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Keeping an Eye on Marketing ROI (Marketing in a Recession Tip #1)

How can you do more marketing with less money? That¬?s the bind a lot of software marketers find themselves in during the recession.

First and foremost, every software company should have a process in place to track marketing ROI closely, and make changes if something is not bringing results. You should especially take a look at the individual biggest line items in your marketing budget (tradeshows, anyone?) and evaluate them critically: are they really returning value at the level of your investment? Is there a way to accomplish that same marketing goal with a lower-cost alternative?

When marketing budgets are cut, don¬?t take the easy approach of doing less of what you already do. You should think about ways to be smarter with your marketing budget and focus your messaging and communication on the things that matter most to buyers in slow economic times: their bottom line and meeting their immediate (short-term) needs.

How do you track marketing ROI? Evaluate each and every marketing activity, set specific goals (eg, number of leads, percent callbacks, etc), and then track how that activity delivers against those goals. Be ready to make changes to marketing tactics that are not driving immediate business value and sales.

There are quite a few marketing ROI tools available. Go-to-Marketing Strategies have an excellent Marketing ROI Calculator, for example. Tools like this will help you evaluate the projected and actual return on investment of your marketing programs.

Do you have a process in place to measure and track marketing ROI? What is working for your company, and what is not? Add your comments... Sometimes it just takes a little discipline and up-front planning to reap significantly increased rewards from your marketing efforts. Keeping an eye on your marketing ROI is the best way to do that ¬? not only during a recession, but as an ongoing continuous process.

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