Return on Investment ROI

Why is ROI so Important?

In order to understand the value of your hard-earned marketing dollars, you need to start with your goals in mind. What do you want your marketing to do for you? Increase traffic to your website? Generate phone calls to your business? Launch more form fills on your site? Raise the number of your Facebook likes? Drive more visits to your storefront? These are just a few of the results that marketing can deliver. But the overall ROI, or return on investment, is related to how much new business you’ve generated with these results.

What Does ROI Typically Look Like?

Most businesses do marketing to achieve one thing: to raise their bottom-line. You want more sales, period. Does that mean more customers? Maybe it means getting your current customers to spend more money each time they do business with you? Whatever your needs are, you must know your goal before you get started.

This is how a business determines their return on investment. Let’s use a hypothetical business called Bob’s Oil Change. Bob is having an OK year: revenue is up 5% over last year. Bob’s customer base has stayed about the same as last year. He hasn’t lost any good customers, but he hasn’t seen an increase in new customers, either. Bob knows that, if he could add 20 new customers a week and each customer gets nothing more than an oil change, each customer will spend $50 on average. About 50% of his oil change customers also get additional services, including brakes, tire rotation, air filters, etc. An average sale for Bob is now at $150. Bob stands to make $3000 more each week, or $12,000 more each month if he can just get 20 new customers a week.

Let’s say that Bob has $3,000 a month for marketing. For every $3,000 Bob spends, he hopes to get $12,000 in sales. Bob’s return on investment is 4:1. An increase of 20% in revenue for Bob (4 times what he was achieving before marketing!)

Lifetime Value

This doesn’t even take into account the “Lifetime Value” of a new customer. If Bob retains a new customer for 5 years on average, and each customer spends $600 a year, that’s $3,000 spent per customer over their lifetime! Bob isn’t going to retain every customer, of course, so let’s just say that he’s able to retain half of them (500 for easy math.) The annual campaign will have brought in $1,500,000 over the next 5 years! Not bad for spending $36,000 this year.

What ROI Does Not Do

While ROI is important for determining marketing success, what it does not do is gauge intangibles that are just as crucial to your business.

Branding, first of all, is very important. You might find that the branding you invest in now might not affect your ROI for many months, or even years! However, when someone does need your business, they need to recognize your name when it comes up in a Google search result.

Social media interactions often have nothing to do with ROI, but they are an important part of your marketing. Maybe that Facebook post of your employees having fun at work won’t bring in any new customers right away, but it will help people understand that your business has friendly people. It builds “Brand Personality.”

Bottom Line

Just like in a marathon, start with the finish line in mind. What are your needs? What are your goals? How do you get there? Then you can truly determine what good ROI looks like for your business.

At QBall Digital, we start each conversation with a customer needs analysis to help you determine your goals, and ultimately, your ROI. Let us help you with a free consultation. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss how we can help your business.

branding vs lead gen

Branding vs. Lead Gen

Different marketing goals require different strategies, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Before you decide to invest those hard-earned marketing dollars, there are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself:

  1. What are my marketing goals?
  2. Has my past marketing gotten me ready for lead generation?


Here is a very important question to ask before you dive into the marketing funnel: are you looking to let as many people as possible to know about your business or do you need leads that you can convert into customers? It seems like an easy answer, right? Let’s skip past all formalities and get right to the new customers! Not so quick.

If people don’t know what you are about, you likely need branding before you get to the leads. Think about your own activities when it comes to making a purchase. When you Google a product or service, and you don’t recognize a brand name, are you inclined to click on the link to the unknown business? Maybe, but you’re more likely to click on those businesses that you recognize surrounding the unknown link, first.

Branding’s purpose is to let as many potential customers as possible know about your business. Branding comes in many forms: TV, radio, cable, newspaper, outdoor billboards, direct mail, promotional items, Goodyear Blimp, etc. Digital branding is more targeted than most of those traditional forms of marketing. Targeted branding finds potential customers based on demographics (age, gender, race, etc.), geography (neighborhood, city, state, etc.), and behaviors (websites visited, online searches, and even businesses one has actually walked into – aka geofencing.)

Branding Tactics

Branded digital can be accomplished with several tactics:

  • Banner Ads
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Video Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Ads (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
  • OTT & CTV
  • Streaming Audio

Congratulations! Now that you have a good branding strategy is in place, you are ready for Lead Gen!

Lead Gen

With traditional marketing, Lead Gen is accomplished by asking people to fill out forms at events; contesting; networking; or even dropping business cards into a fish bowl. With digital marketing, Lead Gen can, just like digital branding, be targeted to the people who are actively in need of your product or service.

Again, think of your habits when you are in the market to buy something. You already know what you want, but now you are in research mode. Who should you buy the product/service from? Who has the best quality, reputation, price? How do you gather all of that information? If you’re like me, you use search engines like Google or Bing to get your answers.


To take advantage of search engines, there are several tactics to generate a form fill or a phone call to your business. Search Engine Optimization will help your site get in front of people when they are either researching or ready to buy. Search Engine Marketing (PPC) allows you to buy premium placement in a search engine page result, often at the top of the page.

Listings & Reputation Management

Listings management ensures that your name, address, and phone number (among other things) show up correctly in hundreds of online business directories. Often, these directories will show up before your web site on the search engines, so listings management is very important! And lets not underestimate the importance of reputation management. What your customers say about you in public is “word of mouth” in the 21st century. Make sure that you are getting as many five star reviews as possible and the leads will follow!

Free Evaluation

If you would like a free evaluation of your digital health, or if you would just like someone to brainstorm with, feel free to contact us. Owners Jody Quivey and Mark Bianchi (QB…get it?) love helping small and medium-sized businesses! Whether in our hometown of Indianapolis, in the state of Indiana, or anywhere else!