Why is Marketing Return on Investment Difficult to Measure?

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It’s a valid question, but being able to measure your ROI for all of your marketing efforts, both individually and as a whole, is vital. Just what are the difficulties when it comes to measuring marketing return on investment and how can you overcome them?

If you’re an agency, ROI allows you to definitely prove your work is impacting their bottom line. It also gives you the ability to see what is, and isn’t working, so you can refine your client strategy for an even better outcome.

If you’re a business, you can prove your team’s impact to senior management and use it to get sign off on bigger budgets or new talent. It also helps you double down on what’s working, and evolve your strategy as your priorities develop.

Marketing has come a long way from just billboard campaigns and radio jingles. But as the number of channels available to us grows, the need for robust reporting grows too. Let’s not get too in-depth here. Keep reading to find out why marketing return on investment is so difficult to measure and our advice on making it easy.


Editor’s Note: Are you looking to skip straight to the sell? Ok, ok, you caught us. Our marketing attribution tool plugs the data gap to prove your marketing ROI. By tracking every single touchpoint a user has with your website (that includes calls, live chat sessions and forms too!), you can understand every customer journey and identify how your marketing is impacting sales.

Get started today by booking a demo, or find out more about marketing attribution.

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Intangibles of Marketing Measurement

Part of the problem with measuring ROI is that there can be so many intangible gains from marketing that don’t necessarily add obvious pounds to your bottom line.

You can:

  • Establish your expertise in your niche
  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Increase your customer satisfaction
  • Build a community

and so much more with the right marketing. But, it’s incredibly difficult to assign a monetary value and decide what role they play in generating profits.


Tracking Leads Through The Whole Buyer’s Journey

Then we come to the question of where your leads actually come from?

One person might find you on Facebook, someone else may pick up a leaflet at a live event, yet another lead may come to you via word of mouth.

It’s also likely that many of your leads will have visited your website multiple times. So, while you might see certain numbers of visitors by channel in Google Analytics, understanding which channel acquired the lead, can be tricky. And that’s before you even get started with revenue and sales.

Understanding the full journey

Look at it like this. A user visits your site after searching a keyword that one of your blogs appeared for organically. But, they don’t convert. They visit you again three more times. First by a social referral. Then by a paid advert on Google. Lastly, they visit your website from a direct search at which point, they subscribe to your email marketing.

Wait for it. They receive an email, and they click on the link and become a customer by calling your business.

That’s a total of five visits by five different channels. Each played its part, but how do you understand which channels are working to bring you leads, and which are converting them into customers?

According to a survey taken by Econsultancy, 49% of marketers believe they achieve a better ROI with relationship marketing over acquisition marketing. But does this just correlate with the well-known fact that its cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one?

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Source: Econsultancy Digital Marketing Excellence

If ROI is so difficult to calculate, how do you know you’re not missing opportunities to acquire new customers at a low cost?

At this point, you could be forgiven for thinking you might as well close up shop and go home if you can’t measure so many things that are vital for marketing success.

But don’t worry.

We’re not going to leave you hanging and worrying about how on earth you’ll present your clients or board of directors with clear proof of their return on investment.

Not without providing you with a solution that works.


Introducing Closed-Loop Revenue Attribution

The closed-loop revenue attribution framework is an approach to marketing measurement that instead of relying on existing metrics such as goals and conversions, focuses on what matters the most to your business: revenue.

How does it work?

It’s simple.

Using a visitor level product such as Ruler Analytics you can track anonymous people over multiple sessions, sources and keywords.

When a lead converts, whether that be via phone call, form or live enquiry, Ruler Analytics will integrate with your chosen CRM, analytics stack or other app and fire the relevant data over.

Once the deal or sale closes into revenue, Ruler Analytics passes the monetary information back to your marketing analytics so you can report on real sales and revenue.

Here’s how it works:

It’s this framework that simplifies the process when it comes to calculating the return on investment of your marketing efforts.


Editor’s Note: Curious to learn  more about closed-loop marketing? Download our eBook to find out more, or book a demo to get started!Closed Loop Marketing Attribution - Banner - Facebook - www.ruleranalytics.com (1)

Understand your marketing return on investment with Ruler Analytics

Using software like Ruler Analytics, you can map your entire customer journey, giving you a clear view of how each customer found, what made them decide to buy, how they got in touch and their value to the business.

You’ll be able to keep an eye on the full lifetime value of each customer and compare it with the cost of getting them into your sales funnel.

You can combine data from both sales and marketing, getting the right information from both departments to prove where your leads came from and what marketing efforts brought them in.

And you know what that means, right?

A clear, definitive marketing ROI that you can use to sell your agency, our your marketing team to your senior team. You’re welcome!


Find out more about getting started with marketing attribution by booking a demo with the team. We’ll show you how to prove your return on investment right in our dashboard. Or, if you prefer, how to push our data into your preferred analytics software.

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Written by

Digital Marketing Manager at Ruler Analytics with a background in SEO, analytics, content marketing and paid social. I help people (like me) close the loop between marketing-generated leads and revenue.