“I always tell people, if we have a good quarter it’s because of the work we did three, four, five years ago. It’s not because we did a good job this quarter.” Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
If you own business, the chances are that you are doing some marketing to grow your business, whether this is through an in-house marketing team or an agency outside of your business. There’s also going to come a time when you’re going to ask yourself if what you’re doing driving the intended results.
This is an even bigger challenge for the leader of the marketing department, the person in charge of sales or the one trying to steer the ship in the C-suite. Usually, at some point, you’ll be under increased pressure to drive down overall costs, make budget cuts or make decisions that impact the organization. Essentially you are asked to do more (increase sales) with less (decreased marketing budget).
Is my marketing working?
We often get asked, “how do we know what we are doing is working?” It’s a great question, really, but sometimes difficult to answer if you don’t know the questions to ask or what the expectations are. And if your internal processes aren’t optimized for tracking every call, referral or web lead, it’s even harder to answer. At Boldthink, we’ve compiled a list of KPIs (key performance indicators) that you can use to assess your marketing to know if what you’re doing is making an impact on your business.
Are you getting more leads? And while this may seem like the most obvious indicator of marketing success, this is the one that is often misconstrued only to include website leads and tied as the sole ROI of marketing. Because we live in an era of multi-touch points where a customer can contact our business in multiple ways, you need to be sure that you include all leads that come your way. This includes website leads, referrals, phone calls, social media, newsletter subscribers, tradeshows, events, and other general inquiries to name a few. With a good CRM, you can track how many leads are coming in each month and where they came from.
2. Google Analytics
The way marketing works now, whether, through inbound marketing tactics or outbound marketing tactics, we are asking our customers to go to our website. This can be through marketing materials we create such as email newsletters, business cards, brochures, radio ads, or by word of mouth through referral partners, the sales team, employees, etc… Take a look at your website statistics. If you have a new website, obviously historical data isn’t something you can track just yet. But there are things you can look at to measure success. Is your monthly traffic trending upwards each quarter? Are you getting new visitors? Is your bounce rate improving over time? If the answer is yes, dive deeper and learn from what you are seeing to keep the momentum going. If you revamped an existing website, you could also look at historical data to see how your numbers are improving over time and in comparison to your new site.
3. Brand Perception
What are people saying about you? How are you perceived in the eyes of not only prospects but also your existing customers? Is your retention rate high or are you losing customers every month? Do you have good ratings on Google, Yelp, and Facebook? If so, the chances are that your marketing is hard at work, behind the scenes, making sure that you have seen the way you wish to be seen in the eyes of the consumer.
4. Social Media Metrics
There are many different ways to measure marketing success in social media. But if you aren’t as familiar with social media, tracking data can seem daunting. One of the simplest methods is to track Facebook fans, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, and other followers on your various social media platforms. Is that number trending up each quarter? If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, another key way to measure social media marketing success is by tracking brand mentions, retweets, likes, shares, and comments.
5. Closing Ratio
Is your closing ratio improving? If people trust your company, and you are positioning yourself as a leader in your industry, chances are a prospect will continue the conversation and engage with you. A higher closing ratio should tell you that your marketing is improving your close ratio (or your prices are too low and not competitive, but that’s a conversation for another day).
6. Shortened Sales Cycle
If you’re in the B2B world, this is crucial to remember. A large component of your sales process is about educating the consumer. This is achieved by assets such as messaging, blog posts, case studies, white papers, and other reports. If your sales cycle is getting shorter, your marketing is working.
Is your bottom line improving over time? Are you getting new clients? This is the biggest indicator of marketing success, but truthfully, the one least tied to marketing success since it’s not easily traced back to marketing tactics, especially if you have both a marketing department and a sales department. Companies often silo the two departments and put them against each other. Marketing and sales should work together. It’s not a battle of whether the sales department or marketing department brought in more leads. This is especially true if your marketing department is creating content, assets and doing marketing activities that support your sales team. If you aren’t tying that back to marketing, it would be the same as you not only giving the sales team a major head start in a race but also holding back the marketing team so sales can cross the finish line first. New customers are the result of both the marketing tactics and sales process together.
For marketing teams everywhere, proving ROI can be challenging, especially when the value is sometimes intangible and not always immediate. We hope that these seven ways can help marketers and business leaders everywhere gain a better overview on marketing ROI for their business and show how effective marketing activities can impact the bottom line.
If your marketing isn’t where it needs to be, or you don’t see results, contact us today to schedule a quick phone call for an initial assessment.