In our latest blog, we reveal how questioning the unquestionable and questioning truisms, can enable you to kick-start the 6-steps to calculate your digital marketing ROI.
So, where do we start?
1. Question the validity of Mother’s Day
Really? Yes, it does sounds sacrilegious – but stay with it for a moment:
Mother’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of mutual love, of appreciation. A celebration accompanied by a handful of slightly dilapidated daffodils, hand drawn, misspelt cards, soggy cereal and lukewarm coffee in bed (thanks dads for all that effort).
But conversations on Mother’s Day are usually the stuff of simpering saccharine. Unquestionable whether all mothers, everywhere, have incalculable value. Oh, the self-sacrifice. Oh, the selfless-commitment.
But this is the problem: fair enough giving plaudits to the exhausted, time-poor mums of legions of tiny terrors (back-off dads, this is not your day). But the obligation continues even for grown-ups whose mums were selfish narcissists – or worse. Real, meaningful relationship should surely count – not whether you remember to send a pot plant.
With relief, one dissenting voice was found amongst the Google millions – Flic Everett writing for The Telegraph. On the subject of the pressure and expectation of Mother’s Day, she says:
“For those who had no mother at all, or one who was difficult, abusive or a narcissist, it’s even worse. Should they join in with the general veneration, even though it’s a lie?”
Just because no-one is asking the question, it doesn’t make the question less valid.
2. Question the value of digital marketing truisms
Like Mother’s Day, there sometimes is a presumption within digital marketing of accepting truisms.
When it comes to ROI, we need to question the whole conversation around the subject – either those who quote it to prove time well-spent (without proving it), or those who quote it to claim they need to spend less on it (without proving it either).
The naysayers can see tweets going out and blogs posted, but don’t see direct returns, so they quote a lack of ROI and retreat back to the trusted method of lonely staff sales waiting for the phone to ring.
3. Remember that strategy comes before ROI
There’s also no point trying to calculate ROI, if you haven’t first mapped out what you want to achieve through social media or digital marketing generally.
Even when ROI is discussed in more detail, many commentaries on achieving better ROI will jump straight to lazy recommendations. ‘Do more social’. ‘Send more Tweets’. ‘Engage an Influencer’. Really?
Why are people following your Influencer? Most people don’t sell lifestyle products, so most Influencers won’t have the type of audience you require. Does your Influencer have a real following? If they do, they will require a substantial sum for plugging your product or service.
Are you happy, without any real plan, to stump up a huge wodge of cash in the hope that you achieve further reach, to hopefully improve engagement, to hopefully increase sales?
Yes, it might work. But there again, it might not. Sorry to be the voice of doom, but you may have expected it from someone who questions the value of Mother’s Day.
4. Identify (then ignore) Digital Marketing Vanity Metrics
Other arguments around the subject of ROI, jump straight to the most familiar metrics at the monthly meeting. ‘We have seen an X% improvement in likes and shares this month’. ‘We have increased our followers by Y% this quarter”. Cue knowing nods and smug smiles all around – even a begrudging pat on the back from Andy in sales.
But these are the ‘Vanity Metrics’ of social media marketing.
Vanity metrics refer to things like: impressions and followers, likes, traffic spikes, shares and comments. They all sound and look great, but are they of any use to you?
Not according to the Digital Marketing Institute, who advise us to completely ignore them: “vanity metrics don’t have any value for your business”.
5. Use some useful metrics for an understanding of ROI
So, if we are avoiding Vanity Metrics, which ones should we be looking at? That does depend on your overall aim and there are too many to mention here, but some great metrics to get started with are:
- Cost per lead – also referred to as ‘cost per conversion’. As with all your worthwhile metrics, this one will need some careful analysis to produce meaningful numbers. You will have to ensure conversions align with your leads for them to be meaningful, to avoid overcounting.
- Cost per acquisition – as above, but counts actual customers rather than potential ones.
- Unique monthly visitors – as suggests, this metric counts how many people visit the site in a month. You can then segment this down further according to source (organic, paid, social etc).
- Conversion rate – you can break this down further, by channel to know where the traffic is coming from, and by device to see how successful each one is in converting the traffic.
6. Ask yourself – what is the ROI of your mother?
So, it’s all about the metrics then?
Well, maybe not.
Gary Vaynerchuk – US digital marketing motivational speaker highlights this by asking: What’s the ROI of your mother?
It sounds harsh, but the question he asks is: can you always put a time and value on something that has benefited you later on in life?
He says that those great business decisions you make are rooted in the self-confidence that has been built into you over the years, from your upbringing.
Or conversely (since we are in the business of questioning Mother’s Day), even for those with not so good experiences, it’s still difficult to point out the exact moment where your confidence suffered, but you know where it came from.
Sometimes You can’t put a number, name or date on everything. Some things are just absorbed, over time, a product of time and effort invested. Or lack of time and effort invested.
So, calculating ROI depends on questioning all the norms you thought were givens. It depends on first assessing what you want to achieve, then developing a strategy to deliver it. Calculating ROI then relies on using some solid metrics to quantify your digital marketing strategy.
And remember, just because no-one is asking the question, it doesn’t make the question less valid.
But whatever you do, please don’t forget those slightly dilapidated daffodils for Mother’s Day.
If this blog has got you thinking about calculating your own digital marketing ROI, but are not sure where to begin, WebAdept have been offering digital marketing solutions and strategies for 20 yrs. Get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you!