Typically, any business expense is examined through the lens of ROI. If you have to buy a new piece of equipment, the first question you will ask is “how long until this new purchase pays for itself?” Oddly enough, Marketing ROI seldom receives the same type of scrutiny as other expenses. Why is this? We track the ROI of everything else, why are we satisfied to spend our marketing dollars without having a clear picture of what kind of return we are getting on our investment?
In previous posts, we have discussed the expenses related to common marketing outlets such as radio, television, billboards and display advertising. Personally, I think most businesses don’t like to talk about Marketing ROI for one simple reason. They can’t! Think about it, when you approach your marketing department and ask “what is our marketing roi?”, you’re likely to receive either a blank stare, or more often, a long-winded explanation of brand recognition and other intangibles that are just part of having a successful business.
Considering Inbound Marketing? You’re not alone! in 2012 Small Businesses plan to spend 41% of their marketing budget on Inbound Marketing, and this number is growing every year.
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The truth is, businesses spend BILLIONS each year on these types of outbound, interruptive advertising mediums that offer nothing in terms of success tracking. How many people read your ad in the newspaper? How many people actually paid attention to your ad during the evening news? The answer is “who knows?” You will be shown all sorts of statistics that amount to potential “eyeballs” on your ad, but we all know that there is a big difference between seeing something and actually paying attention and being AFFECTED by something.
So How Do We Track Marketing ROI?
To turn this trend around, we have to start focusing on advertising that can be measured and tracked. When you hear the staggering statistics talking about how businesses are shifting huge percentages of their marketing budgets to Inbound Marketing, this is exactly why. It is trackable and traceable. Every dollar you spend on inbound Marketing efforts can be measured and evaluated and you’ll know at the end of the day whether or not it was a dollar well spent.
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Inbound Marketing To The Rescue!
Inbound Marketing is a comprehensive online marketing strategy that utilizes content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing and email marketing to perform a closed-loop strategic process. This process drives traffic to your website, funnels the traffic through landing pages. Then, the focus turns to capturing leads that through marketing automation travel down the funnel, hopefully becoming customers. This process can be constantly evaluated and improved upon. Because each component of this process involves a click, read or link – we can perform detailed analysis and see exactly how many emails were opened, calls to action were clicked, and ultimately – how many of these “clicks” turned into actual customers. This is the crucial link that other methods of marketing simply cannot offer. This is exactly why businesses are continually diverting their budgets to online marketing! In 2012 – small businesses plan to spend 41% of their marketing budgets on inbound marketing. This number is growing year after year!
If you haven’t looked into Inbound Marketing, you owe it to yourself to check it out. You can download our whitepaper above or search our site for more articles on the subject. Long story short, Inbound Marketing is well on it’s way to taking the lion’s share of businesses marketing budgets for the simple reason that it works, and that you can prove it! Unlike other types of interruptive marketing techniques, with Inbound, you can see exactly how much was spent, exactly how many leads and customers were generated, and exactly how much new business was generated. With this kind of data, Marketing ROI doesn’t seem like such a strange concept anymore does it?