Who is Responsible for Return on Investment (ROI)?

In the realm of internet marketing, exactly who is responsible for Return on Investment?  If agencies carefully craft campaigns to deliver accurate messages to targeted audiences, where do the agencies’ responsibilities end and clients’ responsibility begin?

First and foremost, an intelligent and smart looking web interface is required in today’s digital world. If you’re in retail, you know that a worn out and run-down store front is bad for business. If you can get them inside, the merchandise has to be neatly organized and well-presented, the lighting has to be just right, and the aisles have to be wide and clean.

So, why would you rely on the website-in-a-box your nephew created for you? You’re right…it’s better than nothing, but today, that (better than nothing) is far from acceptable. If your website doesn’t have an attractive and functional appearance, you’re missing customers. If it is not properly optimized, you’re missing out on most of its potential. All the marketing you can muster will not produce ROI if your interface (storefront) is not in proper order.

I recently had a discussion with a hotel manager about his internet marketing campaign. The conversation began as the result of his mentioning the ROI from internet marketing (in his opinion) was not satisfactory. I asked him if his programs were delivering the desired traffic. His response…”We get plenty of traffic! We need traffic that results in bookings.”

His response told me there was certainly a problem.  But, where exactly was the problem? His website looked fantastic and functioned well. Was there a problem within the message being delivered?  Was the traffic being properly handled and/or the results properly reported? As it turned out, there was nothing confusing about the message.  The problems were related to how the traffic was being handled and how the results were being reported.

The web interface and marketing strategies are crucial. Equally important are the policies, procedures, and personalities on the client side of the interface.  There is typically only one shot to capitalize on a prospective customer’s visit to your website.  A very careful review of how your web traffic is being handled may help your ROI. You may realize more of your sales are the result of your internet marketing than your thought.

If a site visit results in an email, and within that email a phone number is provided, make sure someone CALLs THE NUMBER! They would not have given it had they not expected it to be used. The idea that one email deserves another is ridiculous when the sender provides their phone number.  By the time they go back to read their emails, they will have already been called by someone. Rest assured, most internet shoppers are not contacting prospects one at a time. They sent that same email to several others. The first one to call back has the best shot.

Many site visits result in phone traffic.  Don’t assume they got your number from directory assistance, the yellow pages, or a friend. Chances are they got it from your website. Always make sure the person handling a call asks the question…”How did you find us?”

There is only so much a marketing firm can do to ensure ROI to their clients. But, making sure the client understands the scope of responsibility on their side of the interface is a great place to start.