I don't know how I missed the announcement of this great new resource from ReadyTalk. In late August they created an online calculator for measuring the ROI of B2B marketing webinars. It is free on the web and you don't have to be a ReadyTalk customer or register in order to use it. You just fill in the blanks and get a calculated return on your investments in lead generation webinars.
Actually, I should amend one word in that last sentence… "Just fill in the blanks" trivializes the input process. You will want to go through the required inputs carefully and spend time gathering up data and making estimates that may not be obvious or easily approximated. ReadyTalk really tried to include all the components that can affect total invested capital. If you aren't in charge of your company's marketing campaign budget, you'll need to do some digging and call in some favors to get the information you need!
On the returns side, the calculation process is a bit more simplistic. The calculator multiplies out the approximate number of closed sales by a single "Average Deal Size" to get a net dollar revenue number attributable to your webinars. Finding one average deal size is going to throw some companies for a loop if sale sizes vary widely from customer to customer. But you can always compute your own total revenue figure attributable to webinars and use that for the final percentage calculation. It would be nice if ReadyTalk made that revenue field overridable for people who want to enter their own total revenue amount.
"Return" is calculated solely on the basis of generated revenue from sales. You could argue an even greater "Soft ROI" accruing from marketplace benefits such as goodwill, trust, and reduced customer attrition… But assigning values to those has always been a minefield, and I understand why ReadyTalk didn't want to open themselves up to the inevitable criticism that would come from valuations that users wanted to challenge.
This is a great tool for corporate marketers (especially as we get towards year-end and you have to make a case for 2015 webinar program budgets). If you do manage to get an ROI number and are willing to share, this post would be a marvelous place to put a comment with your result. We can compare and contrast, and maybe get an idea of how webinars are benefitting different companies. If you really want to do your peers a favor, add a comment about the industry you are in and the size of your company. If I get enough comment posts to be meaningful, I'll be happy to collate and compile them for easy reference.
If you are reading this in an RSS feed or elsewhere, you can comment on the original blog post at this address: http://j.mp/RTroi