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9 experts tell what is a good Marketing ROI and why 0

Posted on September 14, 2019 by Rob Petersen
marketing roi

Marketing ROI

Marketing ROI is exactly what it sounds like: A way of measuring the return on investment from the amount a company spends on marketing. 

Marketing ROI benefits any company in the following ways:

  • Justifies marketing spend
  • Shows what to spend on
  • Compares marketing efficiency with competitors
  • Holds marketing people accountable

What sort of Marketing ROI should a business expect? 9 experts tell us what is a good Marketing ROI.

What is a good Marketing ROI?

According to Neilsen, the average marketing return on investment is $1.09. So what is a good Marketing ROI and why.

5:1 Ratio

‘A 5:1 ratio is in the middle of the bell curve. A ratio of over 5:1 is considered strong for most businesses. A 2:1 revenue to marketing cost ratio wouldn’t be profitable for many businesses, as the cost to produce or acquire the item being sold (also known as cost-of-goods-sold, or COGS) is about 50% of the sale price. Companies with higher gross margins (their COGS are LESS than 50% of the sales price) don’t need to achieve as many sales from their marketing before they become profitable. Therefore, the ratio is lower.” – Chris Leone, Web Strategies Inc.

Email marketing has the highest ROI

“Email marketing has the highest ROI of 675% when compared with any of the other major marketing methods. An email marketing campaign with a business’s website can be utilized to great success in order to increase sales and profits.” – Profitworks

Measure against the past

“One good way to set a “good ROI” benchmark for each marketing strategy is to look at the return from similar tactics you’ve tried in the past, as well as your current sales numbers. That information should help you create ROI benchmarks and goals that are realistic for your company. What’s considered a “good ROI” can vary based on the type of marketing strategy, your distribution channels, and your industry.” – Pamela Bump, HubSpot 

Start small and scale with success

“Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of blindly spending money, hoping that cash will eventually come back and multiply. Sometimes it works. Usually, however, the entrepreneur runs out of money because he or she didn’t consider ROI. Maybe you spend $500 on Facebook Ads. You track the campaign over several weeks and discover that leads from those Facebook Ads generated $10,000 in revenue. That’s a massive ROI. Now you know that Facebook Ads offer tremendous ROI. Next time, you might spend $2,000 on Facebook Ads to multiply the potential revenue.” – Jonathan Cronstedt, Medium

Test your way to a high Marketing ROI

“Almost anything can be measured using proper test design – but note that it’s prohibitively expensive to test everything with this method. With test and control groups, you apply the program or treatment that you want to measure to one component of your target buyer group, and not to another homogeneous part of that group.  All other factors being equal, you’ll be able to attribute any difference in buyer behavior between the two groups to the particular program.” Jon Miller, Marketo

Google Ads – $2 return for $1 spent

“According to research by the American Economic Association, businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords (Google Ads). However, many of them spend money on AdWords without knowing which search terms to target, what the best bid price is, or how to measure their revenue.” – MarketingProfs

KPIs with targets determine Marketing ROI

“ROI can certainly be seen as a “numbers game.” When marketers launch campaigns, they must be willing to identify the KPI’s of those campaigns in numerical terms. How much more traffic have they generated? What has been the increase in lead generation compared to that before a campaign has been in place? Companies can obsess on looking for a positive ROI in short order when, in fact, a campaign may be much longer-term before results can actually be seen. Find the balance. Set up the KPI’s, track results in real-time, eliminate those campaigns that are clearly not working, and allow those that seem to be getting results the time they need.” – Circa Interactive

LinkedIn has an average ROI of $9.59

“We looked at every paid LinkedIn touchpoint (e.g. paid social ads) across our customer base from 2017 through July 2018.  We use a full path attribution model in order to give revenue credit across the entire customer journey, including marketing that happens post-opportunity creation. We look at cost data and closed-won opportunities across the same 1.5-year time span. In other words, this includes costs for LinkedIn ads directed towards leads and current open-opportunities. The average ROI for a subset of our customers is $9.59.” – Andrew Nyugen, Bizible

Facebook ads lift search ROI

“Consumers who were exposed to Facebook ads were more likely to conduct a new search on mobile. The average lift for mobile search referral traffic was 6 percent. Small businesses saw the largest variance in the lift. when people saw Facebook ads in addition to paid search results, they were not only 13 percent more likely to buy online, they were also 79 percent more likely to seek out the brand’s physical store.” – Larry Kim, Wordstream

Do these experts help your understanding and expectations of Marketing ROI? Do you need help determining Marketing ROI for your business?

