Posts Tagged ‘ROI’

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?

April1.EinsteinCounting

 

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 »

Tradeshows a Dying Breed? 13 Tips to Help Improve Show ROI

tradeshow, pr, events, sales, leads, press, editorsRemember the days when tradeshows were jam-packed and everyone registered to attend as soon as they could to reserve their spot?  People milled around and networked for hours looking at some of the greatest booth presentations and demos the industry had to offer.  It was THE BEST, wasn’t it?

Tradeshows were so important. They were an ‘absolute must’ travel expense.  And then, all of a sudden, there was a drop. Slowly, these fun networking extravaganzas seemed to slowly fade away.  But just like print magazines themselves, we’ve seen it come full circle and hopefully there will be a resurgence as organizers are learning what works in today’s new environment.

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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 »

The Devil’s in the Details

trade show presence, event marketing, event best practices, trade show, best practices, event, show tips, trade show success, trade show roadmap, success roadmapWhile attending a tradeshow for the packaging industry recently, I was a bit surprised to see a large number of marketing snafus that could have been easily avoided, and would have resulted in much better lead generation on the show floor. 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!

Are You Missing the Boat on the Ultimate Way to Boost Trade Show ROI?

tradeshow budget

Tradeshow PR falls into the 6% “Promotions” category, but can turn into an invaluable expense with the correct tactics to increase ROI.
(Image courtesy of Atlantic Exhibits)

Despite soaring costs, tradeshows can have a powerful impact on your marketing efforts. Choosing the right show with the right audience and presenting the right message are key. But to really get the very most out of your tradeshow investment, don’t overlook the one target audience that can have as much or more value to your sales and marketing efforts as your prospects.

We are referring to the numerous tradeshow editors who gather at these shows looking for stories, looking for news, looking for content to fill their hungry print or online pages, looking for ways to bring their readers the very latest information on new products, technologies, concepts, etc.

Hooking your company’s story (and every company does have a unique story!) to the right editors is easy when you make it an integral part of your PR/marketing strategy. At The Simon Group, tradeshow PR is the way we maximize our clients’ return on tradeshow investment. The ability to reach customers and prospects more economically via the digital world has made many companies consider dropping tradeshows from their marketing strategy (and budget!).

However, the face-to-face time you can get with customers, prospects and editors can make your tradeshow efforts much more worthwhile when leveraged correctly. For only a small additional amount of planning and budget for coordination, the relationships built at tradeshows can be immeasurable.

The key is employing a variety of editor-friendly tactics in your trade show strategy. These tactics combine to connect your company to the editors who matter most and to generate significant initial and follow-on PR, often resulting in feature articles, interviews and other major publicity opportunities.

If you’re going to spend a small fortune on your next tradeshow, and that’s what most tradeshows costs these days when all costs are tallied, get a greater payoff than ever before with press coverage that will certainly generate a new and profitable level of awareness and even qualified leads.