Why Digital ROI = Clarity + Learning

May 22, 2014 by

3 Compelling Examples of Major ROI Pivot Moments

Whether you are a hard-core digital marketer, general marketer dabbling in digital, or small business owner using digital to drive business, we all have moments of insight that are pivotal in driving success. These are moments where you discover customer motivations, under-current trends in your industry, or simple false assumptions that kept you from reaching your maximum potential. Allow me to explain.

Google Analytics Moment of Clarity

As we all know, moments of clarity come when we allow the mind to relax (e.g., the shower) and drift into a place that is not forced to react. As marketers and especially business owners, it is critical to ensure we have time for this as 100 tasks completed will never come close to one great moment of clarity. Let me give you a hard-core example.

Enter Google Analytics. Like many, every week I look at our dashboards, dive into a few ad hoc reports, and try to make sure all is well in our ability to convince folks that digital marketing eLearning is a great way to improve results and advance one’s career. In other words, our site and marketing efforts are working. And like most, not much ever comes of it. A few questions here, a “Man, that was a good week” there, but not a lot. Then one day. I had a moment of clarity.

Google Analytics New Navigation


Sadly it came at 9pm on a Friday (sadly for my personal life that is), where for some reason my iPad video play was not working and was giving me an error. I wondered if the video issue was iPad related or connection related, so I clicked on one of OMI’s videos called Google Analytics Dashboards…and got sucked in. I listened to simple things smart folks we’re doing and soon forgot about catching up on “Game of Thrones” and started logging in to my own analytics. Secondary dimensions, reverse goal paths, and attribution modeling all started to make sense. Understanding what page on my site was driving the most conversions (not just the last page to conversion action) showed me some amazing things. But it was the understanding that customer behavior from folks who went to our blog vs. directly to a class page was drastically different and the value of blog readers (I know, sacrilegious) was about 50 percent less valuable than that of those who stayed on a class page for more than 10 seconds. I also learned that all my energy in blogging needed to be deprioritized and my focus shifted to creating great class page write-ups. Let’s just say that a) conversions went up big time, b) my staff felt the stress of blogging and posting lifted like a mountain off their shoulder, and c) the lifetime value average is trending up in the 3x range.

A relaxing open brain moment on a Friday night…I may never go out again!

Content Marketing New Paradigm Thinking

Not too many days later, I saw a note I wrote a friend months back while looking for another old email. As a fellow CEO, I told him, “Don’t rush your showers.” This meant to take your time in the process of the day to let your mind settle into some good, open-minded thinking…so my shower that morning was long. 

This had me reflecting back on the blog post revelation above. I couldn’t shake the idea that blogging less was good for my business being so contradictory to all that I’ve been taught. Then it hit me. - less is more. Readers don’t want more content. We all have plenty of that. They want a small dose of great content. Yes, I realize this is something quite obvious if you boil it down to quality over quantity, but I assure you that most marketers are in the same boat. We all are so busy doing, we aren’t stopping to think. So, my new mantra above my desk at home is “Do Less, Think More.” Content marketing has taken a whole new strategic shape for me that has alleviated a lot of work and stress for all OMI staff and self.

Retargeting Epiphany Stimulus to Act

Finally, I saved the best for last. Spending a Saturday morning catching up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, I noticed one of OMI’s ads in my Facebook newsfeed. I thought, “Cool, retargeting is working. Let me click on my own ad to see what page it sends me to.” I bounced around on my own site for a bit and suddenly realized that I just clicked on my own ad, not just because it was compelling but because it was compelling and got me at the right time! Time, eh? Like trying to tell your 5-year-old son it’s time to take a bath when he is having the time of his life at the park with friends; or like asking a girl out with the most compelling, smooth lines ever created when she’s just found out that her dog died. Right timing + good content = ROI.

It’s brilliant because so many folks come to the www.OnlineMarketingInsitute.org website and say, “Ah, pretty cool, but I need to get on my next call or clear out some emails so I’ll check it out later.” And they never do. So now when we retarget those who visit and hit them with a timely ad on a Saturday when they are just kickin’ it, they explore, find a few classes of interest, and subscribe! OMI gets nearly three times the number or registrations on the weekend than it does on any workday. Can you say ROI? I can!

Learning in example one with a class; freeing the mind up for clarity on its application in example two; and just simple wandering of the mind in example three are all proof that stimulate your mind with new ideas and learnings. Give yourself the time to think about it (or anything for that matter) and ROI will ensue.

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