Training is often seen as an expense when it should be seen as an investment. It’s only an expense if there’s no impact on the bottom line, whether it’s an increase in revenues, an improvement in productivity, a reduction in cost, or all of the above.
But how do you show the return on investment, or ROI, on your training, specifically on training in digital marketing? At the end of the day, however, your boss or HR department head will ask you, “How will this training program benefit the company?” What he or she is saying, really, is, “What’s the ROI?”
There are a lot of training courses that are a bit hard to quantify in terms of ROI. Soft skills like leadership, time management, teamwork, communication, creative thinking, etc. are important but generally have an indirect or long-term impact in your bottom line.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, has a direct, measurable, and immediate impact. It’s so easy to earn back what you invest in your training in digital marketing. How? You can look at in three ways:
1. Increase in revenues
You can build the case that getting trained in digital marketing will help you develop a digital marketing strategy and execute campaigns designed to increase sales for your company. And there are many ways that you can do this with digital marketing.
For example, digital marketing will help in increasing your reach. You can easily and quickly reach thousands of your target market — even the narrowest market segment — using digital marketing. You can use social media marketing to reach specific audiences based on demographics, location, interests, and behavior. Yes, traditional media like television and print boast of wide reach but not the highly targeted and cost-effective reach of digital marketing.
Digital marketing can help your site traffic explode using both paid digital advertising and free organic channels like search engine optimization and email marketing. Getting trained in digital marketing will help you hone your skills to increase your free sources of traffic instead of always paying for digital ads or sponsored posts.
You can also get more leads and better qualified leads using email marketing, search marketing, and social media marketing. While you can do that through cold calling and exhibitions, digital marketing is a much cheaper and potentially less intrusive alternative. You can learn how through a really good digital marketing course.
If you are already selling online or getting leads online, you can improve your conversion rate if you get trained in digital marketing. A 2% difference in conversion rates can mean a huge difference in sales or leads. If you are not properly trained in digital marketing, you may not be able to get the results you want from your website.
Another way you can make digital marketing work for you is to use it to increase your revenue per customer. Using marketing automation or automatic cross-selling or up-selling, you can get your customers to buy more from you. This is one more thing you can learn from a digital marketing course.
2. Increase in productivity
You can also show that your training in digital marketing will make you more productive. For one, with a wider skill set, you can do more for your company or business. Instead of just doing social media marketing, you can do a lot more, like SEO, email marketing, mobile marketing, etc.
With your increased knowledge, it also means you spend more time executing campaigns using a well thought out strategy, rather than just guessing what you think will work or wasting time researching online on how to do it.
If you work with an agency, freelancers, or an in-house team, your meetings and discussions will be much more productive because you now have a much better idea what you want, what works, what the best practices are, and what the heck they are talking about.
3. Reduction in costs
Learning digital marketing through a training or certification course will also help you figure how to cut your marketing expenses. For one, you definitely will be able to save a lot of money by shifting more of your marketing budget to digital.
For the same amount of money, you can, in many cases, get more from digital marketing because of better targeting, better segmentation, more measurable goals, more direct transactions, etc. Stated another way, you can get the same results as traditional marketing with digital for a lot less money.
Even if you’re doing mostly digital marketing, by getting trained well, you will be able to cut your digital marketing costs. For instance, you will learn how to get a lower cost per click (CPC) on your digital advertising. You can increase your site traffic sources from organic search and email marketing, which are free or low-cost, versus paid search or paid social media campaigns.
You will also learn to use email marketing to generate more leads and higher sales from an engaged and loyal customer list at a much lower cost than other channels. You will also learn how to use content marketing like videos, blogs, e-books, etc. to engage your customers or attract prospects at a fraction of the cost of traditional media or paid digital media.
Return on investment
However you look at it, there are so many ways you can earn back what you invest in your digital marketing training. Even before you finish a course, you can start implementing what you learn and immediately see results. The payback period is very short. The returns are very high. In fact, the cost of your training is nothing compared to what you can potentially generate in revenues and cut in costs using digital marketing. You can easily back multiple times what you invest.
Heinz is the Program Director of DigitalMarketersHQ (DMHQ) and President of Learning Curve, the Education Partner of the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) in the Philippines. He is an Internet and technology media pioneer, publishing and editing print and online content since the late 90s.
DigitalMarketersHQ (DMHQ) is the Education Partner of the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) in the Philippines. Follow our blog to learn about industry trends, best practices, and digital marketing training and careers.