Digital marketing can offer your company new avenues to reach your customer base with endless ways to reach unique goals. The mark of a great digital marketing partner is one that makes your return on investment (ROI) a key indicator of overall success and is transparent and inclusive with you on how that ROI was computed.
To do this, there must be a deep understanding of the business (and its’ goals) on the agency side and a collaborative data mentality on both sides of the partnership. Here’s how you can work with your agency partner to ensure data-driven decision-making and results based on actual impact to your business.
Share your knowledge and data
The beginning of your partnership with a digital agency is, arguably, the most critical period. This is the time when you can highlight the needs of your business with the team that will be implementing the work to get you there. Make sure you are open and honest with the team, both with your concerns and with your data.
Usually, your business will have a customer management system (CRM) in place, and it is important to share access to that data with your agency. This will allow for proper tracking to be put in place, to ensure that ROI can be calculated to the most precise degree. This also gives your digital partner the opportunity to see what kinds of leads you are getting from our work and optimize campaigns based on real-time results. No one knows your business as well as you do, and sharing that knowledge allows everyone to enter the partnership reaching for the same goals.
Be Open to Recommendations (and Change)
As your work with your digital partner continues, there may be variations to some of the key numbers you previously had in place. Some of the important numbers we consider when evaluating ROI success for a client include:
- Lead to Close Time
- Lead to Close Rate
- Marketing Cost
- Revenue Generated
- Lifetime Value of Customer
- Gross Profit Margin
- Many other details unique to your vertical
While some of these numbers are tried and true, with very little change, the data born out of your digital marketing efforts can show fluctuations in others. For example, with one B2B client, Forthea saw the average lead to close time was actually two weeks longer than previously thought.
Knowing this allowed us to make changes in how we distributed digital marketing budgets and when dependent on the need for conversions in a given time frame. These changes can help better predict ROI over time.
Trust the bigger picture
One of the great things about digital marketing is the capability to look at the incoming data down to the minute. While this can be a tempting way to look for digital marketing success, it can also be misleading. Variations in user behavior, and therefore conversions and sales, happen naturally over days and weeks. If you see 10 conversions come through on a Thursday and none on a Saturday, you may think this means something nefarious has happened with your campaigns or website.
Forthea typically utilizes rolling monthly data (and year over year data, where applicable) to show you true trends over time. Trending data allows you to cut through the noise of the various data points at play and see what really is working. It can also show you where your business trends during points of seasonality. When looking at ROI, trended data can help plan for the upcoming months and years, and where the budgets can be fluctuated to hit the intended targets.
Attribution is King
When you’re investing in digital marketing, it’s likely that you will be engaged in several different channels at one time. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) oftentimes go hand-in-hand. Adding on conversion rate optimization (CRO) or paid social media channels add a layer of complexity as well. Any combination of channels can mean success if the right tracking and attribution are in place. With good attribution modeling, you can see which channels drove which leads, and what the ROI of each channel is.
This can help in budget planning, as well as which channels need more investment in the future. The key here is for your digital partner to have the access to place tracking code and enable you to see a lead from the time they enter the website or ad through to execution of a sale.
Know the Value of your Data
Many companies already have tons of data - they just don’t know what to do with it. Digital marketing is an opportunity to utilize that data and turn it into actionable insights. The data can be used to curtail messaging for specific segments of your consumer audience, prepare for seasonality changes, budget and return projections, as well as larger advanced analytics projects that can lead planning for business for years to come.
When it comes to ROI, sometimes it’s the minutiae that can make the difference in precise calculations. Likewise, if you haven’t had the opportunity to gather large amounts of data for your business yet, ensure you are partnering with a digital agency that can assist you with successfully gathering that data in a useful way.
Making data-driven decisions will help drive up your ROI when partnering with a digital agency. At Forthea, we are proud data nerds that understand the importance of a complete picture of digital success. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your digital customer base!