Posts Tagged ‘Measuring ROI’

Marketing Smarter: Are Marketing Tools Hurting or Helping Your Efforts?

Work smarter not harder using marketing software tools to enhance your strategyLet’s start by saying we are very excited about the software, apps and programs available to help facilitate and analyze marketing and communications activities.  But, let’s also keep in mind that marketing software tools are designed to augment a well-defined strategy, not replace it.


In fact, if not used properly, marketing tools can actually hurt your bottom line. A solid marcom strategy still needs to lead the way.

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Covering an Event Live on Social Media

How live tweeting and Facebook posts increased our reach by over 100,000% [a case study]

How live tweeting and Facebook posts increased our reach by over 100,000%

Let’s be real here- The Simon Group is a small agency in a niche market. We don’t have the social media following of some of the world’s largest brands. When we’re talking our average post reach, it’s in the few hundreds range. Our highest reach prior to last week was 646 people. (If you’re reading this, know you’re awesome and we love you for following us!!)


So when we attended an industry event last week on digital marketing (we continue to keep ourselves informed of the latest trends in our own industry… Digital Summit Philly was the most recent), we started posting live updates of the session topics on Facebook and Twitter. We recommend our clients do this at their industry events, and we like to put our money where our mouth is.


Little did we realize just how effective this would be!

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Content Marketing Plan- Part 2

Creating a Content Plan: Part 2Part 2 of 4: Getting things in order

Last time we discussed getting your content marketing campaign off the ground. We gave you the tools on how to get your strategy in motion. In this round, we will discuss how to get the momentum going and touch on auditing your current content, documenting your new content strategy and how to create topic ideas to fuel your content strategy.

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The Value in Public Relations – Can It Really Be Quantified?



The Internet’s relationship with public relations is complex.  While it has helped raise the profile of this long misunderstood marketing tactic, it has also been the cause of many newer frustrations.

Because it traditionally couldn’t be measured in hard dollars as advertising was, PR was always on the edge of being fully incorporated into marketing communications program.  Since a value could not as easily be attributed to PR, many marketers just couldn’t grasp the true value of the practice.


The truth is, PR adds tremendous value.  The other truth is that it is really hard to quantify, Read the rest of this entry »

How to Create a Content Marketing Plan and Be Successful

Part 1 of 4: What to do the first 3 weeks to prepare

how to create a content marketing planLet us start out by saying that content marketing is a long-term strategy that takes commitment and discipline.  It is not a strategy that works overnight or even in the first six months, but when it does finally kick in, the benefits are immeasurable.

Now that that is out in the open, let’s get started…

Vertical Measures, a digital marketing agency that helps other clients and agencies broaden their content marketing strategies, does an excellent job of teaching us how to get your content marketing campaign off the ground.  They recommend accomplishing one major task per week for 12 weeks in order to get the ball rolling.  This article will run in a four part series, breaking the down the 12 week program over four posts.

Let’s take a look at the first three weeks…

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Hitting the Bullseye: a new era of direct email

direct email, bullseye, targeted email, marketing automationMarketing automation has breathed new life into email marketing.  That which was once destined for junk folders and blacklists is becoming useful again by not merely spamming the reader with potentially relevant information, but instead providing value driven material that matches the interests and needs of the recipient.


The intellect a well-run marketing automation program provides allows companies to cultivate prospects with personalized, laser-focused content that helps turn these potential buyers into customers.  You aren’t randomly throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing how much will stick—you’re following a unique recipe that suits their specific requirements.

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Measuring Your Return – Can We Determine ROI of an Advertising Campaign?

WebWhile recently reading On the Near Impossibility of Measuring the Returns to Advertising by Randall A. Lewis and Justin M. Rao, it was stated that the average American sees 25-45 minutes of tv commercials, multiple billboards and an array of internet ads per day.  They go on further to say that industry reports place annual advertising revenue in the US in the range of $173 billion, or about $500 per American per year.  In order for advertisers to break even they need to net about $1.50 in profits per person per day – translating into about $3,500 -$5,500 per household per year. So is this possible?  Is it possible to measure the exact return on investment metrics of an advertising campaign? Read the rest of this entry »

A/B Testing – Algebra and Statistics in Marketing Communications

a/b testing, testing campaigns, marketing testing, marketing efficiency, marcom efficiency, marcom ROI, measuring ROISomeone recently asked me about A/B testing and how it relates to marketing and business. I had to do a little bit of research as I wanted to make sure I could explain it. As I started to read up on it, I could feel the anxiety build in my chest. Terms like ‘randomized experiment with two variants, A and B’ and ‘two versions (A and B) are compared, which are identical except for one variation that might affect x’s behavior’. What the heck?!?!?!?!!??! I’m a communications professional!!! Math is not my forte! Read the rest of this entry »

Believing the Hype about Big Data

marketing automation, marketing efficiency, online marketingWe’ll be honest. We were a bit skeptical about marketing automation when we first heard about it. Is this really a trend that will be helpful for B2B marketing strategies?  But knowing we are typically our clients’ first resource to ask about the latest marketing trends, we knew we had to take a closer look and stay “in the know.” Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media Metrics…A Tricky but Critical Pursuit in Determining ROI

Measuring Social Media ROIThere’s a saying in the engineering world that goes something like this: in order to control something, you have to be able to measure it. The same could well apply to measuring social media impact on the overall marketing effort.


