A marketing strategy is typically only as good as the research that’s been gathered to inform it. Marketing strategies fail for many reasons, so we need to take the time to understand why. If you don’t, you will have completely wasted your time and money.
The Marketing ROI Checklist
When you are not getting your ROI from your marketing strategy, there is a checklist to follow to understand what could be happening. First, calculate how long the strategy has been active. If you’re not seeing any growth within the first six months, your strategy probably isn’t working. If it’s only been a couple of months, it might be too soon to tell.
Second, evaluate whether you’re tracking the right metrics and interpreting them correctly. Depending on what platform is being used, this could affect how you measure the success of your strategy. Lastly, evaluate whether or not the type of content you’re producing is the right kind that your audience is interested in.
The Most Common Mistakes When Measuring Marketing ROI
Using our checklist, the most common mistake made is when the lifecycle of the marketing strategy is incorrectly compared to the results. Oftentimes we judge the effectiveness of the strategy too early. Take social media, for example; the target audience and the type of content being produced can affect how long it may take to see progress. Generally, any social media account doesn’t see significant growth until six months to a year later. On the other hand, SEO ads can start generating results within the first week they’re active, depending on how they are managed, and the budget allotted to this tactic.
This may seem elementary, but some marketing campaigns are measured incorrectly because they don’t have smart goals. If your goals are not easily measurable, you won’t be able to determine your ROI at all. Determining which metric is most important to you is crucial before the strategy can be developed and measured.
Knowing When to Adapt to Increase Your ROI
Marketers frequently fall into the simple trap of failing to adapt their strategy, costing them a lot of time and money. If you are not monitoring and analyzing how your audiences engage and perceive your marketing, you will never know how to best adapt your strategy. New trends manifest every day across a multitude of platforms. Understanding where trends are coming from on social media, knowing how to leverage them, and having the flexibility to jump from one to the next is key to social media marketing.
As a brand, if you are not prepared to adapt your messaging to align with your target audience, expect to see serious reputational and financial consequences. Airbnb leveraged the effects of the pandemic despite travel bans and lockdowns; they shifted their messaging to align globally and launched a campaign on all their platforms. The marketing campaign included a video about “the magical experiences that hosts bring to guests.” Airbnb reported engagement of over 3 million people worldwide, and one of their videos from this campaign has over 3.5 million views. This helped Airbnb garner a huge ROI once travel bans and lockdowns were lifted.
Forbes noted the pandemic pushed many brands to revise their marketing strategies by implementing elements that “respected the moment in creative execution, offered tangible help and value related to your product, and a localized targeting strategy.” If your audience notices you aren’t adapting to their needs or don’t care about what’s important to them, you can expect to see a large decline in engagement. To avoid this and maintain brand loyalty, you’ll need to strategically consider how to adapt – changing your messaging, updating your values, being transparent, or supporting a cause that wasn’t relevant until now.
Understanding the nuances of measuring marketing is required if you want to avoid throwing money at the proverbial wall and hope that something sticks. Marketing is frequently seen as a service that’s nice to have — not something that’s essential — but most businesses don’t grow without marketing, so staying educated on marketing strategies, lingo, and how it’s measured is vital.
A lot of marketing problems can be cured or avoided with smart research and planning. The important thing is keeping a pulse on your strategy and your audience, as staying informed on both will ensure you maintain an effective marketing campaign in the future.
The author of this article is a marketing expert and co-founder of Bowery Boost, Fulya Uygun.