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June 07, 2018

Convincing the C-Suite: Forecasting for results

Written by Thomas Stern
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Marketers and corporate communicators often face the same challenge getting new initiatives off the ground: executive buy-in. One way we’ve helped clients gain that support is with search and content marketing forecasting—predicting results that affect your business performance with a time-tested algorithm and baseline data set. With these in one hand and a step-by-step plan in the other, our clients are empowered to secure the resources they need to do their job, whether it’s building awareness or protecting brand reputation. Here’s a shorthand guide to get you started.

Keep the Bottom Line in Mind

For many digital marketers, tying efforts to revenue is usually a straightforward exercise: marketing investment needs to generate positive ROI. However, forecasting isn't exclusive to only digital marketers targeting potential customers. Our approach can identify the opportunity and impact of content marketing for potential employees and even investors. For example, when sales aren’t your goal or metric, how do you determine the value of a visit? We’ve worked on that one, and a few others:

  • Traffic Increase
  • Awareness Increase
  • Visibility for Initiatives (ESG, Social Responsibility, Sustainability)
  • Brand Reputation Impact
  • Search Market Share
  • Organic Search Leads
  • Organic Search ROI

To generate a forecast, there are only a few data points that are required:

  • Domain
  • Country
  • Competitors (3)

Our Forecast Tool can provide projections and keyword recommendations based on this data alone. If you have specific keywords, pages, CVR or AOV, forecasts can become more accurate and detailed –down to the very section on a site, or the keywords a specific audience would typically use. This additional data helps take any forecast further:

  • Keywords
  • On-Site Conversion Rate / CVR (applicable)
  • Average Order Value / AOV (if applicable)
  • Website Section
  • Website Page
  • Keywords by Category
For example, if you need to drive visibility for new sustainability initiatives in your latest earnings report, measuring sustainability and branded keywords targeted to that specific section on the corporate site will generate the forecast you’re looking for. Forecast results estimate the amount of traffic and downloads for that initiative — and that’s exactly what the C-suite wants to see.

What to Expect When You're Expecting (Traffic)

With the right goals and data in place, it takes just minutes for our proprietary algorithm to process a complete forecast. In that Forecast Report, you’ll see data like this: 
  • How much traffic that site/section is receiving now (baseline), how much it will receive (incremental), and when:
  • How much paid media revenue you would need to invest to drive the same amount of traffic (compare this to the cost of SEO efforts):
  • How much search and traffic market share could be gained in the category, and from other category competitors, for the same keyword set:
Incremental traffic impact like this can provide one of the most cost-effective, qualified traffic sources to support initiatives like:
  • Awareness Growth
  • Traffic Growth
  • Demand Growth (branded / non-branded)
  • Keyword / Product Niche Opportunities
  • Keyword Strategy
  • Keyword Category Impact
  • Competitive Search market share Impact
  • Potential Traffic & Revenue
  • Keyword Priority
  • Media Value Saved / Economic Value Added
  • SEO Return on Investment / ROI

Forecasting can help set expectations for what’s possible—and start that key conversation in the boardroom that will put you on your way to results. Let's chat.

About our Forecast Tool 

Our Forrester-certified Forecasting Tool uses three main sources of data: your data (your keywords, current traffic, etc), third-party search volume data, and our proprietary forecasting algorithm. To achieve this certification, the tool was evaluated by Forrester’s TEI methodology, which includes rigorous cost and benefit analysis framework. Forrester’s review analyzed our ROI models used to calculate the potential benefits that can be achieved through improved data accuracy, forecasting value and actionable return on investment.

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