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4 Areas to Address if You’re Not Seeing a Strong ROI

There’s nothing more frustrating than spending your hard-earned time and resources into a marketing approach that shows little to no return. Ineffective marketing isn’t just a waste of time, though; it can also mean squandering your marketing and advertising budget on futile efforts that miss the mark.

Even if your marketing is showing some return, it’s possible that you’re still missing out on opportunities to optimize your efforts and boost your reach across the market.

Fortunately, there are some simple-but-effective tools that can help you evaluate and measure success throughout your marketing and sales pipeline. When your ROI isn’t up to par, it might be time to dig into one of these four areas to refresh and refine your approach.

Your gut.

There is some merit to that ‘gut feeling’ that just tells you something is right. Although unexplainable, it’s worth tuning into your gut for insights — sometimes, it knows more than our conscious brains. Yet, while a great starting point, you need data to back up your marketing decisions. Use your gut feelings to form hypotheses to test your theories, then look to your website and social metrics to monitor and measure your real, concrete ROI.

Look at your marketing efforts and consider your expectations for each avenue. For example, if you’ve invested a lot of time into social media exposure, how do you expect your content to lead to sales? Map out each step a prospect would take from your social media feed to completing your inquiry form; then, set up your analytics dashboard to track each of those steps. This data should confirm (or refute) your initial gut feeling and give you a baseline from which to grow and experiment with new marketing strategies.

Your website.

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to track the ROI of your marketing efforts is through your website analytics. Consider your website as a storefront that is always open for inquiries. Your metrics serve as 24/7 store managers that ensure everything is operating smoothly and working to convert visitors into customers. They will be the first to alert you of potential issues that arise, as well as a quick report on your business operations.

In order to effectively track ROI on your site, you need three things:

  1. A landing page: This page tells visitors what to expect and how your business can benefit them. It also provides a compelling call-to-action, telling your visitors what to do next (i.e. submit a contact form, add products to a cart, etc.). For event pros, this page typically drives traffic to an inquiry form to request more information.
  2. A thank you page: Next, you need a separate thank you page that traffic is directed to after completing your inquiry form. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated; the purpose for this page is for Google Analytics to determine when someone has inquired. An added bonus is that you can use this page to manage client expectations and get prospects excited about the next steps.
  3. Your conversion goals: With the first two steps in place, you can now refine your Google Analytics goals to measure the success of your sales funnel. Head over to Conversions > Goals on your dashboard, then set up a destination goal that links to your new thank you page. Set it to “includes” so you can factor in all variations of your page, including any campaign-specific UTM codes.

Your market.

If you’re not happy with your ROI, it may be time to evaluate the strength of your market and whether you’re attracting the right people. The “right” clients are those that you want to work with and will value your skills. Think of your past and current clients: Do you consider them to be a good fit? If not, it’s a good sign that your marketing approach is off the mark which, unfortunately, could mean you’re leaving money on the table. Oftentimes, making shifts towards attracting your ideal client doesn’t just lead to more sales, but also to better sales that are more qualified and have larger booking values.

Your sales process.

Last but certainly not least, it’s possible that gaps in your sales process are impacting your ROI. Marketing is only one piece of the puzzle and, if you or your sales team can’t convert, it’s possible your marketing is effectively attracting clients who just aren’t ready to close. Take a look at your inquiry-to-sales ratio — if it’s lower than 50% in person-to-person sales calls or meetings, it’s likely you need to address your sales process. This is particularly worrisome if you’re paying a sales team for their time, only to amount to a low booking rate.

The key to smart marketing decisions lies in the treasure trove of data that lives in Google Analytics. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes — as long as you are making informed choices, you’ll always be in a good place to adjust your strategy for maximum impact.

 

Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that bring in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator with recent speaking engagements at NACE Experience, WIPA, and the ABC Conference.

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Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that bring in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator who recently presented at NACE Experience in both 2017 and 2018.

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