One of the most difficult things facing those who are responsible for digital marketing is the proving of Return on Investment (ROI).
It is relatively straightforward to show activity and outputs like number of followers and incremental awareness and profile following publishing of content. Many experienced marketers have now understood how to plot the customers’ journey from the initial point of awareness, through conversion to ongoing retention and the building of loyalty. However this is often high level vanity metrics where big numbers like ‘reach’, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ over shadow the true value of the activity. For most businesses the true value comes from incremental customers or perhaps gaining incremental sales value from existing customers. The biggest challenge the marketer faces is truly and accurately joining up their digital activities and content publishing with actual measurable sales volume and value.
Digital dashboards like HubSpot, SocialReport, SproutSocial and the like are great for measuring the information about activity and helping the marketer to turn that into insights that support decision making going forward, but it typically tends to be ‘just’ marketing data. In the coming years the marketers who will rise to the surface and shape the future of the industry will be those who can provide accurate, timely and ongoing tangible evidence of the financial return their activity has achieved.