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How the devil do you work out ROI?

If product costs $50,000+ and there's no online ordering?

     
1:14 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Was just wondering. How do you calculate ROI if your typical product costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars? Typically something that expensive, whether it's luxury cars or enterprise software or train engines wouldn't normally be bought online.

You could make visitors fill out an enquiry form. Someone looking for something that expensive would probably be more prepared to fill out a form and that would allow some way of tracking. But some people just hate filling out forms and want to phone up with a quick question "do you or do you not have a Saddam busting, moustache tracking missile in stock?". (completely fictitious example)

And losing even one customer in a business like this could be quite costly so you do want to allow enquiries via the phone. And if they phone you don't know if they found you via Overture, Google or some other means.

How do companies track ROI on high value items that aren't ordered online?

1:37 pm on July 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Different phone number (tracked) for internet based inquiries is one. Discount offers are another (print this out, bring it in, get free "X" with purchase, etc.) "How'd you find out about us?" during paper/phone based order with internet specifically asked about.

It will never be as close as what items sold online are. But you also have to consider, how do you (or do you?) track your ROI for "conventional" marketing for these type of items? A pay per click ad really isn't any different from a radio/tv commercial, or magazine ad.

-Pete

1:48 pm on July 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Different phone number (tracked) for internet based inquiries is one

stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. Why didn't I think of that?!

how do you (or do you?) track your ROI for "conventional" marketing for these type of items?

I guess on items like that it's very much guesswork. You pays your PR/marketing company and you keeps your fingers crossed ...or believe the figures they come up with to reassure you as to how good they are. That's my guess. Honestly, I haven't the vaguest idea but will need to market some higher priced items soon. Looks like I've got a lot to learn.

2:04 pm on July 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For something that expensive, I'd recommend contacting each purchaser and asking a few questions about their decision process. Or, assuming there is a salesperson involved in closing a deal of this magnitude, make them responsible for determining the source of the inquiry and what ads the buyer had been exposed to.

For major purchases like this, I'd guess that multiple marketing media might be involved. The buyer might hear about the product in a magazine, visit the website for more information, then contact the firm by telephone. Or, they might learn about it via the web and do additional off-line research. All in all, I think it would be worth the expense to better understand the ways different customers learn about the product. Just one additional sale would cover a fair amount of research expense.