Measuring the impact of digital marketing activities presents itself as a major challenge for marketers across Australia, New Zealand. According to recent research by Sitecore, 68% of Australian and New Zealand marketers have problems demonstrating a clear ROI to their employers.
This is nothing new; marketers have always tended to focus on soft metrics – such as brand awareness or values – rather than actual return on investment. Marketing executives (and their CEOs) on the other hand, obviously care more about profit, market valuation and revenue.
The evolution of social media has also assisted in lengthening this divide, as many marketers incorporate unmeasured, non-strategic initiatives through channels like Facebook and LinkedIn. As you can imagine, CMOs are likely to view such endeavours as pointless and ultimately a waste of time.
Although there’s nothing wrong with using Facebook or LinkedIn for your marketing campaigns (especially the latter if you’re B2B), it is vital that you demonstrate your efforts thoughtfully – to gain the respect of your CMOs and CEOs.
Now we’re going to start by taking a look at 3 strategies you can incorporate to get on the right side of your CMO to show them where you’re contributing to the company’s revenue growth.
You can demonstrate ROI in just about every marketing campaign you conduct. However, some of us seem to think that it should only apply to certain types of campaigns; for example, when there is a sale involved. This is not true, and there are four ways you can demonstrate this:
When comparing region-specific information, keep a score consistently to ensure your comparisons are more valid. If you’re focusing on a global market, remember to keep a single pan-regional scorecard to allow CMOs easy access to overviews of relative global performance.
Use a cost-per-lead analysis to assist you in making significant comparisons between each campaign you’re conducting. This will allow you to track the number of leads and opportunities you create through each marketing initiative.
When you report to your CMO, make sure it is easy to digest. Keep it simple, because CMOs don’t have the time or energy to be bombarded with lots of data that may seem irrelevant to them. Rather, feed them only the most appropriate information that directly impacts their judgement. Ask yourself “what results does my CMO want?” – Then show them this first.
Knowing how to demonstrate ROI is one thing, but actually improving it and showing how growth can be reflected through it is another. It is vital to understand how your audience is interacting with your company’s messaging, and to do this you need to understand how they behave.
Here are a few things to consider:
There is research indicating that by 2017, video will dominate with around 69% of all consumer internet traffic. Always make sure you evaluate how well each type of content is performing. When you keep a close eye on trends, you will be able to work out what type of content is good for your audience, and what isn’t.
Keep a record of hard metrics such as registration, downloads and click-throughs, and store them in a database. Not only is this information helpful for your sales team, it will assist you in observing the differences between audience behaviour and actual results.
Research is obviously going to go a long way in helping you understand who your audience is. Conducting surveys – and remembering to ask customers and potential clients what they think about your products or services – is a simple and cost-effective way of doing this.
Engagement works both ways – and it’s never passive. Your prospects, if they are appropriately engaged, with interact with your company’s messages whether it’s externally through social media, or by commenting on your website’s blog. Best of all, an engaged prospect is much more likely to become a customer.
But how do you measure engagement?
One of the best ways of doing this is through gated content. When you have something of value and your audience wants it, they will provide you with their email address and name. When a prospect exchanges this information, this is a positive signal that you’re doing something right. Always track and record how many leads you’re generating with this method.
You’re likely to know the value of each of your campaigns simply by analysing how many visitors it is generating for your website. However, you can still measure the engagement by working out what your visitors are doing once they arrive on your website. Some campaigns (and some types of traffic) will be more effective than others, so try and focus on the successful ones.
When you find out which campaigns are performing the best after testing and analysing, put extra effort into developing these further to maximise your results. Of course, keep a record of how and why you are doing this, and your CMO is likely to be exceedingly pleased with your performance.
Lastly, while there is a noticeable divergence between hard and soft metrics when measuring ROI, it doesn’t mean they both can’t be measured side by side. They’re all appropriate forms of measurement; it’s just the matter of finding the best way of doing so.
When you’ve uncovered your user behaviours, worked out how to track engagement and quantified social media targeting, you will be able to prove the value of your digital marketing campaigns to build the trust with your CMOs and CEOs that you truly deserve.