Using B2B Response Scenarios to Improve Results


By Chris Goetze, Senior Engagement Manager at Heinz Marketing

As B2B marketers, we’re focused on creating programs that will generate increasingly positive results. We know it takes a smart strategy, a highly-targeted campaign, a strong offer and CTA to move the needle in the right direction, but far too often marketers do all of the upfront work without thinking through the possible campaign response scenarios and what impact this will have on the business’ bottom line. This is where developing response scenarios can help you plan your campaigns more effectively to ensure their success.

What Are Response Scenarios?

Response scenarios are a great tool to forecast the potential outcomes of various marketing efforts across multiple channels such as email, direct mail, display, social, etc. By laying out the journey you intend your audience to take, and the various steps along the way, you can calculate how changing response rates will impact your campaign performance and ultimately the revenue generated.

The tools you use can range from a simple spreadsheet to more sophisticated marketing and business intelligence tools. But the tool itself is less important than the regimen of taking the time to look at the metrics before you execute your campaign.

What Can Response Scenarios Do for Me?

At the most simplistic level, developing different response scenarios helps to determine the overall ROI of a program. But they’re also helpful in determining the individual KPIs that you want to monitor throughout the campaign to ensure you reach the larger objective.

For a simple example, you can compare campaign variables such as open rates and click-through rates to determine how many overall opens you need to drive conversions on your website. The resulting open rate becomes a KPI to watch during the course of the campaign. Now you have the ability to monitor and make course corrections while the campaign is running if you’re not meeting your KPI goals.

Taking it a Step Further

Response scenarios can be as simple or as complex as your need them to be. For a simple email campaign, sometimes just looking at potential conversions will be enough to set expectations and make adjustments along the way. Other times, programs will call for more sophisticated forecasts that incorporate the entire buyer’s journey including marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, the sales funnel as well as deal size and cumulative lifetime value of the closed deal. Remember, this doesn’t have to be just marketing metrics you track. By working closely with your sales team, you can track these metrics and more across the entire buyer’s journey. This includes sales plays and multiple phases of a larger program.

Creating forecast scenarios can also be helpful in determining where you should consider implementing A/B or multivariate testing into your campaigns. You may find that there is an opportunity to test offers, CTAs or creative to ensure you reach your target goal.


When planning your next campaign, consider building out response scenarios to help you more effectively manage toward your campaign goals. Not only will you be able to better set expectations across the organization, you’ll be better prepared to make adjustments along the way and improve the overall effectiveness of your marketing programs.