Being a marketing agency, we often hear the many doubts entrepreneurs and business owners have about spending money on marketing, and we get it. We understand you’ve put a lot into your business – money, time and emotion – and now that you’re gaining momentum (or perhaps need a little boost), it’s hard to justify investing in something that most likely won’t show immediate return. We’re here to tell you that, while it may not be immediate, there are tangible ways you can see your investment in marketing working for you.

Measuring return on investment (ROI) is critical in any area of business, but in marketing it gets special emphasis. Simply put, ROI measures gain or loss generated from an investment, be that a new product, service or, more relevant to our topic, a marketing campaign. So, you’ve decided to give marketing a go, but how do you know it’s working? Are you targeting the right demographics? Are you using the right social media channels for your industry? These are all questions an in-depth analysis of your marketing will answer.

Quantity: It’s in the Numbers

Quantitative measures are all about numbers – it’s data than can be counted or tallied. How many attendees came to the event? How many units were sold? How many leads were captured? How many likes on the last post? How many times was the blog shared? Measures like these are relatively easy to take into account because they’re backed by cold, hard facts. Some of these metrics include website traffic, number of leads, cost per lead, search visibility and revenue generated.

Together, these metrics help illustrate how your marketing is helping your company grow. Some, like website traffic, display how your content resonates with your audience. You can use this information to set percent-increase goals to ensure your improvement. Individually, you can compare these metrics to show which specific methods need refining or changing to optimize your strategy. This is often the preferred analysis of many decision makers who don’t necessarily have a deep understanding of marketing and its intricacies. It’s understandable why: quantitative measures provide visible, tangible results. However, when dealing with people and working to develop connections with them through your business, it’s often the qualitative data that shows growth.

Quality: All About Substance

This is where it starts to get tricky. A lot of qualitative data ends up looking something like “it seems to be better now” or, “the product is generally favourable.” These indirect benefits can be hard to pin down. Instead of data that you could easily punch into a calculator, qualitative data is information that provides feedback, and requires in-depth analysis.

Qualitative measures describe the benefits of marketing initiatives that have an impact on the organization and should be weighed accordingly, even if they are difficult to put a direct value on. However, there are lots of ways you can up your qualitative measures game. Creating thought leadership content highlights your expertise and positions you as an industry resource, and attracts business opportunities like press mentions, speaking engagements, or even new clients and partnerships.

Publishing high quality content empowers readers with knowledge, thus breaking down barriers and building lasting trust with your audience. Clients will be more interested in an email that shares a relevant article you wrote than a mundane sales pitch. This will become a conversation that is meaningful to the both of you, creating a lasting effect and mutually-beneficial relationship.

Measuring the immeasurable takes some time and allows us to embrace our creativity. The next big thing isn’t something fully predictable, and it might come from a small insight or idea that snowballs into its full potential. Don’t be afraid to try something because you’re not entirely sure how it’s going to pan out. This goes hand in hand with the idea that results take time.

But how are you supposed to know what to even measure when it comes to qualitative data? What information is valuable to your business and its growth? This all depends on the specific goals and objectives that you’ve set for your business, but even then, how do you merge quantitative and qualitative data into something tangible? Luckily, turning data into tangible information on your ROI is what we do. If we need a hand with your marketing analytics, give us a call.