The formula for measuring your marketing ROI
Column by VENESSA DI VITO
The fact that collision repair facilities have a lot on their plate comes as no surprise. After all, they need to keep their customers happy, remain competitive with industry KPIs, and source and retain employees in a very competitive environment. No wonder it’s so tough for an owner, manager or employee to find the time, energy and motivation to take an existing business to the next level in terms of sales and profits.
As a marketing and performance-based solutions company, we are often called in when an automotive business has exhausted all its ideas for growing sales and profits and is now looking for us to provide quick results. And although it’s true that marketing campaigns have the capabilities to provide quick results, the true value of advertising comes when a business makes a consistent investment in marketing their brand and building awareness within their local markets. With a little foresight and planning, the money you spend on marketing should provide you with a continuous return on your investment (ROI). When I think about how best to describe the most effective, valuable, sustainable, and results-driven method of promoting your business, this is the best analogy that I can think of:
Picture marketing like a seed… In order for your business to grow into a beautiful tree, every day you need to water it, feed it, and keep it in the right environment to encourage it to develop into something really great. Marketing is your water, food, and environment.
In other words, if you’re looking to market your business, the most effective and results-driven method comes from adopting the mindset that marketing demands a long term, multi-pronged approach that leads not only to consistent sales growth, but also to consistently greater profits over time.
Yet, while growing a company’s sales and profits sounds great, it’s not something you should think of as an out-of-pocket expense, but rather as an ROI. And businesses need to know that by spending the money in marketing dollars and working with the right company, they should be fully recouping that marketing investment—and more!
So, if you’re going to allocate the recommended two-to-five percent to a marketing budget to achieve results for your collision repair facility, is it reasonable to expect to see results and growth greater than two-to-five percent?
The answer is absolutely…and then some! But how does a shop determine the impact of marketing on the business’ success? At the most basic level, ROI is a direct comparison of the amount of money you spend on a project versus the amount of revenue you gain from it. For example, if the business is seeing organic sales growth of two percent on average every year for the last five years, then your ROI calculation should be to strip out two percent from the sales growth.
As a result, the equation becomes: (Sales Growth – Average Organic Year over Year Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI
Let’s say that your company achieves two percent growth in organic sales year over year, and you decide to hire a marketing company for $1,500 per month.
Assume your total annual sales were $1,500,000 and your total annual marketing expense was $18,000 ($1500 X 12 months). Two percent (or $30,000) would be organic based on historical yearly averages.
This is the kind of dramatic improvement you should be seeing when you work with a reputable marketing agency.
But what happens if you don’t want to wait a whole year to find out that your marketing agency is failing to deliver the impressive ROI you deserve to see each month? Well, any marketing company that’s worthy of your trust should be providing you with performance reports and offering suggestions for making things better—as often as you wish! Furthermore, metrics should include results being tracked month-overmonth and year-over-year to show true results in growth and profits.
Additional metrics that are important include:
• Social Media Marketing: Measuring reach, impressions and engagement
• Website: Existing user count, new user count, page views, bounce rate and authority score are just a few examples of data to measure
• Email Marketing Campaigns: Monitor open rate, number of views, total clicks, total opens, bounces, and new vs. repeat customers
• Ad Campaigns: Measuring reach, link clicks, and cost per click and dollars spent. As a marketing agency ourselves, we cannot stress this point enough: Whenever you decide to invest in marketing initiatives for your business, be sure you are testing to see if what you’re doing or investing in is truly helping your business to grow.
The goal for any marketing company should be to work as a vital support to their customer’s goals—constantly being on the lookout for new and innovative ways to help the business make money (and spend money) as wisely and efficiently as possible. By helping the business to experience the benefits of a positive and powerful marketing ROI that leads to continuous success and increased profits, that’s what we define as a mutual win/win!
ABOUT AUTO+ PERFORMANCE
Auto+ Performance is a full-service automotive solutions company specializing in generating growth in sales, traffic, and customer retention for a Collision Repair facility within their local communities. The company offers products, services, and solutions around Websites, Social Media Marketing, SEO, Email Marketing, Advertising, Estimating, Jobs & HR Services, Scheduling, Production, Bookkeeping, and much more. You can learn more about them at www.autoplusperformance.com or send them an email at email@example.com.