10 experts give 10 reasons why ROI fails (it’s not numbers) 3

Posted on June 09, 2019 by Rob Petersen
roi fails

Why ROI fails

ROI fails to be measured for many businesses when Return on Investment (ROI) is a relatively simple calculation.

One that is exceptionally useful for measuring success over time and taking the guesswork out of making future business decisions.

10 experts give 10 reasons why ROI fails. And it has nothing to do with the numbers.

  1. No executive mandate to force measuring ROI. “The lack of a true executive mandate to force the needed process and cultural changes across the organization—well beyond marketing’s toy-strewn cubicle walls. Quite simply, without an executive mandate for change, your marketing ROI effort is highly unlikely to do anything but waste months of time and goodwill.” – Marc Blumer, VP, Director of Demand Generation Strategy, Slack + Company
  2. Lack of alignment between sales and marketing on ROI measurements. “Marketing and sales leaders are trying to work together, but still struggling to operate in lockstep. Marketing automation and CRM tools begin to connect the dots. They fail, however, to capture the interplay between marketing’s impact on awareness, trust, and confidence across paid, owned, earned, and shared channels, and sales’ ability to sell, sell more. The need to add in and analyze other factor that influence the customer journey.” – Kyle Brantley, Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer
  3. Not setting SMART goals. “SMART goals are: 1) Specific, 2) Measurable, 3) Attainable, 4) Relevant and 5) Timely. SMART goals respond to and produce clear actionable data. They encourage multiple departments to collaborate and allow for perfect alignment with organizational objectives. Even if targets are not met, SMART goals give results expressed in universally understood metrics, allowing you to learn, grow, and be better prepared for your next attempt.” – Emma Astroth, Marketing Director, SIO Digital
  4. Letting hot leads grow cold. “A surprising number of companies launch a shiny new marketing campaign but fail to prepare the sales department for an increase in sales volume: you launch your plan, hot leads come in, sales staff is overwhelmed, hot leads become cold leads. An effective marketing plan requires a scalable sales infrastructure to ensure the organization has the capacity to adapt and manage lead flow.”
  5. No baseline. “Without the Baseline you have nothing to measure against and little, if any, control of your blog project and the progress you want to make.With the baseline you can start to compare your performance improvements over time and showing how you are getting better at measuring ROI.” – Urs E. Gattiker, ComMetrics
  6. No Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Having SMART goals is one thing, but if you’re not monitoring your progress and breaking down your goals, but uou need to make sure they’re attainable, after all, and have a regular schedule for checking your progress. KPIs are also vital in a measurement framework. Ultimately, these show how effective your company is at achieving its business objectives. – Gertie Goddard, Noisy Little Monkey
  7. Customer relationships are managed by software platforms, not people. “The experts warn you against assuming that everything is well and fine just because you’re connecting to your customer with a CRM. Building relationships with your customers is an evolutionary process. Be aware that customers tend to evolve and change, and your business may need to evolve and adapt to their ever-changing needs.” – Amer Wilson, Rolus Tech
  8. Companies isolate analytics from business operations. “Struggles abound when analytic capabilities are developed and applied far removed from the business, within pockets of poorly coordinated silos. To make this work, a hybrid model to develop initial, centralized capabilities.” – Dennis McCafferty, eWeek, Baseline and CIO Insight
  9. Focus on customer acquisition vs customer retention. “Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It makes sense: you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding a new client — you just have to keep the one you have happy. If you’re not convinced that retaining customers is so valuable, consider research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) that shows increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” – Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review
  10. No strategy. “Without a strategy, there can be no ROI. The “R” in ROI implies that there is in fact a return to be had. As such, the return must be defined through objectives and ultimately strategy development.” – Danna Vetter, VP, Consumer Strategies, ARAMARK

Do these reason make sense to you why ROI fails? Are you interested in creating an ROI that succeeds for your business?

