How to Calculate Marketing RoI

Anne,a mother of twin babies,purchased a stroller.She had been researching at it for 9 months now, much before she actually required it.Across online portals,reviews, friends and of course the television commercials were always there.
Let’s say the brand she bought has a presence across all of these channels.Because of the variety of touchpoints, it makes it difficult to measure exactly where the ad was first noticed that encouraged a conversion across this cycle of 9 months.Consumers may remember your brand, but may not be able to recall where they saw your ads.
The marketer for the brand will surely have a tough time attributing this sale to one channel and then calculate the ROI for it.It goes without saying,the road ahead is going to be more bumpy as more and more marketing touchpoints are integrated into the daily life of a customer.

An Art that has become larger than Science:

In an ideal world,ROI = (Revenue growth – Marketing budget)/Marketing budget

What about these factors then?
1.Customer satisfaction impact
2.Multiple Influencers
3.External macro-economic trends

Marketing will move beyond theories that are false and theories that are not yet measure it we would require tools to assess the degree of likelihood of a theory.

Marketing Ratience will be the successor to Marketing Performance Management,which incorporates information theory and probability theory.

In Anne’s case,the probability of various touchpoints in her kind of persona would be crucial for attribution.

The problem with ROI obsession:

So what can be done to get a hold on this Miura bull called ROI.We take a step back here and forget about the ROI of Marketing.And,think about the cost of ignoring it.
If, ROI translates into measuring the variables and outcomes most applicable to the particular business,then this means we are ignoring the very factors which measures the business profitability.
The larger problem with ROI. It encourages us to play our cards safe and hence underperform.

The Unicorn of marketing,Content :

Content, the poster boy of marketing at the moment, seems to fall under the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.It states no particle simultaneously has both a precise position and a precise momentum. We can't measure both, precisely because they don't both exist simultaneously.So true for content.

This principles brings on a few questions on content:
•             How does this new white paper and complementary video add value to the X marketing campaign, but also the value of the Y product release and Z customer forum?
•             What’s the value of a newsletter subscribed member? How does that value increase over time as the member matures and the amount of such data become larger and richer?
•             How does the value of each content asset fluctuate over time
•             How does the publishing of media-related products increase the value of the brand over time by establishing us as a differentiated brand?

Having said that, the power of content can not be denied.A terrific example here is, ZAGG, an online retailer, knows its blog results in sales.It earns a whopping 172% ROI and 10% of the company's site traffic.It is the single most important driver of sales for it today.

KPI’s in a constantly shifting world:

Key performance indicators (KPIs) use quantifiable metrics to determine performance over time. These metrics must be customized to your business and goals. In the fast moving digital landscape, KPIs should be selected based on three factors:

-How soon does it matter – business urgency
-How much does it matter- business importance
-How long does it matter-business significance

One of the most important things about spending dollars to get the attention, is to make sure that you are ready for the attention.

XEROX’s “Get Optimistic”campaign with Forbes to connect with 30 top accounts .70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns, added 20,000 new contacts, generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments, and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.

It's not about just having a website. It's whether or not that website works well to sell. Remember,it was finally the web or in-store experience that led Anne to purchase the stroller.And,this is where the holy grail of UX lies.But that is a story for another time. Stay tuned!

Native Advertising - Past the trial-and-error Era

Display Advertising
 "Native advertising," a term first cobbled up by Fred Wilson, the popular Venture Capitalist at the Online Media, Marketing, and Advertising Conference in 2011, is no doubt quite popular among 21st-century publishers and brand strategists even now.This leads many people to assume that native advertising is a modern-day creation. However, the history of native advertising dates back to as early as the late 19th century, when John Deere published his magazine "The Furrow", the legendary 118-year old publication.
I bet you have been seeing native ads all of this time but just did not recognize them as ads at all.So where exactly are they found now and what big is unfolding with them?

The what and where of Native Ads

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) definition of native advert seems to fall into six categories with six core questions to evaluate it but to put it simply out:
A Directly Paid Opportunity. Something very obvious and at the fundamentals of this type of advertising.It has to be paid for by somebody.
Usually, Content Based. The information is useful, interesting and highly targeted to the specific readership. So, it is not as blunt as a direct promotional piece.
Delivered In-Stream. To truly be a native ad, the user experience is not disrupted. The advertising is delivered in a way that the reader should be minimally bothered by it.
Ultimately, the goal of native advertising is to not disrupt the user experience…to offer information that is somewhat helpful and similar to the other information on the site so that the content is engaged with at a higher rate than, say, a banner ad (this is good for advertisers, and if the content is truly useful, good for consumers.
Among lot many other places and in lot many ways, you may come across them in:
-Paid search units in Google or Twitter
-Sponsored content in Linkedin or Forbes
-Video Advert you find in Youtube
-Branded content in publication like NY Times

The answer to obtrusive display ads

With user experience becoming the priority, native advertising seems to be the only answer to the ad-block phenomenon prevalent in news sites and among the under-35 ones.The limited real estate display on a mobile screen, the stream itself is the entire user experience So, your advertising option on mobile in the future may only be through the ingenious native advertising.
Borrow a little goodwill.Native advertising can leverage the credibility of a media brand, and then rub some-off it over to your own brand. The objective is to slowly build up your own reputation by being in the company of such. Century Link infographic in Forbes on the ramifications of IoT in the year of 2020 is much entertaining and shareable.
Social Media advertising is strikingly similar to a native advertisement as the sharing mechanism can be seamlessly integrated. Social companies like Facebook and Twitter have aggressively pursued native advertising dollars and have built their business models around them.

