How to get greater ROI on marketing spend

Digital Marketing Digital Strategy
More Thinking

Most businesses with lacklustre marketing results consider everything the marketing department does as a cost, and not one with any dependable level of return.

Great marketers know this to be false, however. Marketing is not a cost but an investment, and with the right foundations it can become a powerful source of data gathering and revenue generation. 

Use the strategies and principles below to improve your marketing return on investment quickly. 

Set goals 

Marketing without goals is like setting off on a long journey without a compass; you might get somewhere but it most likely won’t be where you envisioned, or where you even wanted to go. Before you start any marketing campaign, you need to know the who, what and why of your activity. Who are you targeting? What do you want your target audience to do? And, perhaps most importantly, why are you doing it? Where does it fit into your larger strategy as a department and as a business?

Target the right audience

It doesn’t matter how effective your copywriting and creative campaigns are if you don’t know your audience. You’ll have a rough idea, of course, who you are targeting, but it pays dividends to really dig into the personas of your desired customers. We’re talking details like job titles, salary, hopes and aspirations. All of this helps to build a full picture of your ideal audience, and will help you deliver more focused and impactful campaigns. Read this blog on creating marketing personas to get started. 

Measure campaign performance

Just as important as you targeting the right people and setting the right goals is measuring your campaign performance. Many marketers fall into the trap of measuring vanity metrics such as social media likes and views, without any tangible ROI to show for it. Smart marketers know that vanity metrics have their place, but return on marketing spend is where the longevity is. This goes beyond just return on ad spend (ROAS). You need to be looking at how every piece of marketing collateral returns investment – how does that ebook contribute to your leads? What’s your average price per lead (CPL)? It can be complex to attribute campaign performance to specific marketing assets, so ask your marketing team or agency for help if you are unsure. 

Run your winners, ditch your losers

Not all of your campaigns will hit a home run. Even the ones you think are the best will often surprise you with mediocre results – that’s just how marketing works. It’s part art and part science, but with the right amount of focus on data you can make it as precise as possible. 

Understand this: you can’t get attached to your marketing concepts or strategies. That’s a very easy way to fall into what psychologists call the sunk cost fallacy, whereby a person is reluctant to abandon a strategy or course of action because they have invested heavily in it, even when it is clear that abandonment would be more beneficial.

When you’re looking to create effective marketing campaigns, you need to be ruthless. Squeeze your winners for every penny of ROI you can, and cut your losers as quickly as is reasonable so as not to lose too much money. That’s how you win over the long-term. 

Use MarTech to automate your campaigns

Once your marketing machine is in operation it will be hard to stay on top of everything, all of the time, even with a dedicated team. What will the result of having too much to do be? Scattered data, unclear attribution and money wasted. Also simply just forgetting things, not sending emails and social posts out on time, and not reporting correctly. 

Adopting a marketing technology, or martech platform, such as HubSpot Marketing Hub, will go a long way to solving these issues. Easy to integrate with most systems, it allows you to automate emails, social posts, to collect and report on data with clear dashboards, and attribute campaign results to specific assets. Find out more about our HubSpot services.

Trust the experts

Marketing is a complex discipline – it’s impossible to just read a few books about and understand how it works. It’s also constantly changing; new platforms and new tactics are always appearing and it’s hard to stay on top of what works if marketing is not your sole responsibility. 

Hiring a marketing agency can be an intimidating step but it can also be one of the best investments you ever make. If you’re not where to begin, download our guide: How to choose the right marketing agency.

If you’d like to learn more about generating greater ROI from your marketing budget, get in touch today for an initial chat.


Contact the team at Cognition Agency for all your digital marketing requirements.