ROI research on the 5 hottest digital trends 0

Posted on January 13, 2019 by Rob Petersen
ROI research

ROI research (Return on Investment) is a key consideration for companies pursing or thinking about pursuing the hottest digital trends:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Big Data
  • Digital Transformation
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Mobile Apps

Each of these areas is about innovation with the goal of saving companies time, money and providing better and more personalized customer experiences.

But the reality is they are big endeavors that also require big investments and often infrastructure change. So how much? For how long is required? When does it pay off?

Here is the ROI research on the 5 hottest digital trends.

ROI research on Artificial Intelligence (AI)


70% of companies claim they’re using a form of artificial intelligence (AI). This includes machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and cognitive computing. Manufacturers worldwide are looking to technologies through artificial intelligence (AI) to increase efficiencies and avoid disruption from industry newcomers. KPMG surveyed 299 global manufacturing CEOs, and another 73 from the US. The conclusion for their ROI research: AI investment could take up to 5 years, 56% of manufacturing CEOs say.

ROI research on Big Data


Big Data adoption reached 53% of companies in 2017 according to the NewVantage Partners Big Data Executive Survey. 84% of survey respondents name factors related to speed, insight, and business agility as the primary reasons for big data investment. Tech Republic reports that ROI on big data can be delivered in 6 months if companies outline a very specific business case and outcome for the big data investments. Examples include sensors to shorten delivery routes or reduce in-transit theft. Behavior data to better understand consumer preference and relationship to sales. Wikibon research claims, the average Big Data project delivers a 55 cents ROI for each dollar invested.

ROI research on Digital Transformation

88% of companies report they are undergoing digital transformation. This year, according to IDC, companies around the world are expected to have spent a total of $2.1 trillion on digital transformation. The network is at the heart of any digital transformation according to IDC. No network means no business. Yet IDC has stated that in the next two years almost a third (30%) of large and midsize businesses will suffer a service failure due to mismatches in power delivery and IT workload profiles caused by hardware obsolescence. A DT-ready network can be surprisingly affordable achieving an average return on investment of 349% over five years and payback in as little as six months. Automation is an essential element of such a network; an IDC study found that companies lowered their networking costs by 33%.

ROI research on Influencer Marketing

75% of marketers are using influencers as a marketing tool and many plan to increase spending 43% in the next 12 months. A study on influencer marketing showed that it can give an ROI of 11X more than banner adsA Celebrity Intelligence survey found for $1.29 beauty brand spend on beauty influencer, they are generating a return of $11.38. According to Tomoson, $6.50 in revenue is generated from every $1 invested in influencer marketing strategies. Finding the right influencers for the right campaign is one of the most frequent difficulties faced by nearly 68% of the marketers.

ROI research on mobile apps


58% of all connected consumer time takes place in mobile apps, according to digital research firm comScore. According to a report by Gartner, mobile apps will be responsible for generating a revenue of $77 billion by 2017. Mobile apps are a core ingredient in the future of tech in our everyday lives. ROI research on mobile apps is determined based on the function and goals of the app. It’s different to develop mobile games to make money than to create a free corporate app to enhance your brand and be able to connect more directly with your customers. But ROI is also pretty basic for mobile app. The primary markets are the Apple Store and Google Play. They offer tools for keeping a record of the times our app gets downloaded, as well as from which countries it was downloaded from and user performance data. You can also check the comments and opinions left by those who have tried our app and the error reports it may have generated to act accordingly and get these problems solved in future updates.

Does this ROI research help you in your pursuit of these innovative technologies. Could your company benefits from a ROI assessment for any initiatives you may be doing or thinking in these areas?

10 most common mistakes in calculating ROI 0

Posted on December 02, 2018 by Rob Petersen

 

calculating roi

Calculating ROI (Return on Investment) is based on a simple formula involving the gain from an investment, the cost of the investment and the resulting ROI. Here it is:

calculating roi - roi calculation

Yet, to many, it is one of the most desired but vexing business measurements. Why?

Here are the 10 most common mistakes businesses make in calculating ROI.

