Speak Your CEO's Language: 3 Ways to Show Marketing's Impact on Revenue

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Rachel Leist
Rachel Leist



A version of this post originally appeared on the Marketing section of Inbound Hub. 


As marketers, we constantly hear about the importance of closing the loop on our marketing campaigns -- but that doesn't just mean tracking to see how many views, clicks, and leads they generate. To truly prove your department's worth to your CEO, you've got to also report on the one metric that they care about: revenue.

Though revenue is just one metric, it can give you insight into many different parts of your marketing. Of course, it can tell you how much money you made in the last month ... but it also can help you understand the success of a campaign, which channels are your most lucrative, or which types of customers bring in the most money (among other things). 

If you're strugging to figure out how to use revenue reporting beyond just tracking how much money you've made, here are a few nonobvious scenarios in which you can use a revenue report. 

If you're an Enterprise HubSpot customer, you can run a Revenue Report using a Contacts or Companies Report.

Revenue Reporting is a feature of HubSpot Enterprise. You can try it free for  30 days by requesting a trial.

Note: If you have HubSpot CRM, there is no setup necessary (and if you don't have it yet, you can sign up at hubspot.com/sales). If you have Salesforce, make sure you have Opportunity Sync turned on. If you have Zoho, SugarCRM, or Dynamics, you can work with Bedrock Data to set up your integration. If you have another CRM, you can use the Deals API to set up your custom integration.

Scenario #1: You need to decide where to invest your marketing resources.

Periodically, it is important for you to take a look back on your marketing to see where you performed well and pinpoint the areas you can improve. This could be at the end of a campaign, at the end of a month, the end of a quarter, or at the end of the year depending on your business' sales cycle. The best way to close the loop to figure out where you succeeded in your marketing is to run a revenue report based on marketing channel.

HubSpot customers, here's what your report would look like:


Next Steps

After you run the report, take a look at the channels that are performing the best. In the above example, email marketing was the top-performing channel as it generates the most amount of revenue. If you had the example's results, you should dig into your email marketing data to find out what may have contributed to your success. Did you run a new email marketing campaign? Did you revamp your lead nurturing strategy? Did you change the timing of the emails you sent? Once you figure out what may have led to a spike in your email marketing, try it again the next month to see if you can replicate -- or exceed -- your results. Track your process in that channel (as well as your other channels) to help you decide where to best invest your team's time and resources.

Scenario #2: You want to understand what content resonates with your customers.

Now that you have a better understanding of the channels that generate the most revenue for your business, you can find out which piece of content generate the most revenue. So remember that ebook you spent a month working on? You could use this report to easily figure out the true ROI of that ebook -- which could help you unlock even more budget for future ebooks you'd like to write. By attaching a dollar amount to the content your team's producing and then producing more of the content that generates revenue, you can better fight for budget and get aligned with your Sales team -- and, you know, help your company grow.

For HubSpot customers, here's what this report looks like:


Next Steps

After you run the report, take a look at your top performing content and see if you can pick out any trends. Are there trends that you see based on the most popular topics? Are there certain formats that seem to be successful in driving conversions? What about timing -- when were these piece of content released? 

Protip: You can also this report for contacts -- not just companies -- to see how many people were influenced by various pieces of content. 

Scenario #3: You want to find out how much revenue you generate by different personas.

Now, you know which channels and pieces of content have generated revenue. Now, you can figure out how much revenue different personas are generating. You can't spend your time marketing to everybody -- by focusing on the personas that drive the biggest results, you can grow much faster.

To track revenue generated by customer type, HubSpot customers first need to use the Personas App to track the activity of their different personas. Once you have your personas all set up and running with some data, you can run a Revenue Report to see which personas are generating the most revenue.


Next Steps

Based on the information, you can see the amount of revenue each of your personas generates. At a basic level, you can use this information to help you make decisions such as how many resources you should invest in marketing to each persona.

But, you can also segment this data more to get even more telling results. Break down that persona's revenue data further by running reports that show the marketing channels they first came to your site through as well as the content they viewed before becoming a customer. By combining some of these reports mentioned above, you can get more nuanced information about the metric your executives care about most.

These are just a few ideas on revenue reporting. How else do you use revenue to measure your marketing's success?

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