This is the question that keeps so many business owners and C-suite executives up at night.

While many executives know that marketing works. The internal struggle always comes from how marketing is measured and what is the ROI.

So lets start there!

Marketing is easier to measure on non-traditional platforms such as online and the web, most notably by spikes in views, clicks, or downloads. But on traditional mediums such as newspaper and radio it gets much harder to measure, as you don’t know if an ad was listened to or viewed just because there is no way to track whether the listener or reader exhibited a call to action.

Now many of you may now be asking what is a call to action. A call to action or CTA as it is referred to in marketing language, is a measurable form of action that was taken after the audience member consumed the marketing material in whatever form it was delivered to them. If the CTA response was what you had intended to happen, then you have achieved a ROI.

What makes the marketer lose sleep is the fact that the grand achievement of a ROI from a implemented marketing plan is more elusive than the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

So why do many marketers promise it and fail to deliver?

Well its for one simple reason.

Many marketers create marketing plans based on what the customer is saying, but not what the customer’s business is trying to achieve.

For example if a client says that they want to have a grand opening celebration. Most marketers would say, “what’s your budget?” and then are off to the races planning the best grand opening celebration they ever envisioned.

But herein lies the mistake.

They forgot to ask the client what their intended outcome of the grand opening celebration was; was it to show off a new product, was it to unveil a remodeled store, or was it to increase sales.

See only once the result is known, then the marketer can work backwards to develop a plan to achieve that response. Thus, linking the strategy to the action and creating the formula that leads to the desired ROI. While some marketers try to get better at being a magician, it’s easier to practice getting better at being a strategist. The results are better and there are no illusions involved.

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