Understanding ROI in Marketing

Marketing ROI
Rob Cullum

How do I know my marketing is working? How can I measure results from marketing? These are questions asked many times and it is correct to do so. Marketing must deliver business value and measuring ROI in certain areas of marketing is very simple with the right tools.

In most industries with marketing campaigns, we can measure leads, opportunities and even customer quotes. Then finally, orders and sales. Leads come in many varieties from a click-through on an email to a sign-up on a website form or attendees to an event or exhibition stand. Track those leads using our ROI tips below and see what they delivered.

Measuring ROI in digital marketing

Measuring ROI (Return on Investment) in digital marketing is a crucial aspect of any marketing campaign. With the continued rise of digital marketing, businesses are investing more in various online channels like social media, email marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and more.

However, to understand the effectiveness of these digital marketing strategies, it is essential to measure the ROI. ROI helps businesses to evaluate their investments in digital marketing campaigns, and to make informed decisions about their marketing budgets, strategies, and tactics. In this context, measuring ROI provides businesses with insights into what is working and what is not, and enables them to optimise their digital marketing efforts accordingly.

To measure ROI in digital marketing effectively, there are a few key elements to implement for each channel. This includes defining goals, identifying relevant metrics, implementing and utilising the correct tracking tools, calculating your ROI and finally, harnessing these insights to optimise the channel strategy:

  1. Defining goals: Defining goals is essential for any marketing strategy, as it provides direction, enables measurement, motivates the team, and aligns with business objectives. Without clear and measurable goals, it can be difficult to assess the success of your marketing activities and make informed decisions about how to optimise your strategy.
  2. Identifying relevant metrics: Identifying relevant metrics is important for measuring the success of your digital marketing activities because it provides insight into performance, enables data-driven decision-making, facilitates benchmarking and goal setting, and provides accountability. By tracking the right metrics, you can optimize your strategy and drive better results for your business.
  3. Tracking tools: Each channel can offer different reporting and tracking options, which will have a range of free and paid options. At Motion, our paid suite of tools for measuring SEO, social media, the website traffic and more are some of our most important marketing assets. Before you begin a campaign, ensure you have the appropriate tools in place to measure the goals, metrics and KPIs already defined.
  4. Calculate the ROI: For all digital channels, to calculate the ROI, you need to compare the cost of your social media efforts (such as spend, content creation, and management) with the revenue generated from those efforts. The formula for calculating ROI is (Revenue – Cost) / Cost x 100.
  5. Optimising the strategy: Finally, once the ROI has been measured, the insights gained can be used to optimise the channel strategy. For example, you might find that certain messaging, mediums or segmentation does not deliver the same ROI. Therefore, continuous improvements with the help of A/B testing and budget reallocation will be required to help reach your defined goals in step 1.

Below are some example digital marketing channel goals and relevant metrics to consider when looking to measure marketing ROI:

Measuring website ROI

A website is your most powerful marketing tool and is often at the centre of many digital campaigns. This means there are often lots of elements to consider when measuring the ROI from a website such as conversions, engagement and user experience:

  • Example website goals: Driving more quality website traffic, increasing micro and macro conversions (such as downloads, form submissions or free trial requests), improving website engagement and improving user experience.
  • Example website metrics: Sessions, users (returning and new users), bounce rate, exit rate, time on site, conversion rate and for e-commerce websites, revenue.

Measuring SEO ROI

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts is essential to ensure that you are investing your time, money, and resources effectively. By measuring SEO ROI, you can determine which tactics are driving the most traffic, conversions, and revenue, and adjust your strategy accordingly to optimise your website’s search engine visibility and performance:

  • Example SEO goals: Increasing keyword rankings, increasing online search visibility, improving conversion rates, increasing organic traffic growth and improving website engagement.
  • Example SEO metrics: Keyword rankings, organic traffic, backlinks, bounce rate and average time spent on the website.

Measuring social media ROI

Measuring the ROI of social media can be a challenging task, as social media is often used for branding and engagement rather than direct sales. However, with the right metrics and tools, it is possible to track and measure the impact of social media on your business’s bottom line:

  • Example social media goals: Increasing brand awareness and reach, driving and improving the quality of website traffic, increasing conversions from LinkedIn traffic and growing your company page presence.
  • Example social media metrics: Engagement rate, reach, impressions, clicks, conversions, bounce rate, exit rate and follower growth.

