Four categories to consider in tracking your return on investment:
Many Professional Service Firms find tracking their return on investment elusive or difficult at best. While there are many factors that go into understanding whether your ROI is successful, below are the four major ones.
Before you can break down the success of your marketing strategies, you need to know how much you spent on each market audience or client type. Having and tracking your budget are paramount to measuring your marketing success. Do your firm’s accounting structure and coding allow you to track where your marketing dollars are going? If you’re spending significant amounts of your marketing budget on specific regions or client types (i.e. Healthcare vs. Higher Education), but you have no way to track your spending, you won’t know whether your efforts are a successful and good use of your dollars. And you won’t know how to allocate those dollars for success next year.
I once had a large firm as a client who targeted a diverse list of customer types such as hospitality, healthcare, higher education, commercial office developers, yet their marketing budget was only broken down into large buckets such as meals & entertainment, salaries, travel, conferences & events. They had no way of knowing if their efforts and dollars spent at a healthcare conference actually brought them new healthcare clients, or if their ad campaign to universities was a success. If you track your revenue goals by market sector, your accounting system and budget need to match. Especially if you want to expand into new markets.
Take aviation for example. Say I wanted to win airports as new clients for my firm; I may need to put an extra portion of my budget toward attending trade shows, participating in city-wide/tourism organizations, advertising in aviation publications, or hiring someone to develop content marketing and a social media for targeting that client type. How would I decide where to get the extra money from my budget? I could take money from my higher education marketing spending if I knew that I was well established in that area and if I knew how much I spent last year and whether it was effective or not.
Once you have an idea of how much you spent pursuing each market, you should consider the following factors:
- Proposal and Presentation Win/Loss/Success Rates
You will need to track not only how many proposals you have written, but how many times you shortlisted (proposal success rate), interviewed, and how many times you have won or lost.
- RFQ to RFP success
- RFP to Presentation success rate
- Presentation to win rate
- Statistics for Social Media platforms and Email Campaigns
All social media platforms and automation software allow you to track your hits in a variety of ways. From how many people opened your email, to how many shared it or clicked through to your website. Facebook and Google ad campaigns allow you to target a specific audience and therefore you can see the behavior of your audience and which content is successful and engaging.
- Website Analytics and Marketing Technology
Make sure you can track and review your SEO, domain authority, page authority, visits to your site, your blog or white papers. Today’s “Martech” or Marketing Technology Software allows you to track your customer engagements with your email blasts, social media and website. A few of the main ones for Professional Service Firms are Hubspot, Marketo, Active Campaign, etc.
The ROI of conference attendance is hard to measure, however, it is a crucial consideration since many conferences can be quite costly. If you’re tracking your conference expenses to either exhibit or attend, you should examine your exposure such as speaking engagements or exhibit booths and compare to your revenue success in that market. Ask your team the following questions:
- Is this conference a long-term investment to establish us in this market?
- Did we reach our intended audience?
- If we exhibited, how many actual client leads did we get?
- Did we send the right people? The right amount of staff?
- Do we feel the overall expense of participating in this conference is contributing to raising revenue in this market.
Make sure to set up a debrief when your staff returns from the conference and that they are prepared to share the results of their attendance.
How we can help
Hawkins-Pye Consulting conducts marketing planning strategy sessions where we address all of these considerations. Or we can help you analyze and understand each one separately. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.