Beat the Marketing ROI Puzzle by Doing This ONE Thing First

iStock-622512296.jpgMarketing ROI is more than just industry jargon, but the term is tossed around as though it’s just another buzzword. Of course, the process of measuring your marketing return on investment is among the most complicated pieces to determining your budget and efficacy; 43% of marketers say that proving the ROI of their activities is a top challenge. The question is, how do you beat this ROI puzzle, and where do you start? There’s plenty of marketing ROI tips that will certainly help improve your process and accuracy, but there’s one thing you absolutely need to do first: define what ROI means for your company specifically.

Know What Success Looks Like Based on Your Needs

To truly conquer marketing ROI, you need to take the time to understand what a successful return on investment looks like for your company. It’s vital that you sit down with your marketing team and other stakeholders to define what success means — 51% of marketers have stated that a lack of sharing data within an organization impedes the ability to effectively measure ROI. At a minimum, that means identifying key performance indicators to measure against your bottom line.

No two companies are identical, so this should influence your perspective. For instance, a healthcare provider should consider KPIs such as website traffic, which leads to marketing lead conversions via a web form. An automotive business operating both a web store and a brick-and-mortar location, could run a radio campaign focusing on traffic to a landing page for a special offer and track conversions by using the coupon online or in-store. At the same time, there are other factors that are individualized to each business but impact accurately understanding ROI. For instance, an investment firm needs to not only worry about their cost-per-lead, but also the risks associated as well, while a healthcare provider needs to factor in the costs of ensuring that lead generation forms and related data storage and communications meet federal guidelines.

Even similar marketing campaigns could have totally different needs. Don’t try to force your marketing process and ROI measurement into a generic calculation, but do keep an eye on the big picture. For example, your social media managers will have different KPIs from your radio advertising team (e.g., lead generation via specialized social ads versus phone conversions based on instructions in radio ads), but both ought to ultimately lead to improved sales.

Know How to Track and Measure Goals

Once you’ve established your KPIs and goals, you’re ready to select metrics and set benchmarks to help you determine if your marketing campaign is on track to achieve those goals. By already having a plan to measure and track your goals, you have the ability to course correct any campaign that isn’t going to meet your company’s needs. This is especially true if you monitor your KPIs on a daily or weekly basis. For example, in the case of website traffic that should improve lead generation, your company would need to examine both the amount of traffic your site receives and the number of leads generated, as well as the ratio of one to the other. If traffic is low, but conversions are high, chances are good that your content marketing is on task for conversions, but you need to improve your organic and paid search efforts. For the automotive store, if customers are using the coupon online but not in-store, you might need to bolster the appeal to shoppers that prefer the physical location. Correcting issues like these earlier rather than later will ensure a more robust ROI.

Of all the marketing ROI tips you use to guide your strategy, remember that you should always start with defining what successful marketing return on investment will look like for your business in particular. There’s no one size fits all strategy, and by determining this first, you develop the most important elements for measuring and proving ROI.


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