by Ricky WestbrookEvery business has an idea of what they constitute as a good return on their marketing investments. For most it’s direct sales or bust. Others just want a good flow of qualified leads and if the sales do not close then that’s a problem with the sales staff, not the marketing efforts.However, regardless of how you determine ROI you should have a system in place to track from the prospect’s initial engagement down to the true value it brought your company. Many people still use the old-fashioned way and just ask their prospects “how did you hear about us?” While sometimes that can be effective, there is room for human error and you may not always be getting all the info you need to make your marketing decisions.The best way to measure any ROI on any marketing medium is to go unique. By unique I mean put a unique number, URL, hashtag, etc. on all of your marketing efforts. That way when the lead comes in, you know exactly which marketing effort it came from. This information gives you invaluable insight when planning your marketing budget. It will allow you to not only spend money on the efforts that are working, but give you the ability to re-allocate the money from efforts that are not working into the ones that are working.With a majority of marketing efforts going online these days, there are ways to get even more granular than just a unique toll free number or URL on a landing page. There are systems now that can tie a keyword query back to a phone call or form submission. Now that is true ROI tracking because it’s not just telling you that your SEO or SEM efforts are bringing in leads, it’s telling you which pieces of your SEO or SEM are bringing in the leads. That would be like knowing which sentence of a newspaper article brought in the lead, rather than just knowing it was the newspaper.Like most things in life, you have to actually utilize these systems in order to get the most out of them. These systems can give you a brand new insight into your marketing, but if you don’t utilize them to their full potential, then you’re going to end up paying for information that you probably could have received by looking at your phone records and Google Analytics.In the end, it all comes down to uniqueness. The more granular you can get and the more you use that information to make educated marketing decisions, the more ROI (or lack of) you are going to see.Take a glimpse into what we offer as a solution to ROI Tracking.