More than the Bottom Line: Understanding Online Marketing ROI

Tracking results is a critical piece to your overall business, and it is important that you’re watching the right results when investing in an unpredictable force like online marketing. It makes sense to look at the cost being put in to these efforts, along with the direct profits earned from what you rightly see as a financial investment. But online marketing has metrics that can be difficult to successfully track unless you are being mindful and diligent, such as overall market awareness and the timing of your measurements. By keeping these criteria in mind, you will be able to properly keep an eye on your businesses efforts so you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Let’s say you have an electronics store, with a new marketing campaign centered on selling new computers. You advertise on your website that your $600 desktops are now selling for $500 for the month, and you watch in satisfaction as an influx of new customers arrives to your store. Marketing campaign success? Sure, more customers came, but how do you know your competition may have had to raise prices that month, or that you may have got more customers if you lowered the price to $475, or even better, used a more robust email follow-up campaign to reconnect with previous customers due for an upgrade? Business is always in flux, and monitoring just the direct profits of your marketing efforts may not be enough to tell you why you got more customers, or how you could have had an even larger number of people come to your store.

Timing your measurements correctly is a more controllable variable than knowing everything that is going on in your market, but it’s also potentially a harder concept to grasp if you’re not ready to think scientifically. Jayson DeMers explains in his recent column for Forbes that looking only at ROI forces a “skewed perception that slants toward short-term results.” In other words, it is human nature to attribute effects such as profits or losses to the most recent effort done by your marketing team, as opposed to the strategy and efforts put in during the history of the marketing project or website. Online marketing content has a long “half-life” on the internet – articles you publish today will remain there for years to come if left undeleted. Visitors may stumble across an article from 2013 from your website that happens to have topics trending in 2016, and decide to go with your services due to your wise advice. If your tracking is only measuring the visit without tracing it to the source, you may think those visitors were due to your most recent marketing efforts, therefore leading you to miss out on capitalizing on the new trend and the ability to connect with more prospects.

In either of these cases, it helps to have a team of professionals to handle the tracking so you can keep an eye on the bigger targets. Sun Sign Designs is staffed with experts ready to help you deal with these issues. We are able to conduct a full marketing strategic report for you so you understand the impact of your marketing efforts, along with a detailed of analysis of where you are getting your website visitors and how you can get more of them. Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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