If marketing ROI feels like a monkey on your back, you’re not alone. According to a 2013 CMO Survey conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, two-thirds of top marketers feel pressure to qualitatively prove the value of marketing to company executives and board members—but only 36 percent feel able to do so in the short term, and even fewer in the long term. To make the task even more onerous, many companies tend to focus on the quantity of leads, rather than their quality, as the measure of success, and to emphasize short-term results over long-term ones that stretch across the customer lifecycle.

The good news: Thorough planning on the front end can make your life much easier when ROI reporting time rolls around, and Agency Ingram Micro can help. With that in mind, here are our tips for designing your 2015 marketing strategy to make measuring ROI as simple and effective as possible:

  1. Know your objectives. What does your company want to achieve during the upcoming year? What are the areas where marketing can make the most difference? Where do your company’s goals intersect with Ingram Micro’s and create opportunities for a unified message?
  2. Involve the right people. All stakeholders should be involved in the planning process from the beginning. On our side, that may mean your Ingram Micro account manager and vendor business manager. On your side, it may include a marketing lead, VP, or even the CEO. Having everyone at the table early on will ensure that strategy is on point and help prevent false starts and uncoordinated efforts.
  3. Understand key markets and drivers. How large is the market you’re targeting? Is it a specific vertical? Who is your audience? Also, be aware of the sales cycle for your products and solutions—the length of the cycle can influence the amount of time it takes to see ROI.
  4. Think in terms of business strategy. It’s common to look at marketing as a stand-alone activity, but to yield the best results, marketing should be tightly integrated with every part of a business, from product development to sales to inventory management.
  5. Know what type of measurement is required. Every company has its own standards for how ROI should be reported. How will you be expected to communicate your success? Are there internal checkpoints throughout the year? Let us know and we can tailor reporting to your needs, as well as adjust your marketing to hit harder on tactics that are performing especially well or pull back on ones that aren’t.
  6. Be committed. Marketing isn’t a game played on the sidelines—you’ll see the strongest ROI when you’re all in.

These last few months of the year are the perfect time to sit down and work through your 2015 marketing strategy with us, so contact your account manager as soon as possible. With research, planning and commitment, we can craft an approach that will deliver the kind of ROI you’re eager to report.