Work with a business marketing consultant
You’ve worked hard to build the business success you enjoy today and you’ve budgeted for marketing as a way to grow your business in 2015 and beyond. Great job. But you really want/need to demonstrate 2016 marketing ROI and align the cost of your marketing efforts to the revenue they generate. Before we go there, let’s take a step back to review the work you’ve already done to achieve your 2016 goals:
- You’ve considered the 5 REAL Benefits of Working with a Business Marketing Consultant
- You’ve studied the 3 Questions Answered: WHY Should I Hire a Business Marketing Consultant? from your own business perspective
- You’ve re-committed to the success of your business by learning how to achieve The zen of hiring a business marketing consultant and are prepared with a list of 10 questions to ask a potential business marketing consultant
Now, here’s some advice on how to demonstrate 2016 marketing ROI.
When calculating ROI, it’s important to remember that the results from any business initiative can vary. You may consider the cost of your marketing efforts a loss if they don’t produce any attributable results. Or, your return on investment may be in the millions of dollars in the value of leads from a lead generation website.
Marketing initiatives are an investment. And like any smart investment, they need to be measured and monitored to ensure you’re spending your money wisely. A comprehensive marketing strategy will have a life span of about 5 years, with flexibility that allows for rapidly changing business trends. When measuring, be sure to spread your costs and revenue over your strategy’s expected lifespan.
Every company will have specific metrics for measuring their marketing performance, and this can vary from one industry to the next. But we can apply a basic general formula to measure almost any marketing initiative’s profitability: total costs vs total revenue over the lifespan of the deliverables (brand identity, content strategy, website, social presence, email campaigns, etc.).
What are your total costs?
These are estimated costs that a small business or organization can expect to incur during a comprehensive and integrated marketing engagement with a business marketing consultant:
- Objective initial marketing assessment of current efforts – $2-5,000
- Integrated brand, content, website, communications, marketing strategy – $3-6,000
- Lead generation website, social media presence, email campaigns along with execution plans and documentation – $40-60,000
- Content calendar and development by copywriter – $2-5,000
Total one-time costs – $47-76,000
In addition, there will be general maintenance costs that can be a relatively low, particularly if you keep basic website updates in house. Still, if your staff is already stretched too thin and they’re not ready to become content marketing experts, retaining your marketing consultant to provide these services can increase opportunity costs and maintain the value of your initial investment by ensuring high-quality content, image and SEO updates.
- A medium size hosting package – $600/yr
- 2 domain name – $15/yr
- Copywriter to produce 1 blog post/mo @ $100/post – $1,200/yr
- 2 hours/mo @ $150/hr for web updates and maintenance – $3,600/yr
Total annual maintenance costs – $5415 (x 5 years) = $27,075
Total costs over 5-year lifespan = $74, 075 – 103,075
What is your revenue? There are two types of revenue to consider:
- Potential Revenue, which measures how many opportunities/visitors your website, social media and email campaigns generate that correlate with your marketing efforts. This won’t factor into ROI directly, but it will help determine how much opportunity you could be missing out on.
- Actual Revenue, which measures the leads your efforts generate that convert into business. This number may be easier to determine with a B2C than for a B2B company or other organization. Still, B2B companies can often determine the source of leads and business by simply asking the question.
You’ll need to determine these revenue numbers for your organization and do the math to determine your own ROI.
Now, you know it’s not going to be as easy as hiring a business marketing consultant, then sitting back to watch the money roll in. There is a lot of work to do. But you’re committed to engaging on the project to expand awareness of your brand in the marketplace in 2016. That means:
- ongoing content creation and distribution to get results in search engines; we know that search engine marketing is generally slow
- boosting website traffic with targeted email and social network engagement
- following up on online engagement with offline contact to continue the conversation and build relationships
A few final thoughts on 2016 marketing ROI…
First, an integrated marketing initiative is not a place to save money. The difference between a $20k and a $30k price tag might seem high, but a thorough strategy and plan will produce dramatically better results than hiring your family friend to create a simple WordPress website, which can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue over time.
Second, companies often slash their marketing budgets during tough times – a dangerous move since marketing is an investment to produce revenue. By focusing on accurate ROI measurements relevant to your business, you recognize that marketing is NOT a fluffy expense that can be cut when times get tough. To get it right, re-commit to your business success by hiring a business marketing consultant who is as passionate about your business as you are.