Measuring Marketing: Determining the Success of Your Firm’s Marketing Efforts

By Rhonda Maraziti, WithumSmith+Brown, PC – September 15, 2016
Measuring Marketing: Determining the Success of Your Firm’s Marketing Efforts

Measuring the success of marketing and advertising campaigns in terms of return on investment (ROI) can be challenging. Depending on the tactic, statistical data may not be readily available, or how success is defined may be unclear. Regardless, marketing professionals need to substantiate their recommendations and strategies to convince their managing partners that the investment in these efforts is worthwhile. This can be achieved with the right tools and by establishing a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 

Tracking Leads 

In the eyes of accountants, the success of a firm’s marketing efforts is ultimately based on the new business being generated from them. Tracking leads derived from any of the tactics described hereafter is crucial. You need to have a mechanism in place to capture contact information and, just as important, note from where the lead came, such as the website or a conference. If the lead converts to client status, you immediately have that estimated revenue to calculate your ROI. 

Often you won’t know when a lead comes into the firm, because a phone call or email may go directly to a partner, bypassing the marketing department. Remind your professionals to alert your marketing staff to any potential new business coming in as a result of a marketing effort so it can be tracked. 

Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, such as Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce, can be the most helpful with tracking, but if your resources are limited, a basic database or spreadsheet program can be used. 

Website 

Your firm’s website should be the central hub of your marketing strategy, content-rich with articles, videos and other thought leadership. Quality content is the top driver in elevating search engine optimization. High page rankings are an indicator of your website’s strength in driving traffic, which can potentially result in new business to your firm. 

Using a tool like Google Analytics can help you gather basic metrics on site visits and unique visitors and also more insightful data, such as acquisition and behaviors. These statistics show which channels are driving the most traffic to your website and also drill down on each page of the website, so you can see which articles were read most often or how long a visitor was on an industry page. This is great intelligence from which to base marketing decisions or decide which topics or services are of greater interest to your clients. 

Email 

Whether you have a basic email tool such as Constant Contact or a more sophisticated marketing automation tool like ClickDimensions or Marketo, you can measure a variety of behaviors to determine the success of an email campaign. According to a recent MailChimp survey, emails related to business and finance typically see a 21.31 percent open rate and a 2.76 percent click-thru rate (CTR). 

With these email tools, you can also generate reports listing who is opening the emails, which can then be shared with business development professionals or partners for followup. This could be particularly good for cross-selling services. 

Social Media 

KPIs for social media channels can be more than just the number of likes or followers, although that is the strongest metric. You also want to look at engagement from specific posts — retweets, shares and other interactions — and the number of impressions, meaning the number of times your content is displayed in viewer feeds. There are many free social media analytics tools and dashboards that track followers and impressions and monitor which posts perform best. Google Analytics can also provide social media metrics. 

Radio and Print Advertising 

Unless you have a direct call to action in your print or radio ad, such as “call now” or “register for this event,” there is no easy way to determine ROI. You can get circulation or listenership numbers, but for the most part, advertising is about brand awareness — so impressions are the more important metric here. Success can be measured by the feedback received from professionals who either hear or see the ads themselves or who have clients and referral sources comment that they have. 

Digital Advertising 

Digital display advertising is, in the simplest of terms, paying for your ad to be on a website or in an electronic newsletter, sitting alongside the content of the page. In addition to impressions, or how many people see the ad, you also get the benefit of CTR to measure. Typically, advertisers could see a CTR of 0.05 percent and above. 

Conferences and Sponsored Events 

This is the area where most marketing efforts fall short. After the event is over, it quickly becomes a distant memory. Take the time to input the names and contact information from the business cards you gathered at the event — even better, get the attendee list — into your database or CRM system. Again, be sure to tag each name with the event to track conversion. 

To make the most of your firm’s marketing spend, measuring results is key. Be sure to have the right mechanisms in place to track leads and establish KPIs in order to define the success of your firm’s marketing efforts.


Rhonda Maraziti

Rhonda Maraziti is the chief marketing officer at WithumSmith+Brown, PC.

This article appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. Read the full issue.