We offer this last section on marketing ROI as a bonus to everything you’ve already read in Parts One through Six of this blog series.

To borrow a term from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this is the stage where you “sharpen the saw.” In other words:

This is the point where you make your highly effective, systemized and automated inbound marketing system even more powerful by analyzing your results to determine ROI (Return on Investment).

Suppose it’s the end of your fiscal term. Your company is getting ready to close its books and lay out a new marketing budget for the year ahead.

You want to allocate funds so they’ll be used most effectively. Spend more on the marketing and advertising that works and spend less on what doesn’t.

In other words:

You need to know your ROI for the advertising and marketing money you’re spending.

How can you do that?

If you’ve read the past six entries in this blog series, you already know the answer.

Because if you’ve practiced even a small portion of the ideas we’ve outlined here, your company should be able to generate detailed reports by simply pushing a button. And these reports will tell you unequivocally:

  •        which leads from which sources generated the most sales,
  •        the behaviors leads demonstrated most often prior to closing a sale,
  •        which of your company’s advertising campaigns generated the most leads,
  •        and on and on.

By using the kinds of systems we recommend at Stern Inbound Marketing, every piece of information your business requires to take the next step toward increased profitability, efficiency and ROI is literally right at your fingertips.

Let’s be clear:

You spend money on advertising and marketing for a reason.

That reason is to generate more leads, and therefore more sales, for your business.

A prudent business analyzes the results of its expenditures to see if they accomplished specific goals.

Imagine adding up all the dollars you spend on marketing and advertising. Now imagine dividing that amount by the number of leads that came into your business all year. By doing so, you produce the most basic calculation you can make: your Cost Per Lead Overall.

But why stop there? If you’ve followed our advice, you can drill down much deeper and generate all kinds of reports that tell you how many leads you generated from:

  •        Passing out business cards,
  •        Running radio ads or TV commercials,
  •        Having someone generate social media: tweets, blog entries, Facebook ads, and so on.
  •        Your website.
  •        Automated campaigns conducted by your marketing software.
  •        And so on.

Suppose, after doing this, you notice that you’ve spent thousands of dollars on Facebook ads for a specific marketing campaign — let’s call it a Thanksgiving Day Sale. But those thousands of dollars only generated sixteen leads, of which only one advanced to become a paying customer.

Was this a worthwhile expenditure?

Hold that thought for a moment…

Let’s also suppose that, simultaneous to the Facebook campaign, you advertised the same Thanksgiving Day Sale over LinkedIn.

You spent the same amount of money on both campaigns. But the LinkedIn campaign generated 42 leads, of which ten became paying customers.

Do you see why we say that information is powerful?

Remember that the overall goal of the savvy inbound marketer is to lower your cost per lead!

So maybe next Thanksgiving you’ll decide to use the same budget for this holiday campaign, but stop advertising on Facebook and double down on LinkedIn ads. Or stop using Facebook entirely and branch out into a new campaign over a different social media platform to see what kinds of results that will produce.

Any time you and your company make more intelligent choices to generate and nurture leads, you win!

The final calculation you want to make on Ad/Marketing ROI is — dollar per dollar — how much money are you making for the money you put out?

One client we worked with recently found out that they made $8 last year for every $1 in Ad/Marketing ROI they invested.

Does this company feel good about the Ad/Marketing funds they put to use? Absolutely! (And we at Stern Inbound Marketing feel good that we could provide such a valuable service.)

But then it gets even better. . .

By using the kinds of intelligence-driven reports we’ve describe in this series, this company is re-calibrating its Ad/Marketing campaign for next year to produce even better results!

That’s called business growth and efficiency.

That’s called taking the world by storm.

It’s the reason we could patent our Stern Storming sessions. We really CAN describe in clear English the true benefit of doing business with you and the needs and desires of your target market.

And the reason we’re here if you need us to handle all of your inbound marketing needs.

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