When starting off on a new marketing journey with a digital marketing agency, it’s only natural that one of the most pressing questions clients have is, “How long will it take to see results?”
As a digital marketing company committed to growing revenue for B2B businesses and making C-levels happy, you can guarantee we hear this question all the time.
However, the answer is not black and white.
It’s a nuanced “it depends.”
Before you jump to conclusions, let us assure you, this isn’t a vague or elusive response.
There are four primary things that will dictate the amount of time it takes to see results.
1. The ‘North Star’ Metric
First and foremost, we need to be on the same page about what we mean by “results.”
We can guarantee our clients will enjoy working with us, but no one keeps a vendor around because they like working with them. At some point, you’re going to sit down and look at the numbers and question if there’s a positive ROI in the relationship.
So, we need to define our Northstar metric—that guiding light that tells us we’re on the right track.
For example, if we’re focusing solely on SEO engagement, then our Northstar could be non-branded organic conversions.
Once we’ve identified the Northstar metric, we can better assess when you’ll see results.
2. Ensuring You’re Set Up to Track Results
When integrating marketing, sales, and product, you need to question if you have the right tools and metrics in place.
- Do we have a CRM in place?
- Are we tracking deals to the CRM?
- Do we have the right internal sales metrics?
- Do we know the average gross margin?
- Do we know the average lifetime of a customer?
- Have we done things like a long-term value versus cost per acquisition ratio calculation and really figured out what results mean in terms of calculating a positive ROI?
Without these foundational elements, it will inevitably take longer for you to start seeing results from your investment.
If you don’t have a solid foundation to assess and capture the results of your marketing spend, don’t fret. We’re more than happy to help you establish these foundations.
3. Tactics Matter
The tactics employed play a significant role in the amount of time it will take for you to see results.
Here’s an example of a potential timeline to start seeing results for different campaigns. (However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Remember—it depends!):
For example, say you are interested in an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaign.
Naturally, an ABM strategy will take more time compared to targeting the most immediate opportunities or the “lowest hanging fruit.”
4. Ongoing Competition
Imagine the market as a pie.
Only about 5% might be discussing a product at any given time. If we need quick results, that 5% is our sweet spot. But that 5% is a zero-sum game in the sense that for us to win customers from that 5%, somebody else has to lose customers from that 5%.
The market is a competitive playground, and no one is willing to give up their share easily.
For example, if you want to build the tallest building in a city where the current highest is ten stories, you might decide to construct an 11-story one.
But just as you’re finishing, you discover that Mr. Ten-story added a few more floors.
Because they saw the competition coming and upped their game.
The digital marketing world operates similarly. When we begin making moves, our competition notices and reacts. This dynamic can certainly influence the time it takes to see results.
Unpacking “It Depends”
We promise that “it depends” is not a way to dodge the question.
It’s an invitation to explore the various factors at play, to collaborate, and to create a strategic plan of action.
Our ultimate goal is to provide a comprehensive answer tailored to your specific business so that we can anticipate together when those results will come to fruition.
If you’re ready to determine your Northstar metrics and want to ensure your marketing and sales teams collaborate effectively to outperform your competition, request a proposal today!