The return on investment (#ROI), is the Philosopher’s Stone for Digital business professionals.
How to calculate it and how one can go about justifying efforts in this sphere in order to get additional resources and to understand what % percentage of global Net sales are caused by digital efforts. Is basic to understand that digital is one more pillar to create lead generation and sales. For this reason, is necessary work on a few basic business drivers of digital and social media strategy.
Goals, objectives & tactics
Before any consideration is given to a digital strategy, it’s important to take a few steps back and remember what the organization’s marketing plan is. An effective plan acts as a road map and should include clearly stated goals, objectives, strategies and tactics as follows but always in the line of the Company’s Global Strategy.
Goals are over-arching desired results that should be singular, unique. A marketing plan will usually include more than one, among the following examples:
- Increase sales per channel or at a specific point of sale and the % in comparison to the rest of sales channels and business units.
- Decrease costs allocated to customer service vs cost produced by conventional business
- Increase traffic to web site detailed by each digital channel: display, affiliate programms, SEM, social media, etc.
- Improve research & development insights
- Improve customer sentiment towards the brand: #buzzmarketing and globosphere monitorizing.
Setting goals then leads to defining objectives an individual or an organization will want to achieve. Objectives should be SMART, that is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Using the first goal stated above, an example of objective could be to increase sales conversion on the hotel’s mobile transactional site by 10% within the next 3 months.
The goals are clear, the objectives are set, now comes the time to lay out the strategy and tactics. Based on target audiences and resources at hand, tools will vary between traditional media and online tactics. Once you’ve laid out the road map, moving into social media should answer one or many of the following business drivers, depending on your priorities and resources:
1. Enhance Branding & Awareness
Digital and Social Media are extremely powerful to help brands and organizations reach audiences through segmented (#geomarketing) customers, fans and followers’ extended network of friends and followers. Savvy marketers turn brands into publishers and more and more are turning to owned & shared media rather than paid media to get the message across.
A few basic metrics to control in social media :
- Brand awareness pre- & post-campaign
- Audience reach pre- & post-campaign
- % variation in customer conversations about the brand
- Quantity of online conversations about the brand
- Size of stakeholder groups
- Brand sentiment before vs after a given campaign
- Response time if and when a crisis arises
- Number of mentions, positive vs negative
- Size of your community, per social media and overall
- Euro value or estimated revenue generated per community member vs. non-member
- Referral and recommendations by community members
- Estimated value compared to or in combination with rewards program members
2. Enhance Customer Service
Many companies have embraced digital: social media, mobile, forums… to resolve customer service issues and complaints, Twitter springing to mind with its quick reaction time. In fact, as of March 2012 there were over 190 airlines with active Twitter accounts and more than 72% of tweets handled pertained to customer service. Ritz-Carlton and other luxury hotel companies monitor and engage via comments and check-ins made on Foursquare while other hospitality players discuss customer experience matters on their Facebook pages. If clients are there, venting, commenting or suggesting, your brand ought to be there responding, engaging, resolving.
Examples of success metrics:
- Number of issues resolved
- Cost-saving on customer service handling vs call center
- Variation in online customer mentions, positive vs negative
- Number of matters resolved, customers cross-selling or up-selling
3. Facilitate Research & Development
With such an instant and direct access, it’s somewhat startling to see how little most brands take advantage of leads (registered, new clients, just impacted by advertising but not captured ,impacted in previous tracked campaigns), or crowd-sourcing fans, followers and subscribers to get their opinion about the product or service.
Digital tools can facilitate research and development by giving this direct access where surveys and feedback can be gathered to improve services, develop new ones or mine for customer insights about trends in the industry or about the competition.
4. Generate Sales & Leads
Last but not least is the sales aspect, which is what a majority of brands still use as their core metric and raison-d’être on digital.
The digital business inSpainis growing each year, customers use their credit cards by internet as something usual on their daily lives.
About social media, Linkedin is also considered a great platform when considering B2B, with many leads coming from conversations in groups, of which there are more than 1.8 million. If your niche is travel and hospitality, there are a few dozens groups that could worth your while.
Examples of success metrics:
- Sales & Leads coming from your social media networks, blog, newsletter
- Revenues yield per social media customer vs traditional customer
- Cost of acquisition per social media channel vs traditional customer
- Conversion rates in social media, using marketing attribution (not just last-click)
If after all this you are not a digital believer or perhaps you doesn’t think that digital media is necessary for your business I will show you an interesting infographic that shows the Technical advances from 2012 to 2020… if can’t identify your business in any point of the graphic…your business model will be out.