While retail marketing has never been simple, today more than ever before, a small-to-medium-sized business’ CMO is Chief Magic Officer: juggling the many complex responsibilities of campaigns in a three-ring-circus of omnichannel data, all while expecting – poof! – to somehow pull stellar results and ROI measurements out of thin air. This feat is extremely difficult. But as every CMO knows, measuring a company’s Return on Investment is too critical for spin, or smoke and mirrors. ROI must be measured precisely so a company can save time and proceed in measurable steps. And it must accurately and meaningfully integrate both online and offline in-store data sources in real time to do so.
Measurement: Marketing’s Wand
A CMO faces numerous challenges in measuring the true return on a marketing investment related to its cost. To start, any campaign will be integrating fluctuating data, both online and offline, and will likely be targeting multiple platforms that must be continually fine-tuned. It’s hard to track consumer behavior, address patterns, and handle the problems or disconnects that arise in real time. And on the backdrop of so much dynamism, measuring the value of a marketing campaign is very often imprecise.
Yet, almost nothing is more important than ROI in terms of a business’ sustainability and growth as it provides transparency and insight into what is working and what is “a miss.” There is no such thing as waving a magic wand for instant results, but ROI gives the CMO the closest thing there is to it for strategic planning – a clear understanding of the past that’s needed for forming smart, efficient, and effective campaigns moving forward. It also informs budget planning for the future, as it clarifies what is on track and what requires more investment.
ROI: Under the Spotlight
ROI has been the subject of various misconceptions and mysterious formulas that promise to “open sesame” but don’t deliver. In order to understand ROI’s true nature and accurately measure it, we should first debunk the myths.
- All Costs and Benefits Can Be Easily Quantified: Not all returns can be measured financially. The intangible benefits – like improved brand reputation, customer satisfaction, or employee morale – can be just as important as monetary gains. And some costs, such as the impact on employee workload or potential risk, cannot be easily quantified. An ROI calculation that ignores these more elusive elements will likely be imprecise.
- ROI is an Immediate Measure: Many businesses expect immediate returns on their investments, especially in the digital marketing field. Yet some strategies, like content marketing and SEO, take time to yield results and demonstrate their full value. ROI should be viewed from a long-term perspective.
- High ROI Always Indicates Success: A high ROI might not always indicate overall success. Consider a campaign that yields a high ROI due to low investment, but reaches only a small portion of the target audience. A campaign with a lower ROI might in fact have a more substantial overall impact by reaching a broader audience and driving long-term customer engagement.
- ROI Calculation is a One-size-fits-all Formula: Think again. It’s easy to assume that ROI calculation is a standard formula applicable to every situation. But the specific components of ROI calculation will vary depending on the nature of the investment, industry standards, business objectives, and so on.
In the end, it’s not a set of parlor tricks. ROI is in fact quite nuanced – and the importance of analyzing and correlating both online and offline data is key.
The Ultimate Vanishing Act: Online and Offline Distinctions
Merging online and offline data is crucial because the distinctions between those dimensions have all but vanished. Any ordinary purchased item may have been discovered in a Facebook ad, researched online, and bought in a brick-and-mortar store – using a coupon in a receipt on the customer’s phone, and then applied toward their membership points. Meanwhile, as the CMO, you’re chasing fairy dust. You don’t really know how much money came in due to a specific text message or advertisement. And, to add to the complexity, even after that purchase, the customer might see those ads or discounts for the item.
A platform like Weezmo can connect the dots between the online and offline data in this kind of convoluted journey. It allows the company to identify all customers and learn about them, analyze performance, inform marketing strategies with enhanced personalization, and provide more accurate ROI calculations. Weezmo is the missing ROI puzzle piece, solving every CMO’s unanswered riddle – and providing the clarity needed to navigate through today’s marketing landscape.
Working Like Magic: Real-Time Data Integration for Better ROI Measurement
Perhaps most importantly, advanced technology like AI, Big Data, and real-time analytics enable a platform like Weezmo to seamlessly integrate the data and drive insights, refining ROI measurements before our very eyes. Which means that marketing will be able to successfully keep in pace with the larger times and tempo – and, also, with individual customer behavior – as part of the long-term strategy but also in the now.
Ultimately, if you’re the CMO of an SMB retailer, your “magic” is not about creating some elaborate illusion. Rather it means cleanly channeling the most crystal-clear transparency about who your customers are and what makes them tick. Weezmo can help you do just that, allowing you to bridge the online and offline, more precisely measure ROI, and connect all the data in real time and future campaigns.
Curious how Weezmo can give your marketing campaigns a magical boost? Contact us here.