending at least 2 percent of revenues on marketing (and the data suggests that number is low), and they are progressively moving that budget into content marketing, demand generation, lead nurturing and marketing automation.

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If you cant compete for a respectable share of brand awareness, thought leadership and, ultimately, sales from digital marketing, how will you survive?
Its one thing to talk about alignment with your competitors, but many C-Suite executives are still reluctant to spend the requisite budget on digital marketing because it fails to deliver positive ROI. Fair enough. Surely every component in your organization should contribute in some way to the growth and profitability of the company, and each one should be 100 percent accountable for its share. What they fail to realize is that sales and marketing performance measurement has come a long way in the past few years.
This new approach is often referred to as Revenue Performance Management, or RPM, defined as a strategy to optimize interactions with buyers across the revenue cycle to accelerate predictable revenue growth. This boils down to a combination of strategy and marketing automation to optimize the sales funnel from top-funnel demand generation through lead capture, lead nurturing and hand-off of sales qualified leads (SQLs) to the sales team. We call this process Enterprise Inbound Marketing. Throughout the process, Sales and Marketing are aligned in terms of messaging, lead lifecyle and lead scoring criteria and communications. Another new aspect of Revenue Performance Management is the emphasis on revenue-centric metrics, like cost-per-lead, cost to acquire a customer, percentage of target revenue achieved and percentage of pipeline sourced by marketing. With this kind of approach, CMOs can easily evaluate marketing performance and justify budgets. We have shown some possible scenarios for revenue growth and cost effectiveness using digital marketing. You can use these models to evaluate your own growth scenarios based on achieving your business goals and budget planning. It is possible to make digital marketing the primary driver of both revenue growth and sales efficiency, but in the next few years, the winners in your industry are likely to be early adopters and aggressive implementers.

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Publication Date: June 2013