Finance Marketing: How to Measure Your Return on Marketing Investment

Return on Marketing Investement

This is the fourth part in a four-part series, which explores how to measure different elements and channels of our various marketing strategies in order to calculate our return on marketing investment. If you missed the first three parts of the series, you can explore the obstacles facing your marketing department, how to build out a digital content strategy, and how to set goals.

Financial intuitions continuously need to provide data to their investors, especially by providing a snapshot of their return on investment at the end of each quarter.  This snapshot of performance is encapsulated in a factsheet, which those within the industry are all too familiar with. When it comes to proving the marketing department’s value and the return on marketing investment for the institution to a CMO, why not use the same strategy? Provide a snapshot of performance on a marketing dashboard free of charge, all with Google Data Studio.

Not sure where to begin? Well, let’s take a look at how we can measure success and what tools we can use to showcase these metrics.


Benchmarking – the ultimate measure of success in comparison to the industry. There’s a quick and easy way to analyze how we size up to the competition via Google Analytics. On the left-hand banner under Audience, click the Benchmark drop-down. From this point, there are three different options: channels, location, and devices. We’ll also want to choose the Industry Vertical that we consider ourselves to be a part of. Select Business Finance under the Business & Industrial section. Next, designate the size of the organization based on daily session quantity.

Return on Investment Benchmark

Once we have this established, we can gauge the traffic volume, net-new users, pages per session, average session duration, and bounce rate our website has at a glance thanks to the table’s incorporated heat map. This tool shows which channels we use more effectively than the competition and whether our site is truly optimized for mobile. Highlight the areas our business excels in, and which requirement improvement– compared to the industry standard.

The Marketer’s Factsheet: The Marketing Dashboard

The factsheet is the ultimate snapshot for a shareholder to see risk, returns, and holdings data in a single place. In comparison, marketing departments rely on the marketing dashboard to display data from any platform or database.

First and foremost, watch this webinar on Getting Started with Google Data Studio to learn how to import and organize data into this free visualization data tool step-by-step.  After we’ve gained the necessary foundational knowledge to use the tool, we’ll be able to start measuring our marketing strategy in conjunction with our goals.

Below is an example which outlines data visualization tactics, techniques and data sets we can use for our organization. Just keep in mind that company goals dictate what data is important to highlight.

Important to Note: All Dashboards show percentage increase/decrease numbers; those values represent the percentage change in value from the previous quarter. A combination of Google Demo and SHIFT account data was used to create the dashboard. Therefore, the data may not seem congruent in some of the tables/graphs.


Tools we will use at the top of the Data Studio bar:

  • Date Range: create a box on the top right part of every page and set the date to capture the quarter
  • Time Series: line graphs showcasing change in data over time
  • Scorecard: displaying the value of a metric
  • Table: displaying data in rows column ordered by a metric
  • Pie chart: showing the % attributed to one channel or metric

Return on Marketing Investment Toolbar

Accounts Connected to the Google Data Studio:

  • Google Analytics Account
  • YouTube Analytics: any social media analytics account can be used
  • Google Sheets: data from campaign budget, spend and conversions were manually placed in a Google Sheet. This is a great way to use exports from sub-accounting platforms or other databases a company uses to connect Google Data Studio to raw data sets.

So now that we’ve watched the webinar and have free access to Google Data Studio, let’s begin.

Page One: Traffic Snapshot

Return on Marketing Investment TrafficLeverage organic traffic numbers to measure the effectiveness of a content strategy. In addition, we can analyze channel traffic to determine which channel is generating the most awareness (sessions) and goal conversions. This snapshot is rich with insights. For example, we can see that social receives the most channel traffic, however, it also drives the fewest goal conversions. Try to leverage social traffic by optimizing your content for conversions; this may require some multivariate testing.

Page Two: Platform Analytics

Return on Marketing Investment Platform AnalyticsThis table is used to infer which source is providing the most direct traffic. As a result of YouTube’s top position, we took a deeper dive into YouTube analytics to compare this quarter’s sessions to the previous quarter’s. As you can see, there were huge spikes in traffic during the last month of the previous. We want to identify what caused that result so we can recreate its cause and repeat that pattern.

Page Three: Return on Marketing Investment

Return on Marketing Investment Dashboard

Finally, we measure which campaigns are the most effective. This includes many types of campaigns, such as e-mail campaigns, ad campaigns, etc. Underneath I’ve included the formula for calculating Ad Campaign Return on Marketing Investment, which highlights both the conversion value of all leads produced from the campaigns and the amount of money invested in the campaigns.

Return On Marketing Investment % Formula

ROMI = (Conversion Value – Spend)/Spend * 100

In Conclusion

There are so many facets to managing within a marketing department, and no shortage of strategies to choose and implement. Use these tips and techniques to establish a marketing dashboard, and adjust it to best address business goals. Simply update referenced data each quarter for quick updates on success. Establishing a holistic and insightful marketing dashboard is a crucial step to monitor a return on marketing investment, and keep it positive.

Lisa Zanchi
Marketing Analyst

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Posted on April 21, 2017 in Analytics, Data, Metrics

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About the Author

Lisa Zanchi is currently a Marketing Technology Analyst with the Boston location of SHIFT Communications. She has experience in launching and managing content marketing strategies, social media marketing campaigns, and influencer identification. Former finance industry employee and loyal admirer of all things data.
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