ROI - Baselines

Michael Bickerton By Michael Bickerton

May 2, 2012

My pet peeve is ROI (Return On Investment), seems that everyone is talking about it.  Many advertisers are making “claims” about ROI and yet I think it is the most misunderstood term used in the digital space. Prior to making ROI claims and determining results, every company needs to i) get started ii) needs to establish baselines in all areas website/landing page analytics, PPC, SEO, email marketing & social media.

Making claims and statements, and worse measuring and determining ROI before establishing baselines, is like winning a fight before the bout (at the press conference)  … can’t be done. There are many digital advertisers making great ROI claims without proving a necessary and valuable start point.

SEO and optimizing your site is a must.   Essentially every company should have their websites and landing pages evaluated in order to determine the opportunities that are available to make gains, whether in leads, in contacts and or in actual sales dollars.

How do you know if you are making improvement? With no baseline, how does an advertiser know for sure? I’m always astounded by the “new” requirements of proving ROI to marketers that for many years were using the spend and hope methodology. With NO measurement, or limited measurement opportunities, millions were spent on yellow page, newspaper, radio and direct mail, and yet today, all that is discussed is ROI of a specific project.

Again, with no baseline there is NO effective ROI …  as such, optimizing and evaluating your site, understanding exactly what a visitor should do once they arrive is imperative. Your website is the hub of your business and likely the process of optimizing your website will lead to changes in your site structure and visitor interaction.

Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Toronto, April 2012

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