How to Meaningfully Measure Marketing ROI

August 7, 2015 James Thomas

ROIfullimgNinety-three percent of CMOs say they are under more pressure to deliver measurable marketing ROI. Yet questions like, “how did this marketing program impact the bottom line?” remain difficult to answer.

Many CEOs expect that with new tools and technology, it will be easier to show return on investment. The reality? Even though there are more sources of marketing data than ever, it’s still extremely challenging to quantify ROI in hard dollars.

To help you meaningfully measure marketing ROI, this week I’ve collected a series of articles with tips on tying marketing results to specific business contexts, choosing which data to analyze and knowing what questions to ask.

The Right Way to Calculate Marketing ROI. Forbes: “Because MROI [marketing ROI] isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept when it comes to real world application, the authors recommend that marketers clearly define how and what they’ve measured in a specific business decision-making context in order to derive their MROI numbers. That’s worth repeating: In a specific business decision-making context. In other words, don’t pass off short-term, channel-specific ROI as adequate for informing a long-term budget or strategic business decision.”

Understanding the ROI of Your Data-Driven Marketing. Enterprise Innovation: “’Today’s digital marketing tracking capabilities generates a pool of data that’s readily available to companies, whereas traditional marketing mediums such as direct mail and print couldn’t be tracked so accurately simply because data wasn’t available or when it was it wasn’t entirely accurate,’ explains Kate Cooper, CEO of Bloom Worldwide. ‘The main challenge with data driven marketing today is that there is a lot more data available – choosing the most important data to analyse and not wasting time on the unimportant metrics will bring benefits. Data overload can be very daunting.’”

Marketing Fail: When Big Numbers Trump Meaningful Results. Forbes: “It boils down to one thing. Big numbers only matter if you are hitting your target demographics. With data, targeting, and a clear focus, companies can put their energy into connecting with the people who can buy their products rather than putting their energy into gaining vanity metrics like likes and follows.”

How to Effectively Measure Your Marketing. Newfangled: “Job #1 is to know what questions to ask. The ones that really matter to your business. You have access to hundreds of reports inside of Google Analytics alone, but it’s likely that only a handful will come together to tell the story you’re really wondering about. By and large, most of your marketing questions can be divided into three categories: where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.”

How Marketing Can Contribute to Revenue Generation [Infographic]. MarketingProfs: “Before you can use marketing to generate revenue, you’ll need to bring about a similar shift in culture. Marketing needs to be seen as an equal partner to Sales. Easier said than done, however: You’re fighting with decades of commonly held beliefs. Sales needs to be made aware of the dramatic shift in buyer aptitude, and Marketing needs to step in and do some of the heavy lifting.”

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