In a recent post on the Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2017, we touched on the importance of making data-driven decisions. We consider this a critical piece of the Inbound Marketing puzzle because it’s the only way to calculate ROI. Time is money – and there’s always a budget – so how do you maximize your precious resources and make the most of your marketing spend?
For some companies, determining ROI is a simple task. They log into the backend of their marketing and sales software, such as HubSpot, and pull a report. For others, it’s a complex system of logging information into a spreadsheet and extrapolating data when needed. Regardless of how you crunch your numbers, any company can benefit from focusing on a few key elements when making data-driven decisions.
This should go without saying, but how will you know how you’ve improved if you don’t know where you stood when you started? Before beginning a campaign of any kind, collect data to serve as a benchmark. If you don’t have any, do some research to un-layer industry averages.
Set Metrics-Driven Goals
To determine if you’ve been successful at achieving your goal, you need to define what success is. Are you hoping to generate more leads? Do you want to reduce spend per conversion? By understanding what you want to achieve, you can determine what metrics you’ll need to track to consider it successful. Ensuring you’re tracking the right information upfront will make it easier to analyze long-term – and less likely to miss something critical to understanding the results.
Report on Goals Regularly
Don’t wait until your annual sales meeting to review your data. This should be an ongoing focus. Review your analytics weekly and monthly; know where you stand so you’re continually making improvements.
DO Something with Your Data
While you don’t want to shift gears prematurely, you also don’t want to waste time and money on something that isn’t working. Use your data to help you make smarter marketing decisions. This will have the added bonus of improving your marketing results. Overtime, you’ll refine your marketing strategy so that the campaigns that give you the highest ROI are where most of your spend is going. Of course, you’ll always want to set aside a bit of your budget for the latest and greatest… but otherwise you’ll be running a well-oiled marketing machine.