Tracking the return on your marketing spend

There’s an old saying about marketing that’s no longer true (if it ever was): “I know that half of my marketing spend is a total waste of money, the only trouble is that I don’t know which half”. Nowadays, there is absolutely no excuse for thinking like this thanks to the number of marketing services that make it possible to track the impact of everything that you spend right down to the very last cent.

Tracking your spend online

Tracking the effectiveness of your online marketing spend can be relatively straightforward and, if you’re not already doing it, you really should be. All you need to do is get hold of a tool like Google Analytics and place the relevant code snippet on your site. Once this is in place, you’ll have access to all sorts of insight about who your visitors are, where they’re coming from and how long they’re spending on your website. This means that you’ll be able to track the effectiveness of every email you send, every paid advert that you’re running and those articles that have been written about you on other websites.

If you’re using Google’s own ads platform, it’s even possible to pull information about your ads performance straight into Google Analytics. This means that you can see exactly what return you’re getting on every cent that you spend on Google PPC ads. If you add in e-commerce tracking, which allows you to track the value of every lead that is generated on your website, you’ll have a full view of your marketing path and the ROI which you are generating in one platform. This is something most marketers could not even have dreamed of 10 years ago.

Tracking offline marketing spend

Tracking the effectiveness of spend that you make on physical and other non-digital ads can be trickier but it is certainly far from impossible. Any time that you quote a phone number or website address in an advert, make sure it’s unique. This means that you will be able to track how many sales or inquiries are coming from that particular piece of advertising. At the most basic level, it’s also worth asking people how they heard about you when they come to make an inquiry or purchase. This data is not 100% reliable but it should give you a good level of insight into what your marketing efforts are producing.

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