Getting into marketing to boost your business can seem intimidating at first. It’s the equivalent of staring down a twenty-story drop on a rollercoaster. You’re shaking your head and begging to get off at first, but once you get past the first life-altering fall, it’s all smooth sailing. There are specific metrics investors use when gauging what they’ve gained from a previous investment. One of the most internationally recognized and utilized metrics they use is return on investment (ROI). This article will show you what ROI is and how your business could potentially utilize it.
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What Is ROI?
Return on investment is a measure of performance used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment. It’s similar to that of a KPI. Whereas KPIs tell you what happened at the end of a chapter, ROI tells you what happened in its entirety. There are two primary uses for marketing ROI, whether it’s a stock in holding or stake in a company. It compares a multitude of different investments and how they stack up with one another. This is used to decide whether one investment is better than the other. They are one of the most important indicators in regard to a company’s success. Those interested in marketing would want to know if their efforts translate into profit. You should, too.
The formula is roughly translated in two separate applications as…
ROI = Gain on investment-Cost of Investment/Cost of Investment x 100%
ROI = Gain on Investment-Cost of Marketing/Cost of Marketing x 100%
How Does Marketing ROI Benefit Businesses?
It should be noted that any additional assets are gained only if returns are given in accordance with the company’s policies. In doing so, it can assist in the profitability measurement of your company. It shows a connection with the net income to investments made in a division giving a better measure of divisional profitability. This encourages divisional managers to make use of its assets. All these moving parts make it possible to achieve goal congruence with all other divisions within your company.
Another benefit would be finding which of your investment efforts are most profitable. Knowing how to balance and when and where to distribute your budget will help you get a leg up in marketing. Such a tool is better used for analyzing data trends based in channels across your company. If one marketing channel appears to offer the most in repeat customers, you might want to put your efforts in improving that channel. The inverse could also work through a comparative analysis. The benefit in this is that it can be used for inter firm comparisons of your business’s other channels.
Of the four P’s of a firm’s marketing mix, that being product, price, place, promotion, might as well throw what to prioritize in for good measure. Put what’s ethically and monetarily best for the company first. Everyone in a business needs to pull their weight and keep each division held accountable. Using ROI can help keep track of how money is being used. This way, funds are spent in the best way for the business.
What Does a Good ROI Look Like?
This is the million and one dollar question for many marketing hopefuls. It can not be specified enough, that it’s all based on your own research. However, here are some specifications that could help narrow your research down by a small margin.
If your ROI results are in a net positive (positive ROI), it is a good ROI. Therefore, adding to your profits. The higher the ROI means the more you receive from the money you’ve invested in. Everyone’s ROI is not treated equally. What may be good for one business, may not be good for another. Above all else, your ROI depends on financial need. A large company will find results in a certain practice, whereas a smaller company practicing similar trades may turn up short.
Good ROI For Different Divisions and Companies
When it comes to marketing, divisions may use ROI to ascertain which marketing campaigns can benefit them the most. However, if the result turns out low, they may seek out advisers to help streamline their mission.
For investors, they would probably look at the ROI percentage alongside the amount of time it would take to receive a return on their investment. Usually, an investment with a high ROI would take a substantial amount of time before they reap their rewards. Whereas for those who opted for a low ROI, would expect a smaller amount on return, through an accelerated time.
Small businesses may find success in some market research before venturing out into ROIs. There is a need for new equipment, more inventory, etc. By leveraging their value as a company, as the value of the amount that would be accrued.
Ratios are easy to understand and easy to apply when finding a good distinction of what a good ROI looks like. It should be around the 5:1 ratio. This is the margin where your business’s aim should be. A 10:1 is considered to be exemplary. Avoid dipping below 2:1, as it would yield to be unprofitable.
Think of a good ROI as something that looks beyond performance analytics. Don’t aim for the highest yield. Although those in the field would be static to see high numbers soon, it’s best to think long term.
Limitations of ROI Marketing
Calculating for ROI means that the time aspect can be completely neglected. Essentially, it does not take into account the holding period. It’s because of this that you can potentially miss out on putting your funds in a better investment. Any returns may not be acknowledged for an extended amount of time. It is through this downside that ROIs fall short when long-term profitability is the focus.
Negative Influence on Investments
ROI may have a negative influence on investment decisions. The division manager might opt solely for what will provide higher rates, not what is necessarily better for the long term. Even if new, seemingly profitable market channels come into play, the division manager may ignore it due to the amount of profits it might accrue to be uncertain. All in the benefit of preserving the original ROI. Having high ROI solely as the goal, could lead to a criminally low investment. Finding a comfortable medium in relation to volume and efficiency can maximize your bottom line.
It’s recommended that you annualize your business’s time prior to finishing calculations. This is done for simple ROI and would make the task more manageable. Although simple ROI doesn’t account for time as previously mentioned, it can be used in tandem with rate of return, as stated by floridasterling.com.
Potential For Manipulation
What could be considered the most detrimental limitation in ROI is that the numbers can be manipulated. ROI can just as well keep other divisions in check, but without observation, the numbers can be skewed in favor over another. This usually happens when the division chooses the project with the highest return. Doing this can actually lower the business’s total profits.
Challenges and Mistakes of MROI
Just as there are two primary uses for ROI, there are metrics in which it is calculated. There is the cost of doing something, and the outcomes that are generated. Calculating ROI in regard to marketing can be difficult. You have to figure out what portion works and how its growth can be contributed to your chosen market. For this data to be accurate, it will take time and money. For an up and coming small business just starting up, this can be especially difficult. In this regard, you have to take your time when tackling it. Patience is truly a great virtue and it will benefit you in the long run.
There’s what’s called a multi-touch campaign in that those “touches” need to be taken into consideration. Of those avenues, the actions taken to reach that result needs to be accounted for. Even then, given all the information received from ROI, it would be hard to discern which avenue created the most motivation to buy the product. It’s difficult to decide on what to spend money on and which expenditures to include.
Communication amongst other divisions in the business can prove to be troublesome. Without communication, goals can get unaligned with the priorities of the company. This in itself can lead to unrealistic results. Divisions may prioritize their specific instead of what’s best for the entire company. With that, other factors that contributed, can go unnoticed.
- What is ROI?
- What can I do to increase my ROI?
- Is ROI a good metric?
- What are the limitations for ROI?
- Is ROI difficult to understand?