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CMO Coffee Talk ‘Aha! Moment’: Why Return on Attention (ROA) Is Worth … Paying Attention To

2 min

Editor’s Note: CMO Coffee Talk is an open space for more than 1,300 CMOs to come together weekly with their peers and discuss timely, crowd-sourced topics. Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing co-hosts these dynamic, illuminating conversations with 6sense CMO Latané Conant. 


We need more acronyms in B2B marketing like we need more vanity metrics, but hear me out about ROA —  this is a good one. 

Let’s build up to what ROA is, and how it can radically improve your marketing efforts. First, let’s unpack why it’s so exciting to see B2B marketers becoming more accountable for their work. They’re focusing on metrics that actually matter:

  • Like ones that align with the business
  • And ones that drive pipeline, sales, and revenue performance

This transition to accountability can be uncomfortable for some, but true return on investment (ROI) isn’t about clicks and likes. The return inherent in ROI needs to be something you can buy a beer with. (Or some vino. Whatever’s your jam.)

The Investment Goes Both Ways 

So let’s talk about the other end of the acronym – investment. Sometimes it’s money, or time, or both. Regardless of what you’re investing, you want a positive return. This goes for the prospect’s money and time as well as your own. 

This is critical, and it’s something marketers are increasingly measuring to help define — and achieve — their business goals. These savvy pros are measuring prospect engagement not only in terms of point-in-time moments, but also in regards to time and attention

This is especially relevant and important with events. Signing up for the webinar is one thing.  Showing up is another. But paying attention throughout is even better. And actively participating and following up afterward is when we’re really getting somewhere. 

In last week’s packed CMO Coffee Talk session focused on hybrid events, Devin Cleary brought up the idea of Return on Attention (ROA). If you earn the prospect’s engaged and sustained attention, how does that convert into a higher likelihood to re-engage and/or buy? And conversely, if you earn the prospect’s sustained attention, what’s in it for them? What’s their ROA? 

If we can think through and unlock both sides of this ROI equation, there’s a powerful hybrid event and associated campaign playbook on the other side. 

A ‘Campaign Mentality’ For Events 

And that hybrid event you’re planning? Don’t treat it as an isolated program. What happens before, during, around, and after the event is just as important. Consider these questions:

  • How are you engaging attendees before (days, weeks even months) before the event starts?  
  • How are you engaging those who couldn’t make it but still want to follow the content?
  • And what will you plan (in advance) to engage all parties after the event is over to continue the conversation, engagement and, ultimately, your ROA?

Coming Up on CMO Coffee Talk… 

In our next CMO Coffee Talk meet-up (which is just around the corner!), we’ll deep-dive into findings from our first State of the B2B CMO Benchmark Study.

We’ve uncovered some highly relevant insights around staffing, budget allocations, board participation, and much more. We’ll walk through the results, analyze what it means, and discuss what to do next. Don’t miss this one! 

Join Our Thriving Community! 

If you’re a B2B CMO or head of marketing and want access to a community of your peers (1,300 strong and growing) as well as many specific ABM-related resources, benchmark reports, tactical examples and more, we welcome you! Click here to apply for membership.

Matt Heinz

Matt Heinz

Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15+ years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.

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