Evaluating Your Company's Marketing ROI


"The sweetest two words are 'next time.' The sourest word is 'if.'" -Chi Chi Rodriguez

One of the big problems with "branded" style advertising, is that you simply cannot know whether your marketing is really working or not. After all... if you're "getting your name out" (as the ad reps tell you), how do you know if your "name" is pulling in new clients?

It's a classic strategy by which ad reps get you to purchase more advertising from them: "We just need to go a few more months, so you can get your name out more." For most small businesses, this is a waste of money.

Well, when I've worked with advertising agencies, we enjoyed the power position with our ad reps. Why? Because we knew our numbers.

We could attach dollars and cents to the ROI from our specific ads, and we used that info to make marketing decisions every season. And it's a MAJOR missed step for many local businesses.

So how do you do it?

Simple. First, you commit yourself to creating marketing pieces with a direct call to action. That means giving the reader (or viewer, etc.) an actual reason for responding, with a good offer, a deadline or a new product or service to try.

Then, attach an internal "code" to this piece. If it's print, ask them to bring it to the store or office, and make sure your staff is equipped to enter that particular code when they do the transaction. If it's broadcast media, you can also get a dedicated URL or 800 number (or local number) to track which calls come in specifically in response to the ad.

This is also, of course, true for online marketing -- but tracking is much easier there. But I encourage you to carry things out to revenue (Profit First), not just hits and clicks.

And, of course, you should be tracking your incoming phone calls ... but that's a note for another day.

Lynn does our marketing.  He has a list of books he has read recently that deep-dive into all of these topics.  Call him with your questions and he will help you narrow your search for reading material. (We may receive a commission from book sales).

Then, once you've got this information, you look at how much you spent on the ad and can create a "quick and dirty" marketing ROI analysis for ALL your advertising.

We would evaluate the effectiveness of an ad this way: if we break even, we're alright with that (repeat business, referrals, etc.) -- I see them as "free" clients. Anything above 1-1 ROI is gravy.

Many business owners are leery of breaking even on a promotion ... but they're missing the point. It's not about hitting all home runs. Hit singles, doubles, triples (with a "walk" or two, thrown in) ... and the combined effect does, in fact, become a business home run.

Take that to home plate ... and to the bank.

I'm just grateful for our chance to serve you and your business through these blog posts -- and we are dedicated to every part of its success, even its marketing and sales.

BE THE ROAR not the echo Trademark


Janet Behm
Utah Real Estate Accountants
(801) 278-2700


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