Inbound Marketing and Automation: Improving ROI, Forever…

BY: ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2012

Most of us spend our working day with our noses to the grindstone. Focused on issues and alligators, we lose sight of strategy and objectives. To make matters worse from a strategic point of view, even organizations which do craft a strategy tend to think of it as an annual activity; something you create, put in place, perhaps measure results, and repeat next year.

But with the world lurching from one economic crisis to the next, recession rampant globally and diminishing demand the norm, we need to focus on ways to do better rather than repeat the status quo. And we need to do it more frequently than annually.

So much for the depressing general picture – lets turn to what we could be doing instead.

Gossamar’s slogan used to be More Leads of Higher Quality at Lower Cost. The reason we included the lower cost bit, is that to my way of thinking, it isn’t just about increasing revenues. It’s all about making more money. No point raising revenues if you have to spend more to raise them than you increased them by. This is why our new slogan is more direct: It's all about Profit!

But really, when you’re running a business, it’s not even just about making more money, is it? It’s about making more money on an ongoing basis. About getting better and better at operating your company, so that you keep increasing your Return on Investment. Forever.

The stuff of pipe dreams? Not if you adopt a Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) approach, within our 7 steps to success framework outlined below.

The 7 steps to increasing ROI forever each consist of multiple activities. Within each step the CPI phases of Think, Plan, Do, Measure and Repeat must all be performed. In other words, you have to think about each step (set objectives and the metrics to use to measure success), plan what you are going to do, do it, measure the result and then repeat the step.

Obviously, over time, the law of diminishing returns applies and thus the increases in ROI will decrease as you approach the maximum possible return. But for most of us, as my Karate Sensei was fond of telling me (forever, it seemed), Perfection is approachable and you have some distance to travel yet.

The 7 steps to increasing ROI forever are:

  1. Strategy – SWOT analysis, Porter’s 5 P's, Set Objectives and Keywords
  2. Attract more people to your website. So do your Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Pay-Per-Click and Redirects, and drive your traffic up.
  3. Engage your visitor’s interest when they arrive so that they don’t bounce. Ensure your headlines, website copy and Calls to Action match your keywords or reduce bounce. Give them the content that they are looking for to encourage the exploration of your site in the hope that they find your information valuable enough to...
  4. Convert from a faceless visitor into a named prospect. Ensure your Calls to Action and Landing Pages spark their interest enough to register on site, thereby giving you permission so that you can...
  5. Nurture them from this cold lead into a hot prospect by prodding them around their buying-cycles with the right item of content at the right time, for each person. If you do this correctly, they will mature into a sales-ready lead who you can...
  6. Sell. Use the output of your Inbound Marketing Automation system to feed your CRM system, the information your sales reps need to enable them to make informed, effective sales calls, so that they can sell your solution to their prospects quickly. And after you make each sale...
  7. Measure your ROI and other Key Performance Indicators
  8. Repeat the 7 steps by Thinking about the strategies involved in each of the above steps, Planning how to improve them, Doing what you thought of, Measuring the result, and Repeating it all over again.

If you need some help understanding how to measure Return on Investment, our Return on Marketing Investment Calculator (ROMI) provides guided step-by-step instructions on what each needed number means; where it can be found and how to use it in the calculation. It also provides best-practice guidelines and slider controls to make it easy to play out what-if scenarios.

Using CPI to increase your ROI forever is not rocket science; its hard work and requires a great deal of thinking. It ties in with our post I think therefore I am successful. In the light of what we’re saying here, we could change that post’s headline to, I think, therefore I make more and more money. Forever.

About the Author

Eric Goldman

Eric Goldman is the President and Founder of Gossamar, a business designed to help people grow their businesses profitably and with predictable, planned success.  He has been involved in B2B Marketing and Selling for more than 30 years and his business acumen covers 5 continents, spans many countries and has been derived in a variety of markets and industries.

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