It depends on your marketing objective.
Few companies achieve success when it comes to measuring marketing’s return on investment. This is due to multiple factors beginning with deciding what’s important and how to measure it.
Traditional ROI measurement
One approach to ROI measurement begins with hard data that can be sorted, segmented and formatted showing capital invested and capital returned from the investment. This is a transactional approach that looks at the increase in sales revenue, cost of marketing and the amount of goods and services moved out the door.
The problem with using this type of ROI measurement is that it does not take into account all the factors that can affect sales. For example sales can increase (because a competitor went out of business or sales can decrease because a competitor cut their price.
The same is true for digital analytics. There are dozens of B-to-B marketing automation platforms in use that measure a variety of transactional processes such as e-mail open rates, click through, down loads, web page activity. All of this is predicated on transactional responses. Analytic information such as this provides a graphical representation of the buyer’s journey through the sales funnel but does not measure the customer’s emotional connection with the brand.
Measuring the customer’s emotional connection with the brand.
Contrast the above with measuring customer satisfaction. When customers have a positive experience with the brand this usually leads to increased customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
In this case, marketing ROI could be measured in 4 ways.
1. Emotional satisfaction
This ROI measurement deals with customer experiences and how the experience can be measured in terms of quality, reliability, and filling an emotional need.
2. Loyalty measurement
Much like a net promoter score this marketing ROI metric concerns its self with the likely hood of a repurchase and recommendation of the brand to a friend. The metric for measurement would be performance evaluations for product, quality and value.
3. Attribute/benefit satisfaction
Here ROI measurement focuses on customer satisfaction influenced by the perceived quality and service attributes of the product. This is where brand advertising helps shape the customer’s attitude and perception towards the brand. ROI measurement can include:
Product utility (was it useful or not useful)
Product functionality (did it solve the problem at hand or fail to solve the problem)
The ROI measurement is the “post experience” and represents the emotional affect produced by the products quality or value.
ROI repurchase measurement now is about predicting the customer’s future action. It’s a behavioral measurement as to the customers experience and the likely hood for repeat purchase and peer recommendation.
Gathering Marketing ROI for the emotional connection that the customer has with the brand is a long-term approach. The information can be transactional but it’s more about perception and how the brand provides an intangible quality that make the customer’s life easier or better.