Return on Investment (ROI): assessing your marketing activity

Measuring the success of your marketing is a vital task.  It identifies your return on investment (ROI), showing you what works and, crucially, how worthwhile it has been to spend the money you have. In turn, this helps you develop and refine your marketing strategy. This guide introduces to:

  1. Setting objectives
  2. Measuring success
  3. Techniques to help measure success

1) Setting objectives

Setting objectives will show you further down the line how effectively your marketing has met them, giving you the basis of an ROI metric. Create marketing plans that tie marketing activities into the company's bottom line. Your marketing plan should focus on the delivery of results aligned to business goals, not just on spending.  This will help you focus on things that count to the business. Make sure you account for any extra processes needed to measure ROI in terms of time and money.

  • Your objectives should connect the level of investment to the achievement of quantitative results
  • Don't forget to allocate budget and time to setting up the processes you'll use to capture data to measure your success

2) Measuring success

What you measure will depend on what you were trying to achieve. You might measure, for instance, the number of new customers/leads generated (keeping an eye on any you lose as well), number of new products bought by existing customers (which helps identify the most strategically useful clients), brand awareness, market share or customer satisfaction levels. If you track leads, remember to track conversion rate to actual orders as well.

  • What you measure depends on your objectives

3) Techniques to help measure success

Put sales enquiry forms or allocate a different sales phone number to each of your advertisements so you can identify where the enquiry came from. Use web metrics and keep an eye on the most popular search terms customers use on your site. Online pay per click advertising gives you an immediate feedback mechanism. Carry out regular written and verbal client surveys.

  • Use sales enquiries forms or different phone numbers
  • Make the most of web metrics
  • Carry out client service surveys regularly

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