Is your marketing costing more than it delivers?

Neha Kale
@neha_kale

When you run a small business, the ability to allocate your time and resources wisely can mean the difference between failure and success. Understanding whether or not your marketing efforts are generating a return on investment (ROI) can seriously impact your bottom line.

There’s no point rolling out the latest marketing tactics if they’re not resonating with your customers or generating much-needed leads. Here are four telltale signs that your marketing is costing more than it delivers.

You can’t decide on a success metric

Identifying your most important success metric is essential to knowing if your marketing spend is paying off. Are you hoping to achieve higher customer retention rates, increase traffic to your website or encourage your online customers to add items to a checkout?

If you’re uncertain about your key marketing drivers, there’s a higher chance that you’re pouring money into strategies that won’t deliver your desired results. Deciding what to prioritise is the first step when it comes to a marketing mix guaranteed to generate ROI.

Your website traffic isn’t increasing

If you’re spending money on Facebook ads, Google Ad words and social media but haven’t seen this spend reflected in your website traffic then you know that your marketing efforts are amiss.

Looking closely at the ‘Acquisition’ section of Google Analytics – a function that segments your traffic based on sources and referrals – will give you critical insights into which channels to invest in as well as the ones that aren’t earning a high enough return.

If you’re uncertain about your key marketing drivers, there’s a higher chance that you’re pouring money into strategies that won’t deliver your desired results.

You’re failing to generate quality leads

Sales and marketing teams involved in lead generation should be generating new opportunities every week. If the time and effort they’re spending on contacting new prospects isn’t adding up to meetings or connections, then it’s safe to assume that your marketing strategy is putting a hole in your budget – rather than the other way around.

Your inbound marketing isn’t effective

Inbound marketing methods such as blogging or content marketing require time and investment but they can also bolster brand awareness and repeat visitors to your site.

According to a February 2013 report by Hubspot, 93 per cent of companies using inbound marketing generate new leads. But if these strategies aren’t increasing page views or growing your audience, it’s time to drastically rethink your approach.

It’s critical to remember that marketing ROI changes according to business contexts and isn’t an exact measure of whether your strategies are panning out.

But when you perceive it as part of the big picture, it can help you evolve and grow. How do you measure your ROI?

Neha Kale

Neha Kale is a freelance writer and editor who covers business, technology, arts and culture for publications in Australia and overseas.

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