Council Post: How 14 Agency Pros Measure ROI For Their Own Marketing Activities

Marketing is essential for promoting and expanding all businesses, including agencies. While these firms execute plenty of marketing campaigns and measure ROI for their clients, it can be tricky to devote enough time and resources to determining their own.

Nonetheless, as with any client, it’s critical to measure your agency’s own efforts and initiatives to ensure that you’re seeing a return on those investments.

The members of Forbes Agency Council know how important it is to track the results of internal marketing activities. Here, they share 14 strategies and metrics they use to measure the ROI for their own campaigns.

1. Urchin Tracking Module Parameters

Set up proper UTM parameters for each campaign, both organic and paid, create events and goals in Google Analytics, integrate your contact form with your CRM and use plugins to track UTMs for each lead that reaches out. If you have everything under control, you will be able to calculate CPC, CPI, CTR and average contract size by acquisition channel. – Alessandro Bogliari, The Influencer Marketing Factory

2. Facebook Ads Manager

We measure and track ROI for our internal marketing activities directly inside the Facebook Ads Manager, just as we do for our clients. We measure cost per lead and overall sales to ensure that we have an ROI with all of our efforts. – Jonathan Durante, Expandify Marketing Inc

3. Non-Revenue Metrics

When ROI is measured solely by revenue, you can miss measuring and tweaking some of the KPIs that indicate progress through the sales funnel. By measuring and analyzing web traffic, social media engagements and qualified leads generated (versus a one-dimensional revenue number), you have the opportunity to tweak and improve throughout the process, which leads to continuously improving ROI. – Carey Kirkpatrick, CKP


4. Qualitative And Quantitative Leads

It’s about qualitative and quantitative leads. Does your inbound pick up? Do you have those out-of-the-blue requests, or is it one of those Google Ads-based campaigns where you spent tons of money, got (unqualified) leads and your website’s bounce rate went sky-high? Rather than being about an absolute ROI, it’s about being clear on your objectives (top/middle/lower funnel) and focusing on that! – Lars Voedisch, PRecious Communications

5. Brand Awareness

There are easily tangible KPIs to track for marketing, including the number of inbound leads generated and, even better, how much revenue is generated from those inbound leads. But we also need to keep brand awareness in mind, which is more difficult to quantify, but can be measured through things such as overall site traffic or page views per month. – Jason Wulfsohn, AUDIENCEX

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6. Customer Lifetime Value To Customer Acquisition Cost Ratio

Our agency assesses the customer lifetime value to customer acquisition cost ratio (LTV to CAC) to determine our ROI. The LTV to CAC ratio measures the value of a customer over time compared to their acquisition cost. The ideal LTV to CAC ratio is around 3 to 1, where a customer’s lifetime value is three times the cost of acquiring them. Anything less than 3 to 1 means your investment is higher than your return. – Adam Binder, Creative Click Media

7. Money Spent Versus Money Made Per Campaign

We measure ROI for ourselves the same way we measure ROI for our clients: how much money is spent versus how much money is made on an individual campaign. For example, if we’re doing PPC (pay-per-click) for ourselves, we take into account the budget and the revenue generated from said PPC campaign to measure its effectiveness. – Garrett Atkins, VIE Media

8. Sales Leads

What’s great about digital marketing is that everything is measurable if you have the right tools for tracking it. You can measure the value of the digital traffic that you received; however, the real ROI still comes through your sales. See if your marketing efforts still lead you to the next sales lead. It doesn’t matter if it’s just one. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

9. New Client Acquisition And Yearly Revenue

ROI is measured from new client acquisition and revenue for the calendar year against the number of resources invested in the activities, both time and financial. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

10. Web Traffic Value

We’ve been blessed to be ranked No. 1 on Google for “Facebook advertising agency.” This came from years of hard work, blogging and PR. We track the estimated costs for that keyword and the amount of traffic we receive each month. Since we know the value of the traffic, we know what to invest to ensure that we remain in that top position. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

11. Return On Influence

We focus on return on influence as well as return on investment. So we are tracking engagement and growth on social channels, email marketing metrics, website traffic and visitation metrics, as well as referrals and inquiries. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

12. Cost Per Key Performance Indicator

We measure ROI for ourselves exactly the same way we do for our clients: We define our goals beforehand (impressions, engagement, clicks, leads, etc.), and then assess what we’ve spent, what we got and what it cost per KPI (CPC, CPI, CTR, etc.). We look at the analytics to assess what was strong and where we can improve next time. – Christoph Kastenholz, Pulse Advertising

13. Revenue Versus Ad Spend

You can only put profit in your pocket, so we measure revenue versus ad spend, also known as ROAS (return on advertising spend). Generating site traffic, brand awareness and inbound leads is meaningless if they don’t turn into paying clients. Those KPIs simply give us direction to help keep the business on a plan. Deals are always in the sales funnel. – Michael Fox, Corberry Digital

14. The Same Metrics And Tools Used For Clients

We measure our agency’s performance with the same metrics and tracking tools we use to track ROI for our clients. If I, as a small-business owner, wouldn’t be satisfied with the metrics being provided, then I shouldn’t ask my clients to accept them. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions