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ROI from digital in 2015

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2014 was a year when we saw organizations across industry verticals ask the same question again & again – how would one allocate budgets across digital channels? What would be measurement criteria? How would one continually optimize performance of these channels from traffic and conversion perspective?
Circa 2015, most of the questions remain the same with some twists to the tale – it’s not only about budget allocation and how many $$ but the most optimized spread across key channels like display vs. search vs social (budget pie for social will increase this year even more with technology majors and CPG companies ramping up their social blueprint across geographies across the world.

Here is a quick look at some of the techniques which would be helpful for marketers and analysts alike to augment their existing ROI measurement techniques

Quick tips on measuring ROI from digital media

• PPC advertising / marketing: Perhaps the easier to measure and report, we can measure almost about every aspect of it to determine exactly what you’re getting as a return. In 2015, companies will continue to use the following ways to measure ROI

  • Using dedicated landing pages for PPC ads
  • Using call tracking on those PPC ad pages and making sure analytics implementation is solid. As a result, you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for the traffic, how much is converting, and what level of revenue is coming in
  • Calculating budget costs of acquiring leads, as well as the ROI from each of those leads
  • The biggest shift – no more linear vs first touch or last touch attribution methods. Folks will move away from these simplistic techniques and embrace complex weight based statistical attribution modeling to ensure every dollar spent on acquiring traffic is accounted for

• SEO: Traditional the toughest to get moving owing to complex crawling algorithms and 100+ strategies available, organizations will have to continue to implement innovative techniques. Increasingly organization will use reverse SEO techniques to remove negative search trends and SERP rankings, while looking at host of traditional mediums such as

  •  Measuring historical search volume and landing page traffic
  •  Align sales, revenue and leads to SEO techniques & setting up goal funnels to track lead and sale conversions from SEO channel
  •  Keep looking at what you’re spending for SEO services versus the amount of conversion value you get from your increased organic traffic.
  •  BOUNCE RATE – remember to keep looking for bots and spiders, trying to send low quality traffic to your landing pages without caring for any level of interactions, thus leading to very high bounce rates

• Social-media marketing: Measuring the ROI for social-media marketing can be a lot more challenging since its results involve such intangibles as engagement, audience reach, and “buzz.” There are ways to track social-media success, however, including such measures as the number of fans, followers, page likes, retweets, repins, web mentions, and sales levels would help in ensure social continues to feature as a key acquisition and conversion channel as part of your digital media plan. Traditional digital platforms like Adobe Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics have in built social post and content tracking pixels enabled- which require bare minimum coding efforts these days, in order to track ROI from social channel
• Site traffic and overall health – organizations will continue to use platforms to track and measure overall site health based on key metrics like

  • Number of website visitors
  • Click-through rates from dedicated landing pages
  • Conversion rates, such as online shopping cart sales, newsletter signups, completed surveys, white paper downloads, etc.
  •  Increase in website-generated revenue.

• Email marketing: Modern day pixel tracking and UTM sourcing technologies will be continued to be leveraged by brands across the world to track end to end email marketing campaigns , to ensure every $$ spend on emailers is tracked and measured against each customer who has signed up for their products or services

When it comes to allocating marketing dollars to various digital-marketing channels, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Each organization needs to take a good look at when and how prospects and customers engage with your brand as you evaluate each of their digital-marketing channel options. 2015 will be that year when traditional attribution techniques of allocating budgets based on KPI trends would be replaced by complex attribution algorithms, which would make this a more decision based science rather than a gut based decision.

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Neeta Nair

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