Part 3 – Marketing automation: how to prove its value quickly

By Charles @ Marketing Yeah!

In part 1 we covered how to choose the software you need to prove value quickly and in part 2 we looked at how to design, build and deploy campaigns. This week we look at how to present your results.

Part 3: Analysing your results

In part 1 we covered how to choose the software you need to prove value quickly and in part 2 we looked at how to design, build and deploy campaigns. This week we look at how to present your results.


It’s nearly time for the big reveal; time to demonstrate to your business exactly what value your automations have been able to add.

Analysing your results correctly is key.

A robust analysis will make asking for extra money a breeze, flimsy analysis will lead to a lack of trust in you, the technology and your ability to deliver results.

Your analysis will need to:

  • Clearly identify what additional value was generated from your automations
  • Be robust and based on hard metrics that can be linked directly to value generation (e.g. number of purchases) rather than softer metrics such as open and click rates which can often be linked to value only indirectly
  • Show what additional value could be generated with more investment in marketing automation

Identifying the value generated

It’s easy to consider your campaign like this: 100 people went through my automated campaign, 30 bought widgets worth £100 each, therefore the campaign generated £3000 of value.

The problem with this analysis is that is doesn’t consider how many of those 30 people would have purchased a widget, even if your campaign hadn’t been running.

It’s not unrealistic to estimate that 10, 20, 30 per cent of those sales would have happened anyway, without your automated campaign.

So how do you identify those sales that have only been made as a result of your marketing automation?

To do this we use control groups:

Running a control group involves splitting your audience into two segments:

  • The first segment receives your automated campaign
  • The second segment receives nothing

To calculate the sales attributable to your campaign, you compare the number of sales made to the first segment (who received your communications) and those made to the second (who received nothing).

The difference between the two represents the value that can be attributed to your automated campaign.

Implemented properly, this method is robust and provides clear evidence in support of your work, however, control groups can be fiddly and need to be implemented and analysed properly.

Choosing your metrics

We covered this in part two, but to reinforce the point: make sure you choose to track and analyse metrics that contribute directly to the bottom line.

Open rates and click through rates may be an indicator of campaign effectiveness, but there is no guarantee that someone who clicks through to your website will buy, subscribe, request a quote etc.

Only those metrics that can be linked directly to value generation (e.g. purchases) should be used to ensure your analysis remains robust.

Presenting your results

In addition to presenting the results of the campaign you ran, it’s important to present your vision for the future.

Work out what additional investment in marketing automation will enable you to do: run more campaigns, personalise messages more effectively, use more marketing channels etc.

It’s important to be specific: identify at least five new automated campaigns you want to deliver and use the results you gained from your test campaign to help estimate what additional value they are likely to provide.

Time to shout

With your results in-hand, it’s time to tell everyone about them.

Don’t underestimate the importance of promoting your success as widely as possible.

To implement marketing automation successfully requires buy-in from multiple groups within your organisation: the board, IT, marketing, data, analytics etc. and ideally you need to get around them all.


Analysing your results correctly is key.

You should make sure you:

  • Use control groups to attribute value correctly
  • Analyse metrics that can be linked directly to value generation
  • Promote your results across your organisation to generate support for further investment

I hope you have found this series useful and would welcome your feedback.

Sargasso & Grey
Financial Times
Thomson Reuters
Protect Your Bubble
Education Umbrella

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