Everything I know about ROI, I learned from my mother.

As the oldest of six children, I’m a classic “first-born” with all the characteristics that come with that territory. And, because I was the eldest, I was frequently assigned special duties to help my mother run the household. Much of what is most important in ROI, I learned from her.

Here are four “mom-isms” that apply to marketing ROI.

Timing is everything. I learned early to shop on certain days for the best sale prices. The same is true for ROI. You can “shop” your metrics every day, but the price will be higher. You’ll sink more time into trying to make sense of micro-events that are often misleading. Don’t make yourself crazy. Instead, pull your data on the same day every month and monitor macro-trends. You’ll be on firmer ground for long-term decision making.

Plan ahead. Do you find yourself down a different metrics rabbit hole everyday? Are your stakeholders making different requests each day/week/month for analytics reports? Like the competing voices of siblings vying for parental attention, it can be a challenge to allow each person to be heard. So, it pays to plan ahead and reassure them that a thoughtful approach exists before any concerns arise. For example, gather stakeholder input on what metrics they want, document the agreed-to set of KPIs and schedule reporting cycles. Then, distribute that roadmap to your stakeholders. Demonstrating a well-planned approach pays off.

Share your toys. Yes, ROI is my own geeky little toy. But, it’s hard to build internal advocates and champions unless you educate stakeholders (marketing peers, senior management, clients, IT, etc.). Find those key champions and begin sharing key marketing metrics with them. Make reporting part of a formal agenda. Use every opportunity to increase their sophistication on analytics.

Save for a rainy day. Mom used to say, “put something away for tomorrow.” In terms of ROI planning, keep a folder of potential enhancements, relevant reports, industry articles, new techniques, emerging models and other “wish list” items to consider in the future. It’s a great way to maintain day-to-day focus on ROI, while keeping possible future enhancements within sight.

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