If number is not the king, who is? This is who.

If you are a marketer struggling with making your digital marketing scalable, you are not alone. You have planned your campaigns properly, defined your audience and created precise targeting. Now all you want is that your marketing efforts should pay off, by being scalable. But beyond the initial 3-4 months, the truth opens up. Scalability is not inherent in digital marketing. The target group gets exhausted, the cost per acquisition increases non-linearly beyond a threshold. If you are about to reach that point, then its time you looked deeper into your numbers.

The campaign-to-lead conversion and lead-to-sales conversion, are dependent on parameters beyond your marketing budget. More often than not, a look at the quarterly marketing budget, will give a rough estimate of the winner campaign. However, there will always be multiple peaks and troughs in performance which will question your previous conclusions. This unrecognised pattern over a long period of time, makes it difficult to understand how to grow the performance from X to 2X while maintaining the promised ROI.

Finding the right metric

Here is what the fields of your ROI calculation might look like, at present:

Ad Source Ad medium Campaign Name Ad Term Cost per click Cost per conversion

In the first go, it seems that the ad-source should directly map to the conversion. This should help us decide which ad source works best for us. But is it even possible to linearly scale results?

Can there be more parameters that define why the campaigns on a particular ad source yield better results as compared to the average performance of, say, the past 3 months.

How do you scale the success in one campaign into the success of the overall marketing plan?

What is the justification behind higher cost per acquisition for a lower sales value per deal?

So here I would like to propose an alternative model for calculating your returns.

Target group Benefit Pitch Ad Source Ad medium Campaign Name Ad Term Cost per click Cost per conversion

Or probably, your audience is driven by the right combination of messaging. So you might want to look at the various points of contact, and find out how they contribute to the conversion.

Target group Benefit 1 Benefit 2 Ad Source 1 Ad Source 2 Cost per 1st click Cost per 2nd click Cost per conversion

What works for your case is subjective to your business and its marketing plan. It also depends upon how your target group interacts with your ads. So here are the questions you should start answering:

How do you categorize your audience, so that it makes a logical grouping?

What do you base your grouping selection on (placement, feature sold or sales value)?

Does your selection reflect the efficacy of your marketing process?

With multiple touch points in your process, you need to figure out the campaigns which do not yield immediate results, but play a cog in other lucrative conversions.

Make space for your conversion cycle

In our hurry to make digital marketing work, we fail to map the period that a sales process takes. If I generate 100 leads today, 2 of them close within a week, 5 more close within a month, and there are 2 more cases that close in the next 3 months.

To what do you attribute the sales that happen 3 months later?

If that attribution is an element in your process, what combination of elements creates best returns?

For instance, when you advertise on google adwords, a lot of people who search you on mobile might go on the web, search your name and create a demo request with you, in the process filling downloading one of your white papers.

Such correlations, say between the organic or direct traffic and the paid campaigns, need to be driven based on statistical modelling which depicts the overall scenario, month after month, week after week.

Making space for your conversion cycle, to allow all the elements to be duly acknowledged, is a step in the direction of avoiding the blinding spot that growing companies fail to see.

This entire exercise is a way to help you see deeper into what your numbers say. Numbers count, but the Buddha is in the details. To get a quick analysis on your own marketing activities, write to us at thedigittale@gmail.com.