ROI of Social Media and Traditional Marketing

Ever since social media began to emerge, traditional marketing took a hit. Social media and traditional marketing make a great couple together. However, traditional marketing is not dead it is now the best complement to social media. From my experience, clients have always been focused on the number of fans, followers and connections they have on every social media channel. I always ask the question of: “Are these fans converting yet or are they just there?” They usually just say they want more fans so they can dominate their ‘competitors’ in social media. I was trying to understand how that is ‘dominating’ their competitors. I then went on to educate them about successful campaigns I have worked on where we combined social media and traditional marketing to receive an incredible return on investment (ROI).

 Social Media and Traditional Marketing

One of my clients owned a well-known restaurant and wanted to increase what they offered to their customers. We began with a “Go Healthy” campaign where they picked an item from the healthy menu and the third one they would receive for free. Every time they chose something from the healthy menu they would accumulate points. The points turned into prizes such as dinner for four, iPad, iPod, etc. We also had a flash-mob deal where we reached out to two thousand people on the different social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In) to see if they were interested in receiving a meal off the “healthy menu” for free. After we received a reply of “yes” we went ahead and told them the first 200 people to come to the restaurant would receive the free meal and a show. The days before the flash-mob day there were different performances outside of the restaurant, and people would videotape, take pictures and post them on Twitter. This started to happen instantaneously after the first night of performances. We found content all over the Internet, and gathered it in one place to showcase it to our fans.

We used the hash tag #HealthBig to get people talking about the healthy meals at the restaurant. We were able to gather so much feedback from this hash tag that we made all the necessary changes.  For example, many of the people thought the chicken on the healthy menu was really dry so we changed it up. A lot of people thought the healthy menu was pricey, so we changed the prices a bit. When we featured all the changes on our social networks, guess what happened? We got more customers! How is that for the mix of social media and traditional marketing?

How did we get here? It took us a few shots but we took many different metrics into account. We started by listing all the marketing campaigns we have ever performed with this restaurant. Then underneath that we listed every single expense for the campaign. For example, we used direct mail so the first cost was creating the piece to mail. We needed to have a logo, copy writing, pictures, a layout, and other creative images as well. Then there was the printing costs and getting it proofed. After that there was a testing cost to see which mail piece was more effective. Don’t forget the cost of the paper. Lastly, the cost of the mailing list is important as well.  When you take all of these elements into account, it equals an expense of $10,000.

Let’s get into how many customers we received from this campaign. Well, it was not that many and we didn’t even break even with an expense like that. When you analyze this campaign you have to think about what could have gone wrong. Not receiving any business from your ad due to an ineffective ad, or maybe your ad was okay but your pricing was off. Other times your ad would have been fine and the price point was okay as well, but you had the wrong target areas and audiences. After putting several different factors together we discovered that the flash-mob campaign was our best campaign. We received visitors from different states just to try us out. When we analyzed the different campaigns and put the amount of customers we received from each, the flash-mob won. Also, the expenses were low as well.

Now I want you to look back at all your marketing campaigns you have ever done for your company. Then write out all the expenses from your campaigns and how much it cost to create each of them. Under that put down the number of customers you received from the campaign.  Now divide the expense by the number of customers you received. What is your ROI? How can you combine the power of social media and traditional marketing into one force for your next campaign?

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