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Cost vs. Results - working out your ROI

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Too often in marketing and advertising we focus on the 'cost' of the program or run.

While this is essential to operating a sound business, the real consideration must be the question: 'What is my return on this investment / ad spend?' As an example, I'll tell the tale of 2 Brokers (Real Estate - but you can fill in your own industry here as well).

Let's call one Big Joe and one Little Joe.

Big Joe and Little Joe both had the same need: marketing effectively to short-sale prospects. The solution they were presented was to automate a custom marketing campaign via postcard / US Mail to the weekly NED (Defaulted Loans) list in their local market area(s). Now, the cost to set this up was fairly inexpensive, but it required commitment on both Big and Little Joe's part to engage with their target audience via campaign, over time.

Little Joe decided to send only the 1st mailing, and then determined that since he hadn't gotten a response he would discontinue his effort (the campaign). Big Joe on the other hand, remained committed to his original plan and continued his campaigns over the course of 3 mailings (3 separate groups, with a 5-card campaign to each group member over a 6-week period). Big Joe had the proper perspective: To fully assess the ROI on the program, he needed to allow the program to 'run it's course'. From there, he could later easily evaluate the effectiveness (ROI) and determine if it was worthwhile to continue with that specific marketing effort.

So what was his ROI you ask? Well, for Little Joe, the return was Nothing. In fact, considering his initial investment of time, money and effort, he actually LOST money with his campaign.

Big Joe later shared that he 'earned a $4,500 commission from a 59-cent postcard' and that his continued marketing will be paid for in full for the next 24 months and beyond. In actuality, Big Joe invested more than that 59 cents - but you see his perspective and the difference. Making the phone ring and getting that ONE deal from your marketing is what the goal is - every time. ROI is essential.

Remember to count more than the cost when assessing your marketing plan. Count the Return on Investment as well.

If you need more help, you can contact me today to learn more about 'what works' - - and also what doesn't. It will save you time, money, and trouble.

Best to You! -Tim!

Tim Mancuso is a speaker, trainer, and author working with business owners and real estate professionals throughout the US. He is the Co-Founder of the GLS, and is currently working on his upcoming book on relationship marketing for business owners.

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Tim Mancuso is a musician, public speaker and the former VP Sales & Marketing for Social Media startup ViewMyLife. He is focused on training and coaching business owners and entrepreneurs on leveraging traditional and new media to Stay in Touch with their clients, prospects, and key influencers. Follow On Twitter @TimMancuso or connect on Linkedin.com and Facebook.com

Rich Castleberry
Chico, CA

Tim,   I am trying to learn which of our ads are working (internet, newspaper, etc).


Have you had any luck tracking your ads?    I am thinking about using Google Voice or Line2

to see where my calls are coming from.



Any ideas, anyone?

Mar 25, 2011 06:52 AM
Tim Mancuso
Independent Coach, Trainer & Consultant - Gilbert, AZ
Elite Sales Coach - GROW SMART

Thanks Rich.

I think your idea to use a separate phone number is a good one. I just helped a brokerage set up Google Voice account for their neighborhood marketing - including website calls (from a specific site/page). The ability to set forwarding and archiving rules is very nice as well, plus you can set it to 'show' you where the incoming calls are sourcing from (your G-Vox number for instance).

I also recommed adding 'codes' to all print material. Collection and review becomes key here, so make it a 'bring in' deal or coupon for best results.

Not knowing specifics it's tough to get into details, but we use just-in-time printing services a lot - my favorite system is SendOutCards - to put out mailers with specific codes, phone numbers, web / landing pages, etc. to targeted groups.

We also use the same for follow ups. Works like a charm and mixes the 'automatic' with the 'personalized touch' + the tracking.

For online ads, the GVox is a quick and easy solution. You can even have your syndicated listings to to another number (set up duplicate account in GVox and a 2nd email) for services like ListHub, etc. - - then you'll really see what is producing (active marketing) and what is branding (passive).


Hope this helps - let me know what you come up with and how it works for you!


P: 303-351-1404

Mar 25, 2011 08:35 AM