Improve the skills of your marketing operations team by guiding them to capture a comprehensive campaign ROI.

The goal of today’s article is to make marketing scientific. Proving a marketing budget ROI is a priority as marketing leaders guide your teams to shift from art to science. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors. Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 Workbook to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year.


Marketing ROI calculations are often met with skepticism by the executive team. Simple ROI calculations based on lead source don’t inspire confidence. First and last touch attribution only shed light on part of the story. These one-dimensional views over-emphasize the value of the clicked action.  Most ROI approaches under-report broader campaign efforts to drive the action over time.


This article provides CMO’s with strategic input to guide your marketing operations team to a more believable ROI.  A robust framework is required at the campaign level.  The integrated Campaign ProForma framework provides clarity to establish a campaign level ROI.


Why this topic?  Data is everywhere. Channels are exploding. Technology is changing. Executives require more detailed reporting. Intuition and experience are no longer enough. You are living in the “show me” era. Marketing leaders cannot deal with this alone. You need a right hand, called marketing operations.


A Better Way to Measure the ROI of Campaigns – ProForma Campaign Framework


The difficult part of proving a return on investment is capturing the total impact of all touch-points and activities within a campaign.  A common mistake is to attribute total success to the first or last touch without careful analysis of the chain of events.


The concept of a ProForma is to capture all aspects of a campaign into a single view.  Regardless of what specific activity drives the click response (Lead Source), we know that a series of collective impressions drive response. Marketers accept the best practice that ‘integrated’ campaigns with multiple touch-points drive greater results. The ProForma provides a framework to capture all campaign activity, associated costs, and click metrics.  This provides a comprehensive view to drive an ROI equation.


 There are three key parts of the Campaign ProForma framework


Share this article with your marketing operations team to guide them to a full campaign ROI view.  The first two steps are table stakes that your team is mostly likely already tracking effectively.  These are included to provide a context to the vital third step. Connect the campaign activities and metrics to the results of the campaign.  The framework provides a roll-up view of the whole campaign effort, as well as line item views.


  1. Campaign Activities– Build the framework around the entire set of activities for the campaign.  This includes response media such as email, search keywords and online ad units that are common to track.  In addition to digital media, add traditional ‘offline’ and campaign awareness activities.


Step 1 Campaign Activities


  1. Activity Metrics– For each framework component, capture the activity metrics, both impressions and prospect click and response interactions.  You track the Lead Source to capture the first contact a prospect makes with your company.  In addition, the conversion rates are tracked within the activity metrics.


Step 2 Activity Metrics


  1. Associated Costs & Profit– The cost of marketing activities is loaded into the total campaign cost structure.  This includes all hard costs of media, creative development, production costs and agency costs (typically this doesn’t include internal staff costs).  The projection ROI is based on the average sales price and gross margin.


Step 3 Associate Cost and Profit


How to Use the ProForma


The purpose of the ProForma is to collect the total picture of the campaign. Be careful to guide your team to evaluate the collective result.  Resist the temptation to over-analyze the results line by line. Integrated campaign activities work in concert, so do not ‘optimize’ the campaign by eliminating all lower performing line items.


The ProForma is also used for Demand Generation campaign pre-planning.  The framework enables your team to project results based on historical response rates.  As the campaign is launched, the ProForma transitions from a planning to a reporting tool.


The activity metrics provide two valuable insights; Net new prospects acquired through the campaign. Plus, existing account and opportunity contacts who participated in the campaign and their total activity supported by marketing.




Leverage the Integrated ProForma framework to provide your team to capture the complete picture of campaign performance.  Build credibility with sales leadership by providing a reliable view of demand generation campaign success.


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