Is it not another term for content marketing?

The question here is: why should native advertising be any different from content marketing.We all understand we need the best relevant content to accomplish the end objective.

However, on taking a step back, the main distinction appears to be the goal.While content marketers are aiming to build long term trust, consistently providing value for readers without asking for anything in return, while most often the goal the native advertising is to have the reader purchase a product or service before obtaining this valuable content.The tonality of the message and the benefits to the end-consumer is quite different.
The one constant is the future is a mixture of both to reach the masses and get your message known.

The future is natively immersive

There are clear opportunities for greater transparency and efficacy through using data to improve the content and distribution.Brands will tend towards producing less content but hinge more on distribution.This is analogous to how social has been in the last few years
Visual play is in the fray.And this is precisely the reason why great native visual integrations will also have to be developed in 2017 for native ads to be more beautiful, more engaging and more dynamic. Most native ads currently stick out like a sore thumb with a marked box and promotional title.An apt example would be Microsoft’s Child of the 90’s video for Internet Explorer. It takes you back in time and only at the end when Microsoft offers to have you reconnect with the new Internet Explorer that you realize the real purpose of the ad.

Live video, 360-degree video, and virtual reality provide an incredible opportunity to give consumers an experience, and not just content to consume. They are becoming easier to produce and distribute.Those advertisers who take advantage of publishing partners' offers to do this will likely be able to create deeper and more personal relationships with their consumers and achieve an unprecedented level of transparency that those consumers really value.

Blockchain- A marketer’s dilemma too soon?

“Bitcoin will do to banks what Email did to the postal industry”said Rick Falkvinge, IT Entrepreneur and Founder, Swedish Pirate Party.While bitcoin has faced many a bumps on the road to be the money of the internet, the technology that propelled it has certainly found a lot of aficionados. That technology is Blockchain.

Simply put, Blockchain = Network to transfer value without intermediaries

A little hard to get? Imagine a validated letter without the postal stamp i.e. email. The post department never stamped it, but an email is still your valid proof with sent/received copies stored in a server.

Blockchain unfolds in 2016:

More than $ 1 billion is estimated to be spent to bring blockchain technology.It is being extensively experimented across industries starting from banks to supply chain.Eg, the NASDAQ & Chain partnership to transform private share trading has been a key milestone.

The marketing link to the Blockchain:

So why should a marketeer be worried about a technology called blockchain.The reasons are many.To start off it is a foundational technology like the TCP/IP. While it may take time to evolve, it will transform the very foundations of doing business.To understand the marketing angle, let us list the key features of blockchain.It is :
-Auditable & Traceable
-Counterfiet resilient
For a moment, now apply these to customer data analytics and real-time authenticated responses to changes in customer behaviour. This is the link between data-driven marketing and blockchain.

Power to the consumers-

Every large marketer and marketing service company would like a massive identity graph of all consumers, with the ability to leverage that information in all communications with their customers. But consumers (and regulators) aren’t likely to let such databases be created, let alone exploited, if they can stop it.
Enter the Blockchain. Combining Blockchain technology with multikey encryption could give us a well-distributed, user-controlled identity graph that could  monumentally empower consumer in the ad and marketing world -- from centralized media and marketing companies to end consumers which is a culmination of the trend we are already seeing.
Marketers can expect to use intelligent technology in the coming years – not only in monetary value but reputations, social interactions, experiences and memories, relevancy to tastes and ambitions.
For example,in the FMCG world, the blockchain might see consumers buy their household products direct from P&G or Unilever rather than through a supermarket. Sidestepping the middle man would reduce the cost to consumers considerably.
Supermarkets might react by providing new and innovative Artificial Intelligence services to customers.
These services, utilising personal data from the blockchain, could include managing health goals with a service linked to health data collected from a smartwatch. In fact consumers will gravitate towards brands that provide most value to them and will quickly reject those that don’t satisfy their needs.

Honest Marketing:

At Shanghai Fashion Week in October, fashion label Babyghost worked with VeChain, a blockchain platform, to let customers “verify” a selection of handbags. Customers here could scan the tags using their phones to find a “story” of the product — where it’s from, who previously modeled it, and so on.
The idea here is that blockchain can be used to advertise a product in a much more “authentic” way that doesn’t come off as marketing.

Marketing in an IoT world:

The near future will be cashless and wireless, with the internet of things. We would all be wearing chip-based devices to order everything.And to speak to these devices, intelligent laser precise inbound-marketing will be the accepted norm of the day.