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Measuring Your Marketing ROI: Follow the Data

An IMEX America session emphasizes data over instincts and the best tools for the job.

“Don’t follow your gut. Follow the data,” said digital marketing session presenter Jason Bornfriend at IMEX America in Las Vegas in September.

Bornfriend, who is the director of marketing at 829 Studios, explained that digital marketing can be tracked and assessed fairly accurately with a wide arrange of tools that take the guesswork out of your outreach and conversion efforts.

According to Bornfriend, the main tools available to meeting planners are:
• Facebook Pixel
• Google Analytics
• Google Tag Manager
• Pinterest Tag
• Web and Mobile Analytics
• Bing ads Universal Event Tracking

Although it’s important to use the right tracking tool (for example, Facebook Pixel for a Facebook campaign), Bornfriend cautioned that the true journey of a user from discovery to purchase or registration can be complex. A person may view a banner ad promoting your event on an industry website and later seek out more information on Facebook. It pays, he says, to invest in multiple tracking tools to accurately attribute where your leads are coming from. In this case, Google Analytics would pick up the banner ad view and Facebook Pixel would indicate the social media contact. Accurate attribution can save you money by showing where your efforts are ineffective so you can change direction, but Bornfriend suggested meeting marketers with limited budgets should start with Google Analytics. He said, “Put Google Analytics on every touchpoint and you can get so granular you can see who watched a video or clicked a link, and whether they ultimately signed up.”

According to Bornfriend, the four key performance indicators to consider when breaking down the journey from web visitor to new customer are:

1. The cost to bring visitors to your website
2. The rate at which visitors engage and become leads
3. The rate at which your sales team converts leads to customers
4. The lifetime value of one new customer

Number four is important, Bornfriend said, because although digital marketing is an efficient way to reach out to new customers and attendees, once you appreciate the cost of converting someone into a customer, it will pay off to market directly to them to keep them a loyal brand champion.

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