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Brandonomics from Savage

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Can you measure ROI for marketing? Robin Tooms asks Karen Love, director of practice growth for accounting firm PKF Texas; and Daniel Cotlar, chief marketing officer at

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Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I'm Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage. For this edition of Brandonomics, we're looking at a big challenge that we all face, and that's measuring the ROI on our marketing efforts.

We had spoken to Karen Love, Director of Practice Growth at PKF Texas, and she had hit upon one challenge with measuring ROI - that you have to look beyond your analytics and see how it is impacting your business

Karen: Right. And of course, that's a tricky one because in marketing, especially when you're in an accounting firm, people are wanting to know what they quantitative numbers are, and it's a qualitative thing. Now, there are some hard numbers that come in that you can look at, like Google Analytics and things of that nature, which we do, but then the more important thing is the trends that we're seeing with more engagements that are coming in through our website now, and that's definitely increasing. And I am seeing trends where the marketplace shows that the accounting firm will be the most profitable firm if it's getting the majority of its interaction from website introductions.

Robin:Our next ROI principle come from Daniel Cotlar, chief marketing officer at Daniel is extremely passionate about ROI, and sees this both as an art and a science. His take is that you really need to identify forward-looking indicators, instead of backward-looking metrics. And only then will you be able to connect the dots between customer behaviors and results.

Daniel: People say metrics and they think a lot of times very broad looking backwards, how many visits did I get or things that are broad. You really have to take some time to identify the KPIs, the key performance indicators, what matters to you, and it's gonna be different for any business. So ours we look at things like people proceeding through the funnel of conversion into becoming buyers, or we look at the gross margin per visitor. So every business is gonna be different. Another thing about metrics is sometimes you can be scared off of looking at things that can't neatly fit into a spreadsheet like customer feedback. What we do for that is we get thousands of emails every week from customers explaining what went well or what went poorly, and in our marketing meeting every week somebody's tasked with going through all of them, finding a pattern and talking about things that he's hearing or she's hearing. So don't be afraid of anecdotal data that you hear from customer service and putting it together into kind of a pattern.

Robin: We've seen that ROI is different from metrics - it's about measuring what really matters and not just looking at the data. And thanks to our Brandonomics' guests, we can all go back and revisit our ROI challenges in a new light. Tune in next week for another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.

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