If you own a business, is it your best investment? If so, how do you feel when you invest in marketing and lose your hard-earned money? Exactly.
This is why I submit that marketing is a very real form of investing and just like with the stock or bond market, marketing is way too emotional for most of us to manage on our own. That’s why people hire marketing experts and other professionals to help them know what they don’t know; to make a profit or return on their investment.
When you invest a dollar in marketing what do you want back as a return on your investment and by when? If you don’t really know, maybe it’s time to get more clear on your intentions and how you manage your marketing money or budget. After all, marketing costs money and it’s a game of failure so there is always a learning curve that never ends.
For me, if I invest a dollar in marketing today, I want to see a tangible return on my investment within 30 days, ideally. Even though the return on investment may not mean a sale, revenue or income to me, a measurable marketing result is often a “conversion to list” or “click to call” conversion in which a prospect chooses to engage the seller. The buyer-seller dance begins! Overall, I want to double, triple my money. Do I get this always? No.
There is great power to clarity of intention. In my world of sales and digital marketing strategy, action planning and content, we always intend for a clear marketing result. If we don’t set a clear intention, we deserve to get our butts handed to us.
If you wing it with your marketing investments why would you expect to get better sales and marketing results? You’d be amazed.
What Do You Expect?
One way people get into trouble investing is their expectations are unrealistic. In fact, most business owners don’t really know what to expect for every dollar they invest in marketing. They don’t measure results, either. So often I don’t get an answer when I ask, “What is the ROI on that marketing investment and over what period of time?”
When you invest in marketing like websites, landing pages, SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing or a new marketing hire, even a sales rep, there’s always a reasonable time period to expect a return on your marketing investment. This depends on the buy cycle that is typical for your customer; how long it takes to attract, engage, convert and on board your new customers. This is commonly referred to as The Customer Lifecycle or Journey.
When I worked as an investment adviser and financial planner we learned to teach people what to reasonably expect for a return on their investment in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate and many alternative investments. Back then we were trained to teach people that a 12% historical rate of return was the trend based on data. I always told people to expect less from the markets because it’s just too much pressure to swing for the fences on investment returns. It’s too risky unless you know the game. This never stopped many people from being unrealistic, even greedy.
The normal thing I hear about marketing is, “Where’s the ROI?” This is often asked in a tone of despair, exasperation, having been run over by 10,000 marketing projects and campaigns that never seemed to work out. Why?
Because marketing is messy. So are humans. People don’t follow processes, mostly. They follow their emotions and this is what wipes investment ROI out. Building a business, investing in the stock market or real estate is done with the least risk over long periods of time. Short periods of time imply high risk; gambling.
Why gamble with your business, income and marketing investments if your business is your best investment? It’s not necessary, some would even suggest it’s irresponsible to do anything less than treat your sales, marketing and business as the best investment you might ever have.
What is it costing you not to know or even measure your marketing ROI? If you invest in your business, what do you want for a return on all the time, money and energy you’ve given your business? If you don’t know, maybe it’s time to plan with more clarity, breed more confidence, and execute more efficiently because you know where you’re going – you have a plan.
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A positive return on your marketing investment results, your ROI.
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