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3 tips to increase ROI with marketing analytics

For most businesses investing in marketing activity, a key metric used to measure the success of each campaign is ROI – return on investment. If I invest X amount of dollars, how much can I expect to get back in return?

ROI can be applied to most marketing activities, from SEO to affiliate marketing. When you can effectively measure your ROI, you can refine and tweak your marketing campaigns and invest your budget in the activities that deliver the biggest returns. Understanding the ROI, and setting benchmarks for specific marketing campaigns can really help you to focus your efforts and cut out the channels that don’t deliver results.

But how can businesses improve their ROI?

Analytics is the key to improving ROI

Data is the key to improving your ROI and today, there is no shortage of data to collect. The important thing for businesses is to collect the right data.

With the sheer volume of data available – from unique visitors to social media followers – it’s easy to get confused about the data that really matters and how it relates to ROI. It’s important to look at each marketing activity in isolation and set realistic, short and long-term objectives for each activity. That way, it’s easier to tweak your goals and ensure that each platform is delivering.

Use the data available to set a goal that reflects an actual return on investment. Typically, this won’t include vanity metrics such as followers/fans and impressions on press releases. Instead, focus on engagement metrics such as clicks, comments, and shares which better reflect a return as they demonstrate active engagement with the content.

3 tips to improve your marketing ROI

Improving your marketing ROI is integral to getting the most out of your campaigns – here are 3 tips to help you to improve your marketing ROI:

  1. Establish campaign goals

When setting overall business objectives, many businesses use SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. The same approach is also relevant to specific campaign goals. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing ROI. Your marketing ROI will depend on many different factors, such as cost structure, your industry, market demand etc. Your specific campaign will also determine what a strong ROI looks like. ROI from a content campaign will be totally different from a PPC campaign for example so it’s important to establish specific campaign goals when it comes to ROI that tie back to your overall marketing strategy.

  1. Use data effectively

Data is going to be crucial in effectively measuring your ROI on marketing activity. This starts from the planning stage of a campaign and in the initial determination of what good ROI looks like for a specific campaign.

Find clarity in your plan by creating an initial outline. Look at historical data; pinpoint any trends. Then, flesh out your outline into a detailed plan. Figure out how you can install analytics into your existing process, like sending marketing emails and launching new products.

Once you understand the importance of measuring ROI, you will start to receive the full benefits of your marketing dollars. 

Always ask yourself how you are going to reach the anticipated ROI and make sure the goal is achievable but will stretch you.

  1. Avoid vanity metrics

We’ve already touched upon this, however, vanity metrics are usually only useful for impressing the C-Suite rather than delivering an actual ROI on your marketing spend.

Metrics such as Facebook likes, press release impressions and Twitter followers may impress the top brass, however, they don’t really tell you anything about the success of your marketing campaigns. 

How many times have you been browsing Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and given a thumb up to an article a business has shared without even clicking in to read it? These numbers may look good, but tell you nothing about the actual engagement of the piece of content.

Instead of including vanity metrics in your ROI calculations, instead, focus on engagement metrics such as cost per acquisition, lifetime value and the number of active users which are far more likely to show a positive return on marketing investment.

How businesses can benefit from focussing on ROI

Marketers today need many more tools in their arsenal than ten years ago. Problem-solving, analytics and strategy are all important elements of a typical marketeers role today, no matter what level you are working at within an organisation, from marketing officer to director.

Companies that focus on ROI need their marketing team to be data-focused and there are some great examples of businesses that place ROI at the forefront of their marketing efforts.

In this case study, you can read how BT in the UK managed to save around £2m per year by routing 600,000 contacts per year through social media instead of its call centres. The rerouting of customer service enquiries to social media platforms also improved the overall customer experience as many of BT’s customers preferred to deal with the company over social media rather than phone or email. We are seeing this more and more today with many businesses turning to Facebook Messenger as a way of managing LiveChat enquiries.

Another business that successfully embraced ROI was the Dutch airline KLM. They used data analytics in order to accurately assign ROI to social media activity. The airline uses social for three areas: service, branding and commerce and by adjusting to a last-click attribution model, they successfully tracked €25m in sales from social media.

Whether it’s digital, brand, content or affiliate marketing, ROI is at the heart of all marketing activity at online casino, Betway. According to their website, “We’re a dynamic team of deal-makers with a clear purpose- to maximise ROI and performance.” They go on to talk about the importance of data and insights which has allowed them to “increase ROI, monitor performance and identify areas for growth.

Your ROI depends on how you create and implement your business strategy. From planning to decision-making, your team can lower costs, increase sales and spread brand awareness.

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