In my experience there are 2 main reasons why businesses can fail to generate return on investment from a digital marketing campaign.  First is lack of planning.  Too often a business will launch an AdWords, Bing, or even Facebook ad campaign simply because they received a free $50 coupon.  Or, they’ll launch a social media campaign because “everyone else is doing it.”  Sound familiar?

Obviously, those are not great reasons to invest in any particular marketing tactic and it’s critical to first think through your goals, whether or not you’ll be able to reach your ideal customers, and whether or not you have a chance to profitably generate new customers.  This needs to be done before the campaign goes live.

The second reason is lack of measuring.  This is really a subset of planning.  Before you launch a new marketing campaign you must have an answer to the question, “How will you measure success?”  Put yourself in your own shoes one week or one month or even one year in the future.  What will you look at to determine the success of this marketing campaign?  Then of course, you need to make sure you have the proper tracking in place to give you that data.



The Real Measure of Marketing Success

We’re in the age of “big data” and there are way too many analytics and tracking tools to, well, keep track of.  It’s overwhelming for all the experts in this field so it’s certainly overwhelming for everyone else.

But here’s the thing…

When it comes to measuring the success of a marketing campaign, there is really only one thing you need to know.  Did you generate more revenue in sales than the cost of the campaign?

Isn’t that all we care about at the end of the day?  Website traffic, click through rates, impression share, conversion rates, value per lead, value per sale, and all the other metrics you hear about are certainly important.  But let’s face it, sales trumps them all.

I’m going to assume you already know how to calculate the cost of your marketing so let’s focus on tracking those sales.


How to Track Sales from Your Website

For everyone out there with an e-commerce business, you’re in luck.  Tracking online sales is fairly straight forward and there are lots of tools readily available.  I use and recommend Google Analytics E-Commerce tracking.  Click here to learn more about how to get set up.  Then you’ll be able to run reports to see exactly which marketing campaigns are driving sales, along with the actual revenue per sale.

Now, if you’re business is not 100% e-commerce, then you’re going to need to take this a step further.  Most importantly, you’ll need phone call tracking and CRM tracking.


Phone Call Tracking 101

I when I say “phone call tracking” what I really mean is DNI, or dynamic number insertion.  With DNI set up on your website, you can show a unique phone number depending on where the website visitor came from.  For example, if I clicked on an AdWords ad to get to your website, then I would see phone number A.  If I clicked a link from Facebook, then I would see phone number B.  And if I clicked a link in the organic Google results, then I would see phone number C.

The person answering these calls could then document the source of the call so you see exactly how many calls were generated from any given marketing campaign.

That’s great, but I know what you’re thinking… Phone calls are not sales!  That’s why we need CRM tracking, too…


CRM Tracking 101

CRM, or customer relationship management, tracking is simply a process of tracking your leads and sales all the way through your sales funnel.  Some example of popular CRM systems are Salesforce and ACT, and here at Main Street ROI we use Infusionsoft.  Or, if you want to keep it really basic, you could even use an Excel file, a Google Spreadsheet, or a notepad to keep track of your leads and sales.

It really doesn’t have to be complicated.  All that matters is that you’re documenting your leads and which leads are converting to sales.

As long as you know which marketing campaign drove the lead based on the call tracking, then it won’t be hard to run reports to see the number of sales each week, month, or year.