When it comes to proving marketing value, ROI is the keyword all executives want to hear. It may seem a simple enough request, but calculating ROI for marketing endeavors can get pretty tricky pretty quick. While ROI is definitely important, especially in terms of the monetary needs of marketing, there’s a different way to think about ROI that’s important for marketers — the foundation that a strong initial marketing strategy can provide for all future marketing endeavors.
While it may seem minimal compared to the numerical value that marketing strategy can provide a company, it’s important to remember that the work done in an initial marketing strategy can make or break any future marketing efforts, and can show valuable insights that can pave the way for future success.
Why Strategy Lays Important Groundwork
It’s easy to espouse demographic information about a brand: the majority of purchasers of Oreos are Women between the ages of 35-50 and have children. But what does that information mean? This explains a core distinction between content marketing strategy v. traditional marketing efforts. For traditional marketing, this information is simple enough for Nabisco to decide to put out a commercial, during daytime hours for stay at home moms that heavily features children enjoying Oreos. For content marketing, the approach is more complex. From this demographic information, what do we know about these moms? Where do they spend their time online? What kind of information do they need in choosing their children’s’ snacks? What does their buyer’s journey look like? What is a deciding factor in their purchase?
As Oreo is an established brand with years of name recognition under its belt, it’s unlikely that they would have to seriously consider these factors in order to find marketing success. For other companies entering the world of digital marketing, this information is make or break. Knowing the important factors of your marketing strategy, such as buyer personas, pain points, and content preferences, are all important not only in your first campaign, but any campaigns developed down the road. When this information is not addressed upfront, it could lead to catastrophe, forcing marketers to return to step one and reassess everything to find where their campaign failed.
Noticing Different Sorts of Marketing Numbers
While it can be different to assign a dollar value to marketing ROI, or ROMI (Return on Marginal Investment, which can be a more accurate way of looking at marketing returns), without having a direct finance background and access to your books, there are still numbers that are important to the marketer more focused on marketing and results than the value of the marketing.
For example, 82% of marketers who blog daily acquire a customer via their blog versus the 57% of marketers who only blog monthly. Or nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. These statistics (courtesy of HubSpot) are developed from the analysis of a widespread amount of marketing data, and are incredibly important as marketers decide what tactics work well for their strategy. For example, knowing that blogging daily can have a large effect on the chances of customer acquisition helpful, and may lead to a heavier blog focus in a group’s marketing strategy. But if persona research suggests that the key personas won’t read a blog, it might be wiser for the strategy to put less an emphasis on blogging.
While marketing statistics aren’t a guarantee that a tactic will work for all marketers, they do allow us to see important trends and methodologies to try in our own marketing strategy. Though innovation is important in marketing, it’s also vital that you’re not constantly seeking to reinvent the wheel. Trying with proven methods allow better trial and error than going into marketing strategies blind. By utilizing trusted statistics from trusted sources, marketers can make educated decisions about the tactics to funnel their efforts to.
Assigning value to marketing efforts doesn’t have to be solely numerical. Instead, it’s important for marketers to understand that marketing strategy and the foundations of that strategy offer an important starting point to all future marketing endeavors, offering ROI that is not necessarily easily measured, but impactful all the same.