How to measure ROI in marketing

What is the meaning of ROI in marketing?

Well, this is my first blog, I have been on a bit of a journey in the last 4 months with a change of career direction. I have a husband, 2 kids and a dog named Diesel that all present their own challenges that influence my working world and now I have the chance to reflect and grow in my own career, so thought this might be the right time to share some of my thoughts and knowledge in this blog.
Who is she you may ask?

Well, my name is Gemma and I have worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years in hotels, venues, the big chains and central London. All with their unique challenges, massive highs and in some, career changing lows, I have experience working with a wide range of event spaces with capacities from 5 – 2000 people and each one is uniquely brilliant. One thing that remains consistent across all of the venues/hotels I have worked with are incredible sales people. 



As a sales person myself, I love working in this industry, you meet great people in other venues as well as bookers that work in all types of industry but ultimately all after the same thing, a great event, in an outstanding location with outstanding service, and when you get that right, as a sales person its like winning the lottery. 



I love Sales, it's in my blood and I have been lucky enough to work across all elements of sales from a university degree, studying the theory of what we do; proactive account management; onsite hotel sales; sales team management and Sales Director roles in hotels and venues. So, what do I do now? I am privileged to be Commercial Director for a fantastic trusted online resource for bookers, venues and suppliers; LondonLaunch. We are working to change the way in which venues, suppliers and bookers communicate and convert great enquiries across London. A digital marketing platform to support and drive the events business.

So my blog, is me, my thoughts, advice and opinions and sharing some knowledge of what I have learnt over the years, hoping to help others in the industry to grow, develop and learn something that helps them to define their career. 



My first subject, Measuring the return on your marketing activity, a subject we all know to be key right now with GDPR changes, bookers more online than ever and tighter budgets that need to go further. Ultimately it's all about Sales, what can it bring in and how do we measure it?
Often for everything we do with our marketing spend we are asked ‘what is the ROI on that?’ For me, the first mistake often made is do we truly understand what we are measuring? 
What are we measuring? Marketing spend is a challenge to measure as often there is no tangible asset and often not a quantifiable result to show for the spend. We all know that even with a ‘quote me’ call to action, bookers often forget to mention where they heard about us and venues often forget to ask. So how do we measure the return?
Each activity has a different objective and we need to ensure that we manage expectation on the return for each piece of marketing.
How do we do that? By answering the following questions and ensure the answers are communicated effectively to the internal stakeholders.

  • What is your objective? What do you want to achieve from this piece of marketing?

For venues the answer to these questions are often:

  • Brand Awareness (this is a key indicator of a brands competitive market performance and boy are we in a competitive market, currently venue supply outweighs demand in London so what has your brand done to stand out??)
  • Brand Equity (the revenue generated from simply brand recognition ). For example, The Ritz has huge brand equity from their Afternoon Tea as worldwide this is one of the best places to go!
  • Build a Brand ( You may be a new group of venues brought together under a new brand so you want your venues to be known as part of the group brand and not just the individual property ) Another question though – what does that brand bring to your venue?
  • Venue Exposure (You may be a new venue to the market or had a refurb and need to expose your new venue to the many bookers with requirements for your type of space)
  • Attendance at an event

Out of the above outcomes, all are aiming for the same Sales result, an increase in enquiries, incremental revenue and profit for your venue, but this isn’t always that simple to collate! Sales want a piece of marketing that will make our lives easier, cold calls are tough (trust me I have been there and its horrible, people don’t have time for the call and they certainly don’t think they need what you are trying to sell) but marketing should help to bring people to us. A warm lead, someone who has read a promotion, been to a fam trip, seen you online will engage in conversation and work with you to place enquiries and drive sales. 



Easy?? No, it’s tough, finding the balance between ‘worth’ and ‘return’ on your investment. 
Some points to think about when investing your marketing budget:

  • What is the objective? How can this be measured?
  • Is this piece of work part of a much larger campaign and so return on one piece should be managed within the expectation of the greater campaign?
  • Is the plan to build a brand? What do you want your brand to say and how do you want bookers to connect to your brand? What is your USP against all the other venues?



For example: Why host a fam trip? We want bookers to attend and see the great event spaces, hear your message and learn something unforgettable about your venue that makes it stand out, but is there a measurement of that activity directly? What is the ROI? The answer 9 out of 10 times is to generate enquiries – I believe that absolutely to be everyone’s intentions but how many actually track these? do we phone all attendees for their enquiries, do we daily following the fam trip look at the enquiries coming in against the attendees or wait for them to phone us? What about those that accepted but didn’t attend but were catered for? They were a cost but will see no return unless a proactive approach is taken. 
Bookers don’t turn up to those events with enquiries (wouldn’t it be amazing if they did!!) and they aren’t cheap to host so we need to find a more quantifiable ROI for these? What is the best measurement factor – I would say brand recognition, loyalty and referrals. But most of all for me sales is about relationships, start the building blocks of a connection with a booker, get to know them and find a way to make their lives easier and they will remember you and bring you the business! What differentiates you in a crowded market of Conference/Meeting and Event Venues. All types of venues have a place and as long as that message is clear and defined then a booker will have an event to suit your business. 
Overall we must ensure that everything we do will eventually bring business in to grow the profit of our venue or hotel but we have to show the world in a variety of ways, channels and platforms what’s so brilliant about the space. WHY CHOOSE YOU?


I hope you have enjoyed this blog and it gives you a reason to pause for thought and reflect on the activity you are doing and what is the desired outcome? #Salessuccess

See you next month

Gemma x