  1. CONFUSION BETWEEN CASH FLOW AND GAINS: A common mistake in calculating ROI is comparing the initial investment, which is always in cash, with the gain as measured by profit or (in some cases) revenue. And not basing the gain on cash flow. For example, customers might be billed but that doesn’t mean they all pay on time. Or shipments might have gone out. But some goods might have been returned. The correct approach is always to base the gain, either profits or revenue, on the cash flow received.
  2. UNDERESTIMATE INITIAL COSTS: Many businesses try calculating ROI without first properly accounting for all initial costs. As a result, they may end up underestimating initial costs. Before you start your calculations, know what your initial costs are. Here are some of the areas that might be missed.
  3. FAIL TO INCLUDE PEOPLE’S TIME: One of the reason ROI is a highly regarded measurement is it includes not just out-of-pocket costs but operational costs like labor. Most business owners are aware that time is money for any company. However, when it comes to calculating ROI, they forget to consider the value of their time or that of their employees.
  4. DON’T KNOW THE MINIMUM RETURN REQUIRED: Take into consideration the minimum ROI that your company requires because there probably is one. Look at the relative risks, cost of capital, and opportunity costs. Here’s what experts say is a good ROI for various industries. Even if it hasn’t been formally stated, have the discussion to bring it out when you start calculating ROI.
  5. MEASURE THE WRONG THING: In 2010, Pepsi launched the Pepsi Refresh Project, an initiative where people could submit and vote for their favorite nonprofit projects to receive grants from Pepsi. The project generated 3.5 million Facebook likes, 60,000 Twitter followers, and over 80 million votes for nonprofits. But it didn’t sell more Pepsi. Pepsi cancelled the project in 2012 after falling from second to third place in national soda market share. It was a noble initiative, but likes, followers and votes were not the right measurements for ROI.
  6. MEASURE TOO MANY THINGS: In data-rich environments, it’s easy to lose sight of the metrics that really matter. Before calculating ROI, know the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your business. KPIs are the metrics that matter for any business. They are metrics that, just like your ROI, have a target. If you don’t know them, you may find yourself measuring too many things.
  7. DON’T LEVERAGE EXISTING CAPABILITIES: A manager at a large wireless telecommunications firm recently called for help with her budget. She’d “taken a stab” at quantifying the ROI for the company’s data warehouse and wanted to review her calculations. Her worksheet—which included a rigorous mix of hardware, software licenses, maintenance, burdened staff, and consultant costs, etc.—made clear that she’d forgotten an important step: Leverage current IT infrastructure and resources to reduce cost estimates and make a project more attractive to business executives.
  8. DON’T GET THE BUSINESS TEAM INVOLVED: No one wants to own ROI. Calculating ROI can be difficult; understanding all the required skill and resource components can challenge even the best manager. When the planning phase of a project occurs, most managers take it upon themselves to calculate ROI on their own. It’s important that baseline ROI numbers are adopted by a team and accepted by the key business stakeholders.
  9. DON’T ACCOUNT FOR THE FULL SALES CYCLES: In the B2B buying process, it can take many months for a prospect to go from first touch to closed sale. If you try to calculate your ROI too soon, you may undervalue the amount of impact that investments are making. In the B2C buying process, it may take time to generate awareness, educate consumers and gain trial. But, once you do, buying frequency might increase at that point. Pick a time period to measure your ROI that makes the most of the resources invested.
  10. DON’T ACCOUNT FOR CHANGE: Nothing is certain. You can’t know what competitive developments, new trends or surprises might occur during the measurement period for your ROI. So don’t treat ROI as an area that you “set and forget.” Look at it regularly. Evaluate against KPIs. And be prepared to make revisions as necessary. Anything worth measurement should be view with the most current data.

Do these mistakes help you to understand the correct way to calculating ROI. Does your business need help in doing and managing ROI.

10 experts explain what is a good ROI and why 0

Posted on May 28, 2018 by Rob Petersen

good roi

Good ROI measures the profitability of investments and helps objectively assess future success.

ROI also demonstrates how skilled the people in charge are at generating profitable growth and managing company funds wisely.

What is a good ROI? 10 experts explain their standards for a range of industries.

  1. Advertising
  2. Business Owner
  3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  4. Customer Service
  5. Entrepreneur
  6. Investing
  7. Marketing
  8. Digital Marketing
  9. Real Estate
  10. Restaurant
  11. Venture Capital

Here’s what they have to say.

