What do you want your marketing efforts to achieve? Ideally, your marketing costs will pale in comparison to what you gain from your campaigns and strategies. However, sometimes it is difficult to measure the success of your marketing techniques. Numbers that relate to revenue earned and money spent are helpful, but they may still leave you with a cloudy picture. Here are some tips to help you determine if your marketing is hitting its mark.
Go beyond simple ROI
Return on investment, or ROI, is a simple calculation. You simply divide what you gain from a particular project by the project’s cost. However, as a contributor for Forbes points out, “If you settle for a seductively simple measure such as ROI, you may severely distort the true value that marketing is delivering for your organization.”
This is true because ROI is so straightforward that it fails to take into account your overall marketing goals. For example, a particular marketing video may have a good-looking ROI, but if it didn’t satisfactorily raise brand awareness or spark conversations on social media, it missed out on its full potential.
The lesson? Look at ROI, but don’t neglect to use other indicators when you are deciding if a particular marketing campaign or strategy is pulling its weight.
Understand what you want to achieve
You need a clear definition for your marketing goals. Do you want to increase website traffic? Have a stronger presence on social media? Achieve higher email open rates? Look at your numbers before you started your marketing project. How do they compare with the current numbers? Are you meeting your original goals?
Social media shares, website traffic and good email open rates don’t always equate to more sales, but they do mean that people are learning about your business, and they tell you where to find the best opportunities for conversions. That is something that a typical ROI calculation wouldn’t reflect.
Dig deeper into the data
An article on Mashable by Shane Snow says, “While keeping track of the raw conversion numbers … is important, it’s also crucial to measure secondary indicators.” Such secondary indicators may include how long readers stay on a particular web page and the quality of new leads. You should also look at how many repeat customers you have and how long it takes for customers to go from the just-looking stage to the buying stage.
Don’t give up too quickly
Measuring the success of your marketing, particularly your content marketing, is tricky. It may take several months before your blog gains a loyal following or you have a satisfactory number of followers on social media. Hence, the ROI on content marketing may at first seem dismal. However, repeated exposure to your brand’s content will ultimately affect your target audience’s purchase decisions.
You want your marketing efforts to be an investment, not an expense. Learn if your hard work is paying off by setting clear goals that go beyond the monetary to things like social shares and website traffic. Most importantly, be patient. A good marketing strategy will help you now and into the future as you forge profitable relationships with your customers.