How to Effectively Report on Marketing ROI in 7 Steps

Now more than ever, there are more demands from marketing budgets. There is greater pressure to create marketing that gets results, measure marketing ROI, and then optimize everything to perform better in the future (especially on digital channels).

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably responsible for monthly, quarterly or campaign-based reports. Often, you may even find yourself scrambling to pull data from your agency (and various digital channels, like Google Analytics) to report back to your VP or CEO. But are you and your agency set up to report on the RIGHT metrics in the first place?

Here are seven steps to ensure you’re measuring what matters!

Step 1: Be clear on your objectives. 

It may seem like common sense, but setting (and communicating) clear, actionable objectives can sometimes get missed – especially when you have a lot on your plate. Is your campaign designed to increase awareness? Boost sales? It’s important to create SMART goals, have all stakeholders agree on them, and build a metrics plan from there. 

Step 2: Determine proper KPIs to measure those objectives. 

Now that everyone is aligned on objectives, the next step is to determine how you will measure them. For example, if it’s to increase email signups on your website, you would track conversions through Google Analytics and total signups on your email platform. Once you have tangible and clearly-defined KPIs to measure how successful you are against your objectives, the rest of the steps are a lot easier.

Step 3: Record any current baselines.

If you’ve done anything like this before, it’s good to define how that campaign performed in the past so you can see if your new strategy and tactics made a difference. If you don’t have anything, that’s OK. With this new metrics process, you’ll be sure to have baselines for next time!

Step 4: Record any environmental factors. 

This is where it’s good to have a SWOT analysis in place. Are there any external factors that could affect the campaign’s performance? Did you launch a new product? Have a larger advertising spend? Is there a new competitor in-market? Or how’s the economy? These are all things you need to take into consideration (and list) to put metrics into context.

Step 5: Set a reporting schedule. 

When do you need to pull reports? Monthly? Quarterly? At the end of the campaign? It’s always good to create alignment between you and your agency (or internal teams) on when reports need to be prepped from the start so no one is scrambling to pull numbers a few hours before a presentation.

Step 6: List and set up tools to make tracking easier. 

It seems like there is a tool out there for everything (and there is!) – from freebies that track website data like Google Analytics, to more robust and specialized inbound marketing systems like HubSpot. This is where your agency can really help (or a little Google searching). Typically agencies use a variety of tools for a variety of clients (and complete regular tool demos and reviews), so be sure to lean on them to see what works for your budget and needs.

Step 7: Make sure you have a budget set aside.

Make sure you leave room in your budget for these steps – whether that’s dollars with your agency, or time for your internal team. Defining and allocating proper resources from the start of a campaign ensures that you’ll receive a stronger metrics report at the end. 

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