GOOD ROI FOR ADVERTISING (GOOGLE ADWORDS)

“Research show businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. According to Google, campaigns that use the Conversion Optimizer achieve a 21% increase in conversions while decreasing CPA by 14% on average.” – Elisa Gabbert, Sr. Manager of Content and SEO, WordStream

GOOD ROI FOR A BUSINESS OWNER

“Strive to make at least triple the value of the hard cash you have invested in your business. Average angel investors and venture capital fund investors shoot for a return of 4 to 10 times their invested capital.” – Start on Purpose

GOOD ROI FOR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM)

Nucleus Research finds that for every dollar spent on CRM implementation, returns can peak at a stellar $8.71 (2014). That’s a $3.11 jump from three years ago when the strongest returns topped out at $5.60.” – Sarah Brigham, Nutshell

GOOD ROI FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

“In research on actual customer transactions published in the Harvard Business Review, researchers found that among thousands of customers studied, customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.” – Elen Veenpere, Groove

GOOD ROI FOR AN ENTREPRENEUR

“My advice to entrepreneurs is to try to at least double total invested capital plus the value of any contingent liabilities associated with guaranteeing bank debt, real estate leases and equipment leases. Building a successful business is hard work. Earning a salary is not enough to compensate for all the risks and effort involved with business ownership.” – Susan Schreter, Fox Business

GOOD ROI FOR INVESTING

“A really good return on investment for an active investor is 15% annually. It’s aggressive, but it’s achievable if you put in time to look for bargains. ROI, or Return on Investment, measures the efficiency of an investment. For every dollar you put in, what kind of profit can you expect.You can double your buying power every six years if you make an average return on investment of 12% after taxes and inflation every year.” – Trendshare

GOOD ROI FOR MARKETING

“A good ROI for marketing is 5:1. A 5:1 ratio is middle of the bell curve. A ratio over 5:1 is considered strong for most businesses, and a 10:1 ratio is exceptional. A 2:1 revenue to marketing cost ratio wouldn’t be profitable for many businesses, as the cost to produce or acquire the item being sold (also known as cost-of-goods-sold, or COGS) is about 50% of the sale price. For these businesses, if you spend $100 in marketing to generate $200 in sales, and it costs $100 to make the product being sold, you are breaking even. If all you accomplish with your marketing is break even, you might as well not do it.” – Chris Leone

GOOD ROI FOR DIGITAL MARKETING

“According to Neilsen, the average marketing return on investment is $1.09. A $1.09 ROI means that for every $1 spent, the company generates $2.09 (for a profit of $1.09). The top 3 marketing media with the highest average return on investment are email marketing, search engine optimization, and direct mail. Tracking source of sales to be able to calculate return on investment from your marketing initiatives is critical to being able to improve the effectiveness of your marketing spending.” – Profitworks

GOOD ROI FOR REAL ESTATE

“Without using any debt, real estate return demands from investors mirror those of business ownership and stocks. The real rate of return for good, non-leveraged properties has been roughly 7% after inflation. Since we have gone through decades of 3% inflation, over the past 20 years, that figure seems to have stabilized at 10%.” – Joshua Kennon, Managing Director, Kennon-Green & Co. 

GOOD ROI FOR A RESTAURANT

“If by ROI you mean the profit realized annually by the average restaurant, it is very consistent across the industry: 3–5% according to several sources. Extremely well run restaurants or very high-end places might make as much as 10%, but those are the exceptions — not the norm. I would be very suspect of any restaurant that claims to achieve 15–25% net profits.” – Chuck Rogers, New Orleans Restaurant Owner

GOOD ROI FOR VENTURE CAPITAL

“Venture capital (“VC”) funds, as well as experienced angel investors, specialize in investing in startup and growth-oriented privately held companies. They understand the statistical risks of business failure within their investment portfolio. They know that on average, only four out of 10 investments in promising entrepreneurial companies will deliver any profit to VC fund investors. This is why VCs and angels aim extra high and turn down investment opportunities that don’t represent a “grand slam home run potential” to the overall fund.” Susan Schreter, Fox Business

Do these example help you understand what is a good ROI and why? How is your business measuring up? Or, if you don’t know, do you think it’s worth knowing what is the ROI for your business?

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