Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts may seem cumbersome and almost impossible. Your marketing strategy has so many moving parts, it might actually sound easier to just keep deploying strategies and not measure it at all, but you can’t use that excuse to your executive team.
If you aren’t already measuring your marketing, you need to start there. Without evaluating your ROI, you can’t figure out which of your strategies are successful and which ones need to be re-evaluated.
Even though most executives understand the value of marketing, according to HubSpot 78% of executives don’t believe that marketers are focused enough on results to truly drive incremental customer demand.
Below I have outlined a few steps to help you get started on How To Tell If Your Marketing Is Successful.
Set Clear Objectives
As you know marketing has many moving parts, setting clear objects will give you a clear path for determining ROI. When it comes to long term goals and metrics that matter to your execs, remember to report on data that deals with total cost of marketing, salaries, overhead, revenue and customer acquisition.
Not only do you have to set goals for marketing as a whole, you also need to set them for each individual component. For example, social media, website, email campaigns, trade shows, events, direct mail, advertising etc.
Take careful consideration when setting your goals. You want to make sure that each goal is specific and measurable. Being detailed will allow you to use these goals as benchmarks to evaluate the status of your marketing efforts throughout the year.
Measure, Measure, Measure
Instead of making decisions based on feelings or shooting in the dark, marketers need to use metrics and data! As a marketer, data allows you to demonstrate to the organization the value of your efforts and specific campaigns, while also providing you with the information needed to make adjustments.
Like most businesses, your website is probably the first place your potential customers visit to find information about your product and services. But what are you doing to make sure that website is your “top salesperson”? Make sure to ask yourself these questions:
Where are you getting the most traffic to your website? (direct, organic, social media etc)
What percentage of your website traffic comes from organic search?
What is your conversion rate of organic traffic to leads or customers?
Which non-branded keywords drive the most organic traffic to your website?
Is the content on your website relevant to your customers? Does it answer their questions about your product or service?
What pages is your traffic visiting most and how long are they on the page?
What is your website bounce rate?
Social Media Analysis
Social media is exploding as a way to build a community of followers and share your message with them in an efficient and cost effective manner. But it seems that on a daily basis they are adding new features and layouts so how do you evaluate which social media platforms are working for you? How do you prioritize your time?
1. Check your social media engagement; what do I mean by this? Track the number of interactions generated in your social media channels. Measure your Facebook “Likes”, retweets, and @replies on Twitter, blog comments, Facebook page comments, You Tube video views and content embeds.
2. Gauge your website traffic from social media. This will give you the and idea of the percentage of unique visitors that come to your website through social media channels. Now you can allocate your time accordingly, giving your most popular channels the most time and effort.
3. Then take the next step and evaluate the top social media sites that have the highest lead-to-customer ratio. Focus your efforts here as well because visitors to your site a great, but customers are better!
Event/Trade Show Analysis
Even though a large majority of your marketing efforts maybe moving online, there are probably some traditional methods that you still might be using. Event/trade show marketing is one area companies use for a variety of reasons including brand awareness, product launches, recruitment and competitor evaluation. But how do you determine the ROI of a successful event?
Brand metrics - measure the visibility or exposure of your brand during the event including impression which is a percentage of people that saw your brand. Also the number of visitors that stopped by your booth or event.
Lead generation metrics - measure the number of qualified leads met at the events and sales appointments scheduled for follow up after the event.
Marketing metrics - after the event evaluate the number of materials distributed, promotional items given away, analyze any contest of giveaways and evaluate your competitors.
Analytics are your Friend
Now you have the data and it is time to put it to good use. Start by revisiting your goals and us the data as these will give you the starting place for evaluation. These benchmarks help you realign your efforts. Now you can tweak website page content, blogging topics, social media efforts and even trade show strategy for increased success. You no longer have to rely on assumptions or guesswork, you have the data and analytics you need to adjustments to your marketing efforts; increasing your ROI and proving your success.
Marketing is cyclical, so measuring isn’t the final step actually it is just the beginning. Even though your strategy has a lot of moving parts, by breaking it down into individual components makes it digestible and easier to measure.
The goals you set out in the beginning and translating the data you collected will provide you with the information to increase your ROI. At the same time, you are able to demonstrate value to your executive team and prove your marketing success. So what are you waiting for? Set your goals, measure your date, analyze and increase your marketing success!