Measuring email marketing ROI

With 73% of marketers rating email as the number one digital channel for ROI, email marketing is still a cost-effective and important channel in the marketing mix:

  • Example email marketing goals: Increasing open and click-through rates, improving customer engagement and loyalty, reducing unsubscribe rates and website conversions.
  • Example email marketing metrics: Some common email marketing metrics include open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, revenue generated, and unsubscribe rate.

Measuring paid search ROI

Paid search is an extremely versatile channel that integrates well into the digital marketing mix. For our customers, we have seen great success from utilising paid search for instant search visibility and awareness whilst SEO efforts gain momentum and even for bidding on keywords that would otherwise be difficult to achieve rankings for through organic results:

  • Paid search goals: Increasing search engine positions for competitive organic terms, driving website traffic, retargeting previous website visitors and increasing conversions.
  • Paid search metrics: click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), conversion rate, cost-per-conversion, return on ad spend (ROAS) and returning users.

Advancements in Marketing Measurement and Strategies

In addition to the specific measurement techniques outlined above, it’s crucial for businesses to stay updated on the latest advancements in marketing measurement and strategies. Incorporating these advancements can further enhance the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and drive better ROI. Here are some key developments to consider:

  1. Advanced Analytics and Attribution Models: Today, marketers are leveraging advanced analytics and attribution models to gain deeper insights into consumer behaviour and optimise campaign performance in real-time.

  2. Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI and ML technologies are revolutionising marketing measurement by providing predictive insights and enabling personalised marketing strategies.

  3. Personalisation and Customer Journey Mapping: By mapping the customer journey and delivering tailored experiences, businesses can improve engagement and drive higher conversions.

  4. Omni-channel Measurement: Measuring ROI across all touchpoints is essential in today’s multi-channel landscape to gain a holistic view of marketing performance.

  5. Focus on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Prioritising CLV allows businesses to optimise marketing strategies for long-term growth and sustainable ROI.

  6. Predictive Analytics for Forecasting: Predictive analytics helps marketers make data-driven predictions about future trends and outcomes, enabling more effective resource allocation.

  7. Ethical Data Usage and Privacy Compliance: Adhering to strict data privacy regulations builds trust with customers and mitigates the risk of legal penalties, safeguarding the brand’s reputation and long-term ROI.

Difficulties of ROI through Offline Marketing

Some areas of marketing are not so simple to measure. Brand development, offline promotion, stakeholder marketing, such as internal events and thought-leadership development require further investigation to create any form of measurement.

If you are investing in marketing, you should ensure you have a strong picture of where your business is at the beginning of the journey. Consider the number of leads you are achieving before the marketing investment, obtain feedback from stakeholders and customers for an insight into how they view your business. Finally, try and consider if your brand and communications match the level of what you offer as a business to your customers. Knowing this information can give you a good starting picture to compare with after you have invested in marketing, maybe 6-12 months later.

Analysing the Big Picture: ROI Marketing Services

Ultimately it is understanding the original picture, utilising the areas of marketing that you can measure easily and putting them alongside the more subjective areas of marketing to gain the big picture.

Utilise your marketing agency to give you feedback and set some objectives, agencies have worked with many different businesses and can offer comparisons and examples that they have learnt from. It is therefore important to ensure you select an agency that is strong in your area, for example, Motion Marketing focuses on partnering with businesses that work within technology, engineering and manufacturing in the B2B world, we are not consumer marketers.

Also, work with your agency to strategize your marketing into a plan, put clear objectives in place that align with your business goals, then track progress by utilising your agency to efficiently report, making the best use of your time.

Learn more about how an intelligent focus when assessing where to spend resources can help outperform the competition and maximise ROI in our latest B2B marketing budget blog.

Do you need help with improving your marketing ROI? Motion Marketing is a full-service marketing agency, delivering results-focused services tailored to your goals. Get in touch with the team to see how we can help drive your business and support with our ROI marketing services.

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