It seems as though everyone wants to track their ROI (Return on Investment) these days. And that is a very good thing. Successful companies should be examining every aspect of their business to optimize production, reduce waste, and increase profits. When it comes to marketing people want to know that whatever they are spending on marketing is working. It’s a fairly simple calculation:
(Return – Investment) / Investment
Seems easy enough, right? Yes, that is a basic formula we all learned in middle school. However, marketing is more art than science most of the time, so the difficulty comes in not in actually crunching the numbers, but in knowing what numbers to crunch. Saying that you spent $5000 on marketing last quarter and got $10,000 in sales doesn’t paint an accurate picture. Did those $10,000 in sales happen because of your marketing? Were they organic? Were they a result of something that you had done before?
Truth be told, being able to track your marketing investment starts before you ever publish any content. Prior to concepts being discussed or ads being created, you need to set goals for your campaign. What are you hoping to do? In our 5 Essential Steps e-book, we talk about goal setting. Specifically about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals that will help you know exactly what you are wanting to track and for how long.
Once you have set your goals, you then need to think about how you will know if you are achieving them. If you listen to the radio you’ll hear a lot of “To take advantage of these great savings go to savemelotsofmoney.com/Dave”. Those specific urls help the company track which host is driving sales and where they want to invest in future campaigns. While you may not be doing radio ads in your next spot, this is a tactic that we can all take advantage of.
Creating landing pages specific to a campaign is important. Through proper use of analytics you can track not only traffic but patterns across people who came to your site for the campaign and where they went after hitting that landing page, what they purchased, and how much the campaign may have generated in online sales. You can also set up multiple urls for the same campaign (i.e. campaign/radio, campaign/tv, campaign/newspaper) to track which specific ads were generating the traffic.
Tracking traffic is easier across digital platforms. You know how many website hits, page views, online sales, etc. But how do you know if the customers who come into your store are there because of your marketing. Sure, you can notice if your overall sales are up, or there are more visitors in your store. Knowing that they are there because of your marketing rather than another reason can help you make more informed decisions about future marketing efforts. So, how do you get this information?