4 Ways to Measure Your Marketing ROI

You need a way to assign a score to the results of your marketing efforts, not just for measuring ROI but also to gamify them, so you have something to beat as a motivational tool. There’s not always a 1:1 measurement, and numbers don’t always means what they seem, but here are four ways to assign a number that has at least some value:

KLOUT Tracks Your Consistency and How Your Content is Being Received

Your Klout score is a simple numeric score that represents the content you’re putting out and the engagement it’s getting. It’s not ‘real’ in the sense that any one number can correspond to all the parts that go into such an analysis, and it’s sometimes wildly inaccurate, but it does work. It works as a motivator, because you can see the needle move up and down. Stop blogging and doing social for a while, and it backs off; start back up, and it goes up, but not as quickly. Garner social engagement, and it goes up more. Write salesy, self-centered content that doesn’t engage, and you’ll see it drop. If you want to track the *consistency* of your own activity and how it’s *received*, and challenge yourself to bring it up, this is the number for that.

BUFFER Brings a Weekly Social Report Card to Content Scheduling

Buffer is a social media content scheduling tool, like Hootsuite. It doesn’t provide you with additional ways to do audience growth or run social events but, for posting, it’s smooth and easy to use. What’s more, it sends you a weekly report card on engagement, with a little more detail than your KLOUT score. The Awesome Plan is highly recommended if you plan to generate significant social content. For $10/mo, you get to schedule posts, but also get feedback on how those posts are being used. Looking at your analytics can reveal some patterns in your content, so you can see which content types are most effective.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS Can Indicate Business Decisions, But Don’t Make Hasty Assumptions

This is the gold standard, but it doesn’t do everything. It’s also easy to misinterpret, if you’re not aware of some marketing concepts and distinctions. You can get page exit rate confused with your bounce rate, for instance, and you’re off to making business decisions on incorrect assumptions. There is some valuable social tracking, too, but it only shows traffic, not (for instance) amplification of content in social venues. By itself, it doesn’t reveal enough. On the other hand, Google Analytics can help you make powerful business decisions. For instance, whether or not you should make a responsive site, a separate mobile site, or a mobile app can all be deduced from analytics data. Properly interpreted, it can indicate opportunities for traffic and changes to your web site. Google Analytics works best when you set up conversion tracking, which requires your webmaster to make some changes to your website. Conversion tracking gives you numbers related to a desired action you want people to take on your site, like filling out a form.

INTERNAL TRACKING Gives You a More Complete Picture of Marketing Results

A lot of companies don’t track each and every lead they get, regardless of the referral source or contact method. Maybe they’re tracking search traffic or social engagement, but not collecting and correlating with e-mails, call-ins, and other referrals, to see where there’s overlap, and where there’s new information. Every contact, lead, client, and referral partner should be tracked – including how they found you. If someone calls your front desk, or e-mails, you need to capture that information to build enough marketing data for sound decisions. Don’t rely solely on impressions and anecdotal info. Have that data in some kind of electronic format you can reference. Even just a spreadsheet can yield useful numbers from a tally for a specific time frame. And be sure to add a “how you found us” selector to your web forms. The one thing to beware of, besides inconsistency, is hasty marketing decisions (e.g. not much response in x venue, so let’s do less there; high response in y venue, so let’s do more there). That may be right, but it may suggest the opposite.

However you market – traditional marketing, digital marketing, a mixture of both, advertising and PR – measure the outcomes. Often it’s a step or two away from a 1:1 measurement, and you need to give a process time to work, deciding counterintuitively to let it run without thinking about immediate return. It will differ for every marketing strategy.

To construct your marketing strategy and oversee its success, contact MadPipe.

Daniel DiGriz

Daniel DiGriz is a corporate storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe, which provides creative direction, marketing leadership in marketing, and campaign direction for firms that want a stronger connection with their audience. A Digital Ecologist® applies strategic principles from both natural and digital ecologies to help organizations thrive across multiple ecosystems. Daniel hosts podcasts, speaks at conferences, and his ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, Forbes, and Success Magazine.
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