3 Ways to Increase the ROI of your Marketing Efforts
Lots of marketers today are feeling heavy-duty pressure from the executive suite to show that what they are doing is actually helping their company drive sales and generate revenue. If you're the head of a marketing team, you're probably feeling the squeeze to prove yourself, your team, and your methods, to actually show specific data that demonstrates you're succeeding in your efforts.
Are You Feeling The Pressure?
According to a recent survey from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, two-thirds of CMOs are feeling pressure from their CEOs or Board to prove the financial value of their marketing activities. And to make matters even more difficult, two-thirds also say that their higher-ups are not only putting pressure on them to justify their marketing investments but are increasing the amount of pressure.
Whether you work for a large multinational corporation, or a small, local company with only two dozen employees, or you run a one-person consulting business, you probably have a strong feeling that your marketing activities need to produce, that they need to give you a solid ROI.
Is Your Marketing ROI A Boost Or A Bust?
Done well, marketing can do a lot to boost a company's bottom line. Done poorly, it can be a financial drain. This article will give marketers like you, regardless of what your company produces and sells, actionable tips you can put to work to help you boost your bottom line, put a smile on your CEO's face and help you sleep better at night.
Marketing done haphazardly is almost guaranteed to fail. It's important to remember that you need to set up and follow a comprehensive, well thought-out marketing strategy. Just like a homebuilder follows blueprints drawn by a professional architect and uses a variety of tools (and hires workers qualified to use those tools) to build a house, marketers need to devise and carefully follow a sound marketing plan, using a number of different tools to make that plan succeed.
1. Beware The Shiny Object: Social Media
In our constantly-changing digital landscape, we see new marketing “wonder widgets” introduced almost every day. In such an environment with so much hype, it's easy for marketers to focus on only one tool, one “shiny object” (especially when it's popular and thought of as the “in thing”), hoping that tool will solve all of their marketing woes. Don't hold your breath on that one.
As marketers, you and I need a number of tools to make our marketing plan succeed and bring us the ROI we need and want. To illustrate the point about how we need a sound strategy and an array of useful tools to carry it out, let's take a look at what may be the most common and popular marketing “shiny object” - social media.
Now, this is not a “knock” against social media; it's a potentially useful marketing tool. But it's not a complete marketing solution in and of itself. If it's something that should be used as part of a particular marketing plan, it needs to be used along with other marketing tools to build that big, beautiful “house of ROI”.
Consider this: One of the main reasons to use social media is to drive traffic to your website. Your website needs to be your company's online hub, a very strong marketing presence. You want a steady stream of traffic visiting it every day. You want visitors to spend a lot of time there. You want them to return to it on a regular basis.
Your website is your online marketing engine. If you have an online store, your website is where sales happen (if you're successful at making them happen). If you have a service business, it's where you persuade potential customers to contact you by phone or email to find out more about what you can do for them.
What value is there in having a robust social media presence that drives a flood of traffic to your website if your website's content, navigation structure and overall user experience are so poor that they turn viewers off and drive them away?
What use is it to have one “sharp” tool – social media – in your “marketing toolbox”, if your other tools, including your website are so “dull” they are of little use to you?
Through this one simple illustration, do you see how social media isn't the magic bullet that can solve all of your marketing woes by itself bringing you, in the process, the high ROI you so desperately want?
To enjoy robust marketing results, including a high ROI, set up and follow a comprehensive marketing plan, using a number of different tools (social media, email marketing, mobile marketing – where appropriate – etc.)
2. Your Words Matter
Many companies will invest a small fortune and lots of time and effort in their online marketing presence, hiring a web designer to build a beautiful website, setting up multiple social media accounts and building an email list.
They will then destroy their chances of experiencing a high ROI by ignoring one of the most (if not the single most) important parts of the online marketing process – high-quality, persuasive copywriting and content.
Words matter in marketing, like it or not. The wrong words can cause a marketing campaign's results to plummet; the right words, on the other hand, can help drive ROI through the roof.
The words on your pleasing-to-the-eye, beautifully-designed website should be much more than just squiggles that take up space. They can be ROI-producing assets, but only if they are written in a way that persuades the reader to take the action you need him to take, when you need him to take it, whether that action is to join your email list, call you on the phone to arrange an in-person consultation or to make an online purchase through your E-Commerce landing page.
We've written extensively on the subject of copywriting on this blog, so we won't go into detail here on what makes for great copywriting, but suffice it to say that the words you use in your marketing matter. A lot! The right words can boost your marketing ROI in a big way!
3. Marketing And Sales: We Need Each Other!
In many companies, Marketing and Sales departments are constantly “at odds” with each other, when they should be cooperating instead. Marketing and Sales need each other. If sales don't happen, marketers lose their jobs. If Marketing doesn't do a great job of producing an ample quantity of qualified leads, Sales will have a tough time meeting quotas.
So if you are a marketer, do whatever you can to help Sales be successful. In addition to developing and following a solid marketing plan and investing in persuasive copy and content to help boost ROI, there are many concrete steps you, as a marketer, can take to help Sales win new customers. This article describes several:
- Marketing, especially in B2B situations, should develop crystal-clear, persuasive value propositions. B2B buying cycles are notoriously long and getting longer. In the B2B marketing/sales process, a sales rep often doesn't enter the picture until late in the cycle. Thus, the early interactions prospects have with the company usually come from work that Marketing has done. Marketing, by producing quality content, can do a lot to “set the stage” for a successful sales transaction. Solid value propositions and other persuasive content elements can help.
- Marketing can help Sales close more deals, and boost marketing ROI by producing a large quantity - a deep, reserve pool of available content to send to prospects to help them decide and to keep them aware of the company's presence during long buying cycles.
- Marketing can tailor their content to appeal to the prospect (or longtime customer being asked to buy again) wherever he is in the buying cycle. Sales' job becomes much tougher when Marketing treats a hot prospect deep in the buying cycle as if they were a stranger or brand new prospect. This can hurt the fragile relationship Sales has worked so hard to cultivate with the potential customer and may even cost the company the sale. Not a way to win friends in Sales, don't you agree?
Think about it; marketing ROI doesn't happen if a sale isn't ultimately made. Marketing doesn't exist in a vacuum; neither does Sales. The two departments affect each other. The more you help your Sales department succeed, the greater your marketing ROI will be.
Landing Pages And Your Marketing ROI
Want to be successful and enjoy a high ROI? Your marketing efforts have to lead to a solid conversion rate. Whether you are running an E-Commerce store or offering interested B2B prospects your latest white paper, a conversion – final sale, email signup, etc., has to take place. The ideal environment for this conversion to take place is on a landing page.
Landing pages let you focus your prospect's attention on the transaction at hand. They let you remove many of the distractions that make online marketing such a challenge.
Many buyers are persuaded by video more than they are by print. Landing pages from Lander feature built-in video support.
Are you operating an online store and trying to build a solid marketing ROI in the ultra-competitive world of E-Commerce? Great news! Lander now offers you an exciting array of E-Commerce-optimized landing page templates with PayPal integration built in.