The marketplace is evolving for almost every business, with things like digital transformation, and the demand for stronger customer experiences leading the way towards a new future for marketing professionals. Though it's hard to argue with the value of digital marketing for the future of your business, most company leaders will still demand quantitative proof of conversions from their marketing teams.
The question is, how do you create a marketing ROI report for your boss that covers all the right bases?
Today, we're going to look at what marketing pros can do to bring crucial data together into a valuable, informative report.
Identifying Marketing ROI
The first step in creating a compelling marketing ROI report for your boss is figuring out what "ROI" looks like for you. It's easy to jump into asking questions about how you can generate the most revenue from your promotional plans, but marketing isn't always about financial profit.
These days, we're also seeing a lot of emphasis being placed on things like customer engagement, satisfaction, and brand awareness. All of these elements contribute to the success of a business, even if they don't directly translate into sales. The more people who know about your company and appreciate what it offers, the more likely you are to end up with long-term sales and brand loyalty. These things can even be more valuable than standard one-off sales.
While it's important to show that your advertising efforts are making an impact on your bottom line, there's more to ROI than money. It's your responsibility as a marketing professional to understand the different types of ROI available to you and their potential importance.
The following tips will help you to take your marketing ROI reports to the next level.
Identifying Marketing ROI Step 1: Establish a Goal
Being able to show how your marketing and ROI connect reinforces the idea that your advertising efforts are credible and worthwhile. However, before you can start examining and explaining your results, you'll need a benchmark or starting point. In other words, you need a goal.
Start by determining where you want to go with your marketing initiatives. Your goals need to be SMART to be effective, that means:
Specific: Don't just say you want to improve your conversions, dictate which transformations are essential to you, the percentage of improvement you want to see, and how you're going to track your results.
Measurable: Make sure that you have the metrics and KPIs in place to examine your success. Google Analytics is often a good starting point.
Attainable: While it's important to be ambitious with your marketing goals, don't aim for something you can't possibly achieve. Keep your targets within reach.
Relevant: Remember that your bosses and leaders are going to want to see how your outcomes relate to the business bottom line. Don't track brand awareness unless you can also show how that awareness will lead to increased sales for your company.
Timely: Give yourself deadlines for each report. Make sure that you can demonstrate how your results have evolved from one month to the next.
Identifying Marketing ROI Step 2: Make Sure You're Capturing the Right Data
While this step may seem obvious, it's easy to forget about implementing the right code and tracking strategies with your marketing analytics tools when you first get started. Make sure that you've got all of the systems you need up and running to track the correct KPIs and metrics for your campaigns. Otherwise, you won't be able to back up your results with quantifiable evidence.
It's also a good idea to set up alerts to make sure that you're the first to know when something changes from a data point of view. You don't want to get halfway through a quarter just to find that you're not adequately collecting data. Make sure you're examining the following things:
Website Analytics Data
Your web analytics data will be a crucial component of determining your Marketing ROI. How your site is performing is essential information, as it will help you to track the results of everything from your content marketing campaigns, to your SEO strategy.
Google Analytics is easily the most popular service available for tracking analytics data, as it allows you to examine some valuable insights. Here are just some of the data sets you can look at on Google analytics:
Number of visitors and the increase in visitors each month: This shows you if your marketing efforts are leading to more potential sales for your business.
Where your visitors are coming from: It's important to know which of your marketing strategies are delivering the best return on investment. Track the impact of your social media, search engine, email and guest blogging campaigns by finding out where your leads come from.
Conversions: Perhaps the most apparent KPI to look at when it comes to providing marketing ROI - find out how many of your visitors converted into leads by filling a form or clicking a button.
Revenue: Finally, track the value of each lead by determining how many of those leads made a purchase, and how much each purchase was worth.
In today's fast-paced business world, it's not uncommon for sales and marketing data to be siloed. Unfortunately, you need to close the loop between sales and marketing data if you want a real overview of ROI. After all, this is the only way to determine whether your leads converted into customers and made a difference to your bottom line.
Fortunately, you can integrate your Sales CRM system into your marketing tracking strategy. For instance, did you know that you can combine your google analytics data with information from Salesforce to get a better overview of your sales and marketing efforts?
When social media sites first launched, they were a way for family members and friends to keep in touch. As the years have passed and consumers have begun to demand deeper relationships with their favorite companies, social media has become an essential component in the Marketing ROI conversation.
A great social media strategy typically involves numerous accounts across various digital platforms. This is why it's so helpful for companies to access tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite to keep on top of all of their marketing information. With your social media tracking data, you can build out your ROI report with details on:
How many posts you've published and how many followers you've gained each month.
How many people converted into customers from social media.
How many people are aware of your brand or talking about you through @Mentions and hashtags
Your social engagement rate (how many people have liked, commented and shared your posts.
How many new customers or referrals you get from followers on social media.
This information will tie in with your website and sales data to demonstrate how things like brand awareness and engagement are having an impact on your bottom line.
Email Marketing Analytics
Finally, it's important to show your business leaders that you're not just cultivating one-off sales through your marketing efforts, you're also building long-term loyalty in your customers. Email marketing is one of the best ways to nurture leads. Statistics show that email generates approximately £29 billion in sales annually.
You'll need to examine the number of emails you've sent, the number of people opening your emails, and how many people click through to your website to see how your emails are having an impact on your overall Marketing ROI. The most common outcome of an email campaign is a click to your site. To track this, you'll need destination URLs that are recorded by your analytics tool so that you can report on them.
Identifying Marketing ROI Step 3: Use Executive Summaries in Your Reports
Remember, creating an excellent Marketing ROI report isn't just about copying and pasting numbers onto a word document for your boss. You need to present the metrics that you've measured in such a way that it illuminates all the hard work you've done over the last month or quarter.
While it's great to show your manager that you've increased your social media following, you also need to give context to your reports. Tell them about what worked for the brand and what didn't, how you've changed your strategy recently, and the campaigns that have stood out most for your company.
Remember, executive summaries are a fantastic way to make sure that you're tying all the critical metrics in your ROI report together in a tangible way.
Conclusion: Don't Just Report, Forecast Too
Marketing ROI is something that you'll continue to report on with your boss for as long as you're promoting your business. This means that eventually, you'll get into a routine of setting goals, capturing data, and sharing what you learn with the right people.
However, if you want to take your value to the next level, you can also consider going one step further, by "predicting" your performance. After a while, you'll be able to start forecasting how well you're going to do in the next quarter, based on your experiences so far. There are even artificial intelligence solutions that can help you to do this. That makes it easier to show your boss how well you're performing in line with your predictions for a specific period.
Even if you're not exceeding expectations every month, the fact that you can show your leaders that you have goals that motivate your team to perform better will have a positive impact on your business, and your reputation.
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