Demonstrating that marketing is effective can be a challenging task. Sometimes marketing activities don’t have a clear outcome, or are part of a wider strategy, and are difficult to measure.

It is, however, essential that they are measured. By keeping track of how your marketing is progressing, you’re able to prove your return on investment – essential for justifying marketing spend to clients and your boss.


The first step in proving your marketing ROI is ensuring that every marketing activity is somehow measured and recorded.

That includes:

  • consumption: how many people view content you create, how long they read it, whether they bounce off or move to another page, and the actions they take as a result of readings. That content isn’t limited to your website – it can also include reads or reach on social media like LinkedIn or Facebook.
  • reaction: how people have responded to your content. This includes comments, shares, likes and follows.
  • lead generation: who’s filling out forms, taking advantage of your offers, and looking for the next level of information from your website? These metrics are vital to record, because they’ll often lead to…
  • sales: this is the most direct link between your ROI and your marketing activities. Of course, you want to measure how many sales you’ve made and how they’ve happened. If you’re getting a high proportion of sales from a particular marketing activity, that’s of course something you want to know so you can increase that activity for greater success.

Linking activities to outcomes

Now you’ve got a whole bunch of numbers. The next step is analysing them to determine useful insights.

You should be envisioning your activities as a funnel, with a sale at the end. This is like the traditional sales funnel – but the advent of digital has emphasised the role of marketing in the journey a buyer takes.

You should be able to calculate how much you spend on marketing, and how many customers you’ve collected as a result of those activities – that’s your market spend.

Reporting results

There’s no good in collecting and analysing all of this information if it isn’t reported. Consider who you’re presenting the report too – and what results are important to them. A CEO will want to know what their spend is getting them – the numbers – without too much detail.

Clients, on the other hand, might want you to dig deep into the numbers and present on a varied range of factors – not just the bottom line, but business reputation and online presence also. These factors are less tangible but still valuable for business owners.