The Easiest Way to Make Your Marketing Dollars Work Harder


Return on investment. Three boring-sounding words that, together, make all the difference between effective and ineffective marketing.

But at the end of the day, it’s all that matters when making marketing decisions.

Most managers avoid thinking about ROI like the plague. This is true for 3 simple reasons:

1. They aren’t held accountable for it
2. They don’t know how to calculate it
3. They’re not sure what actions to take to improve ROI, given limited time, money and know-how

The thing is, marketing managers are increasingly being held accountable for their marketing ROI. And figuring out how to calculate ROI is a mouse-click away.

That leaves us with #3: how to take positive, effective action to improve marketing ROI.

If you run a Google search right now for “marketing ROI,” you will find over 55,000,000 search results. Clearly, there are a lot of opinions out there on how to improve marketing ROI.

Putting all of the products, tools and techniques aside, here is the easiest way to improve your marketing ROI: prioritization.

You have to prioritize those programs (channels/modalities) that WORK. It’s that simple.

Trouble is, if you are like most marketing managers and company owners, you don’t know what’s working. So, you just keep investing in the same programs, year after year.

Here’s the good news: marketing is getting more and more measurable. Digital and social, e-mail and text. Web visits. Open rates, click rates and conversion rates. You can look it all up. You can calculate it. You can use it to calculate your ROI.

What about those hard-to-measure programs/channels like radio and TV? While harder to measure their effectiveness directly, you still have room for effective action here. For example, a market segmentation report will tell you which types of traditional media content your best customers consume on a daily basis.

Want to really make this all work? Do this:

1. Get out a piece of paper or open your favorite spreadsheet software
2. Write down the top 3-5 ways you are spending money on your marketing, as well as the amount of revenue you can tie to each one; calculate ROI
3. Place an asterisk next to each one for which you can measure revenue results
4. Sort them in order of priority, with “highest ROI” items at the top.

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