Since the onset of the pandemic, an overwhelming majority (90%) of marketers admit to having shifted their digital engagement strategy. Over 75% of marketing spend in 2021 was estimated to be through digital channels according to Campaginmonitor. All of this means one thing -more digital technology investments in marketing.
However, with a multitude of available options and an unpredictable ROI, choosing the right marketing software can feel like a daunting task. To maximize ROI on marketing software investments you need to make sure you have a clear strategy and know exactly what metrics you’re looking to track and improve.
To help, we have created this step-by-step guide to ensure that you get the most out of your marketing software investments.
Step 1- Choosing the Right Marketing Software for Optimal ROI
Selecting the right marketing software is the foundation for maximizing your ROI. With popular options like Hubspot, Sharpspring, etc., available in the market, it’s important to research and analyze each platform’s features to determine the best fit for your specific needs.
Analyze Your Current Marketing Software Performance
Maximizing your ROI calls for taking an in-depth look at the performance of your current marketing software. Use usage rates, engagement metrics, and other key data points to detect opportunities where you can improve or get a better return on investment (ROI).
This will also help you crystallize the exact set of benefits you are likely to gain with a switch.
Consider Cost versus Benefit
Carefully weigh the cost versus the potential benefits. Investing in an expensive platform with fancy features that don’t generate sufficient ROI may not be worth it. On the other hand, selecting a cheaper alternative with limited features may result in suboptimal performance.
Find a balance between the cost and the features that will provide the most value for your business. And when you measure cost, do include the enhanced productivity your team may gain by implementing a new marketing solution.
Future Proof your choice
AI is shaking up every industry, and marketing is no exception. When selecting a software solution, look for features that will help you stay ahead of the competition in the future. For example, AI-powered marketing automation tools are becoming more popular as they can help businesses create personalized messages and deliver them faster than ever.
These technologies may come at a higher cost initially, but they can provide a significant ROI in the long run if chosen for the right reason. And remember, technology changes quickly. Look at the product roadmap of the chosen software to see what features and updates are in the pipeline. This can help you make an informed decision about whether it will continue to be a good fit for your business over the long term.
Research and Understand the Features
Before making a final decision, thoroughly research each software option to understand its features and capabilities. Consider the specific features that align with your business objectives and will enable your team to achieve your desired outcomes.
A great way to narrow down the choices is to involve your marketing team in the decision-making process. Ask them to write a list of the features and benefits required for achieving ROI, then compare the software options against that criteria.
For example, f your ambition is to boost lead generation, a CRM platform with features that nurture leads might be the right solution. On the other hand, if you want to convert prospects into sales, think about searching for software that includes marketing automation or lead-scoring capabilities.
If your business has more success with email marketing (which is still the king/queen of marketing), ensure your choice of software is capable of delivering personalized email marketing content at scale. Personalized emails have a higher chance of being opened according to Experian.
Defining Your Own KPIs and Objectives
Once you have chosen the right marketing software, the next step is to define key performance indicators (KPIs) and objectives that will help you measure the success of your marketing efforts.
One critical aspect of defining KPIs and objectives is aligning them with your business objectives. This ensures that what you track is relevant to your business’s overall strategy and not just some vanity metrics that the tool offers.
Business objectives may include increasing sales revenue, expanding the customer base, improving customer experience, or increasing brand awareness. Here are a few examples of KPIs and objectives that you could use. The perfect KPI for you will depend on the goals of your business.
- Increase website traffic: This could be measured by tracking the number of unique visitors to your website over time, and the goal might be to increase traffic by a certain percentage (e.g., 20%) within a specified timeframe.
- Improve lead generation: This KPI could be measured by the number of new leads generated through various channels (e.g., email, social media, paid advertising), to increase the overall number of leads generated by a certain percentage (e.g., 30%) within a given period.
- Enhance customer engagement: This KPI could be measured by tracking metrics such as email open rates, click-through rates, and social media engagement, to increase overall engagement levels by a certain percentage (e.g., 25%) within a set timeframe.
- Boost revenue: This KPI could be measured by tracking the total revenue generated by marketing campaigns or specific channels (e.g., email marketing, social media advertising), to increase revenue by a certain percentage (e.g., 15%) within a specified period.
- Improve customer retention: This KPI could be measured by tracking metrics such as customer churn rate and repeat purchase rate, to reduce churn and increase repeat purchases by a certain percentage (e.g., 10%) within a specific timeframe.
Creating a Plan and Working Through Implementation
Once goals and measurements have been established, it’s time to begin formulating a plan to meet them. This must include training team members on how to use the software platform efficiently but also in ways that are tailored around investors’ desired outcomes while ensuring users are comfortable with new processes being implemented over time.
Building engagement strategies should also be considered either through offering rewards or incentivization programs or simply providing updates throughout project duration ensuring everyone stays connected and engaged during this period of transition. Creating an environment where the right behavior is incentivized also helps boost your marketing returns.
Testing different strategies should also be undertaken to arrive at an optimal solution while gathering feedback from stakeholders at every stage; Utilizing automation and personalization features will provide opportunities for more efficient outcomes over manual labor alternative approaches – thus accentuating returns further down the line when applied appropriately.
Measuring Success with Real-Time Insights
Tracking Progress and Adjusting Plans
Once KPIs and objectives have been defined and aligned with business objectives, it’s time to start tracking progress. Create regular reports to track progress toward achieving the set KPIs and objectives.
Tracking progress regularly enables businesses to identify areas that need improvement, track the effectiveness of their strategies, and make necessary adjustments to maximize return on investment (ROI).
Your marketing team is heavily dependent on data, consider hiring a marketing data specialist if you already do not have one.
Let’s consider the example of a social media marketing campaign aimed at increasing brand awareness for a new product.
Once the marketing team sets KPIs and objectives for the campaign, such as increasing website traffic and engagement on social media platforms, they track progress by creating a report that includes data such as the number of clicks, likes, comments, shares, and impressions.
Based on the report, the team may find that engagement on Instagram is lower than expected compared to other platforms. In response, they can adjust their strategy by posting more frequently on Instagram and using more visually appealing graphics to increase engagement. They may also decide to shift their advertising budget to promote the product on Instagram to reach a larger audience.
Similarly, if website traffic is not increasing as expected, the team may review the website content and user experience to identify areas that need improvement. They may also try different ad formats and target audiences to optimize their advertising campaigns.
By tracking progress regularly and making necessary adjustments, the marketing team can improve the performance of their campaign and achieve better results. This not only helps businesses achieve their objectives but also enables them to stay ahead of their competitors by continuously improving their marketing strategies.
The Importance of Accountability
Accountability is a critical aspect of achieving KPIs and objectives. When team members know they are accountable for achieving specific KPIs and objectives, they are more likely to take ownership and work harder to achieve the desired outcomes.
To create accountability, team members should be held accountable for achieving specific KPIs and objectives. They should also be given the necessary resources and support to achieve these goals.
To maximize marketing software ROI, businesses need to take a comprehensive approach that includes financial considerations and a deep understanding of customer behavior in target markets.
Rather than focusing solely on potential financial returns, businesses should gather and analyze data on customer behavior, preferences, and pain points. With this knowledge, they can make data-driven decisions that help them achieve long-term objectives, resulting in increased ROI regardless of the industry they operate in.
In summary, a comprehensive approach that incorporates financial considerations and customer insights is essential to maximize marketing software ROI. By taking a data-driven approach and remaining flexible, businesses can adapt and optimize their results over time.