You hire a marketing firm and expect to get results. They insist the results take time, but in the meantime, you’re still paying out money wondering when the results will start to show. Isn’t there a better way to know? If you feel that your marketing company may not be doing the best job for you, then these tips will help you evaluate their efforts.

What Is My Return on Investment?

Return on investment is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. In this case, the investment is the money spent with your marketing firm. Return on investment, also known as ROI, is calculated by dividing the gain from investment by the cost of the investment and is usually expressed as a percentage or ratio. If the number is positive (the higher the number, the better), then you’re getting your money’s worth. If the number is a negative, then your company is losing money on this venture.

This all sounds good, and in a simplistic world, it would be great. Unfortunately, we live in a much more complicated environment. The results of a marketing plan can be very difficult to determine. You may be able to count the number of hits on a website, but determining how much new business was actually created as a result is much more difficult.

In an effort to show their performance, your marketing company will most likely look at the difference in gross sales between two specific time periods to get an idea about whether their campaign is working or not. There may be some growth shown that is the result of other efforts and not directly attributable to the new marketing efforts, but it will give you a basic idea of what type of ROI your company is receiving.

Define Your Marketing Plan

A marketing plan can be simple or complex, often determined by the relationship you have with your marketing firm. Regardless of which type of plan you have, you expect results and the best way to get results is with an overall marketing strategy that has a combination of integrated marketing parts seamlessly working together to promote your business. This is true whether you’re a small Midwest company or a large company in Chicago. Integrated marketing is essential to a successful marketing effort.

If your marketing company is not offering integrated marketing strategies for your company, then you may have reason to wonder why it’s taking so long for the marketing efforts to show up in the bottom line. It may be simply a lack of experience or a lack of specific skills that keeps the firm from performing like a top notch marketing company. If you suspect this is the case with your company, you may want to explore your options or simply move to a different company with a proven track record.