If you can’t measure its effect, you really can’t be sure you’re getting the optimum return on your social media investment. So let’s talk about social media metrics and how they help you understand how well your social media efforts are paying off.


As a prelude, here are some quick stats on just how important social media has become…and it is still in its ascendancy!


  • 72% of U.S. adults use some form of social media…and 42% use two or more!
  • Worldwide, more than 1.8 billion people access social networks (projected to reach 2.55 billion in the next three years!)
  • Social media users are increasingly mobile: 76% of twitter users and almost 900 million Facebook users are mobile.

Keeping Score…Yesterday and Today

In the past, we counted the progression of fans, likes, clicks and other responses. But this didn’t accurately translate to ROI. We needed to go beyond those basic numbers. And going beyond pays off handsomely. Becoming more sophisticated in determining ROI has huge advantages…according to recent studies, advantages like these:


  • 9% more revenues on average
  • 27% more profitability than the competition
  • 12% more market valuation

OK, it clearly makes sense to develop a more mature approach to social media metrics. So, how do you join that sophisticated social media group. Four steps to get you started:

  1. Determine KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)  used to track performance against business objectives
  2. Correlate social KPIs with business KPIs
  3. Access current state and determine desired state
  4. Identify resources and build a roadmap

For details on specific ways to go about achieving each of these objectives, check out this link: Measuring Social Media ROI in the Enterprise: Myths and Facts


Social media can do a lot more than increasing business for your group or division…it can improve your internal divisional relationships, and help build business for other parts of your company, as well. In particular, it can strengthen necessary and very critical bonds between marketing and IT.

A solid social media strategy can make both groups look like superstars…all the while contributing to corporate growth and profitability. Not a bad combination.

So, You Just Got a Sales Lead! Now What?

Lead management funnel


You spend a lot of money to get the word out about your company, products and services to your prospects.

If you’re like most of us in this fascinating B2B marketing business, your intent is to build brand and, along the way, develop sales leads that just might turn into real sales.

Sadly, recent market figures indicate that less than 20% of sales leads result in actual sales. That’s a pretty crummy return on investment.

If you’re a CMO, a sales or marketing manager or a marcom specialist, and your leads-to-sales ratio is this low, this figure should frighten you.

It indicates that your return on your marketing investment just isn’t what it should – and could – be!

So…why is it so low across the board (no, you are NOT alone). There is a possibility that the products or service you’re marketing don’t have that much interest.

However, it’s more likely that either you’ve chosen the wrong media to get your message out, the wrong message for the market you’ve chosen…or…be honest now…you simply have no foolproof means of tracking your sales leads and determining which ones are worthy of follow-up and, in terms of lead generation, which media are delivering the best bang for the buck.

Where are they from?
Today, with more lead generating sources at our disposal than ever before…online and print…it’s more important than ever to find out which sources are hitting the mark for you.

How can you possibly do this without an effective, comprehensive and CLOSED-LOOP inquiry management system? Not having this will ensure that you are squandering an unknown portion of your all too precious marcom dollars.

Having it will give you a sure-fire way of maximizing the impact of your marketing plan and proving to others higher up in the marcom food chain that you are doing the best job possible for your company.

In its simplest terms, a closed loop inquiry management system tracks each and every lead by going back to the field for the data needed to characterize if a lead is hot, warm or dead. It asks the sales manager, salespeople, regional sales managers or whoever is in charge of inquiries (and sales!!) a few critical questions about each lead they are sent.

What was the action?
Did they contact the prospect…was the requested information delivered via print or online…is there a valid application for the product or service…if a sample was requested, was it delivered and how did it work…is this inquiry worth an additional follow-up effort, even an in-person sales call? If so, what is the mechanism for ensuring follow-up and investigating the results of that effort? If the lead is not really applicable to your division, could another division in your company pursue it?

Today’s online inquiries frequently have a ton of data associated with them. The best inquiry management system will effectively log, process and utilize that data.

On the other hand, some of the hottest leads come with no data, no clue. The telephone call! (Remember telephones??) If someone is interested enough to actually pick up the phone and call your company, the first thing you want to know is what prompted the call: An ad? A PR item? A buyer’s guide listing? A blog? What? Where? When?

The hottest leads still frequently come from the telephone and we are missing the boat big time if we don’t find out what source generated that call!

The first step to set up your inquiry management system is to evaluate your sales process. Once the review is completed, an effective system path should start to emerge from the strengths and weaknesses you found in your sales process evaluation. This is key if you ever hope to turn more of your marketing communications dollars into sales dollars, which in turn will fuel an ever-growing marcom budget!

Jena Stauffer is now a Certified Google Adwords Professional

Jena Stauffer, Marketing Specialist at The Simon Group, is now Individually Qualified in the Google Adwords Certification Program for campaign management with a specialization in search marketing optimization. Certified Google Adwords Professionals must show a proficiency in Google Adwords by passing the Adwords Fundamentals exam as well as advanced knowledge by passing another exam in a  specialized area of Adwords.

Jena’s Adwords search marketing optimization expertise includes best practices for ad text, ad formats, keywords, language/demographic/geographic targeting, keyword bidding, conversions and other Adwords tools to best optimize campaign settings for the greatest return on your Adwords investment.

Contact us today to see what we can do for you to help start, optimize or overhaul your Google Adwords campaigns!

Learn more about the Google Certification.
Learn more about Jena’s qualification.