Ah, ROI. It’s the ultimate KPI. And one of the most vexing to figure out.

Sure, the equation is easy: The benefit (or return) of an investment divided by the cost of said investment.

But the definition of the words making up that equation can differ, depending on who you ask.

  • Is the benefit/return equal to hard dollars? A specific action? Or something else?
  • And what about the investment? Is it hours spent? Resources, or hard costs such as printing, media, etc.?

Don’t worry. We’re here to help you figure it all out.

But the first step is determining how your business will define what a successful ROI looks like before you begin your campaign development. Is it calls? Website visits? Purchases? If you don’t know what you want your customers to do, how will you determine your ROI?

Assessing Your ROI

Once you’ve settled on what you’re measuring, the fun begins: Developing your campaign and all of its associated tactics, the latter of which can be difficult to attribute what worked well and what…didn’t so much. 

Here are some tried-and-true ways for determining which tactics were the winners:

1) Tracking

Alright. You’ve written the ads, enhanced your website, or done what was needed to make the desired action easy to complete.

Now it’s time to track everything. And we mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

  • Website visits – including which pages are receiving the most traffic
  • Online purchases or actions
  • Abandoned pages
  • Time on site
  • Phone calls
  • Email statistics, including open, click-through rates, subject lines

2) Developing the Campaign

With insights in-hand, now it’s time to figure out which avenues present the best opportunity for integrating into the actions you want your audience to make. This may include a new section or messaging on your website, an email series, TV or radio ads, press releases/media outreach, direct mail or a social media push – or all of the above.

Remember: The media you use should align with where your customers will most likely see (or hear) the messaging you’ve created.

3) Pre-Market Testing

Before launching your campaign for the masses (or your niche audience), start by understanding what your target market considers valuable.

Email, a poll on your website, or paying attention to what your followers are saying on social media are all relatively low-hanging fruit.

If time or budget allow, more in-depth tactics like focus groups or outbound call surveying can deliver even more nuanced insights.

No matter what method you select, any pre-market testing is better than none because this will serve as the starting-point for all messaging that will resonate with your audience.

4) Post-Market Testing

Once the campaign has run its (smashingly successful) course, it’s time to bust out the abacus (or spreadsheets) to debrief and compare what your initial baseline research indicated vs. how your audience actually responded.

But diving into the numbers isn’t as easy as expecting Google (or Alexa) to give you an answer.

What works for one audience may not work for another, and what one company has found to be their saving grace might take the wind out of another’s sails. It takes testing, trial, and yes, even error, to ultimately find the right marketing mix and message that resonates with your target audience.

5) Adjust Your Tactics

After assessing how your audience responded to your marketing tactics, it’s time to figure out what can be tweaked in the future.
  • Did one type of subject line perform better than another?
  • Did you get all the website traffic you wanted, but not as many sales?
  • Did the video you made not have as many full views as expected?
This type of deep dive will help make sure the messaging, frequency and media used next time are more on point. But…to ensure you’re able to determine if those adjustments work, you’ll need to modify one thing at a time vs. everything at once – otherwise, you’ll be right back where you started.

6) Reassess Your Results

Once you adjust and run another campaign, it’s time to once again reassess (not to be confused with recess, which is admittedly a little more fun) your results – and compare those to your initial results. Because you’re smart and followed our advice, you just modified one thing, making it easy to figure out whether or not that adjustment worked in your favor.

Then it’s time to adjust and assess, and adjust and assess again until you have it mastered.

To effectively execute the steps outlined above takes time and investment. And while tracking should be present in any marketing venture, there are ways to tailor your pre- and post-market testing to fit your company’s budget – and objectives.

Not sure where to start? We do – and how to finish.

Drop us a line today, and as always, stay tuned for more tips from Stealth next time we go Off the Radar.