How do I know if my marketing tools are making money?

Guest Author

Raise your hands if this sounds like you:

– You have trouble focusing on a single task in your business as you find yourself jumping from one activity to the other;

– You don’t want to miss out on any new app or software relevant to your industry, so you sign up and pay for it on an impulse;

– You’re not sure if you’re making money from the marketing apps you’re paying, but you still want to continue subscribing to them since you want to be updated “just in case”…

Shiny Object Syndrome: you either know someone who has this, or you’ve experienced this at least once in your entrepreneurial life.

After all, in today’s digital world where the total number of mobile app downloads in 2017 is 197 billion and yet, people actually use an average of 9 apps per day, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed with all the choices available around you.

According to Psychology researcher Sabine Kastner, the more stimuli the brain is exposed to, the harder time it has focusing on a single task, which makes us more impulsive.

Don’t believe me?

Just take a look at your phone: how many marketing apps do you have? And how effective are they in giving you a positive ROI?

Or just scan your professional email account: how many marketing softwares are you subscribed to? And are they all making you money?

Here at CM Commerce, we actually embarked on a journey 12 months ago to audit all our marketing tools & softwares and analyze their impact to the company’s revenue.

This exercise allowed us to cut our monthly expenditure by 15%!

That 15% saved translates to 15% profit.

A penny saved is a penny earned, remember?

What if you could cut down your monthly costs by finding out how to calculate whether your marketing apps are actually helping you build your business? In today’s video, this is exactly what we’re going to talk about:


In this video, we’re going to zero in on marketing-related softwares and apps.

Is their promise of “use-this-app-now-and-get-profit-later” backed up with actual numbers that will contribute to your business’ growth?

Or will it end up with you singing “Love The Way You Lie” while drowning your sorrows with Mountain Dew?

Here are three ways to calculate if your marketing solution (app/software/service) is making money for your business:

1. Quantify the outcome

Put a price tag to the value that you want to achieve.

a. If the marketing solution is directly related to revenue

Ask yourself: How did this marketing solution influence my sales?

“Well…” you might say, “This marketing solution influenced my sales positively.”

Sure, but how positive was its influence?

Put a number to it. In the case of direct relationship to revenue, what ROI did this marketing solution drive for my business?

Get a dollar amount in the picture so you can objectively evaluate its contribution to the growth of your business.

b. If the marketing solution is indirectly related to revenue

– Using this solution VS using a different solution:

Are you saving more money using this? If it’s as effective as other solutions, but it’s more affordable, how much money are you saving (and translating to profit) over the long run?

– How much time you’re saving by using this solution:

If your time is worth $100/hour, and using this solution saves you 10 hours, it just saved you $1,000.

So if you’re investing $500/month on this marketing solution, and it saves you $1,000/month, you know that it’s making a positive contribution to growing your business and making you money as time goes by because you quantified it.

2. Enumerate the qualitative benefits you’re getting from this marketing solution

Ask yourself: What are the advantages of using this marketing solution? Think in terms of intangible benefits (or soft benefits) such as convenience, ease of use and accessibility of the marketing solution.

Here’s a crucial qualitative benefit you can consider: the concept of “attention residue”

Let’s say you’re working on Idea 1.

You’ve finished, so now you need to move on to Idea 2.

Even if you’re working on Idea 2, “attention residue” says that a part of your brain is still involved with Idea 1.

And if you do context switching regularly, there’s more attention residue left, so your brain isn’t functioning optimally.

The more attention residue is left, the less brain power you have to work on the next task, and the harder it is for your workflow to proceed smoothly.

If your marketing solution decreases the amount of attention residue, it’s an important qualitative benefit to have because it allows you to have a more efficient workflow and more brainpower to work on pending tasks.

Get more expert advice on email marketing sent directly to your inbox

make your emails count. You can unsubscribe anytime.

3. Find out if the marketing solution has a synergistic effect

2 + 2 = 5

And before you tell me we need to go over some simple Math calculations, let me tell you something about synergy.

Synergy = when two or more tools combine their efforts & resources, they can accomplish more together than they can separately

After finding out the quantitative and the qualitative benefits of your marketing tool, figure out how it relates to other aspects of your business.

Does it increase employee productivity?

Does this marketing tool have a synergistic effect when it comes to your product inventory? Is using this marketing tool + using your inventory software together better?

How about building your own brand: is there synergy when you relate that with this marketing tool?

Use these tips to calculate if your marketing solution is making you money, so that when you ask yourself “Is it profitable?” or “Is it contributing to my business?”, you have a concrete answer that’s backed up by facts.

Naturally, if the answer is both “no”, then, at least you’ll have a guideline when it comes to removing this tool from your paid subscriptions list.

There’s no “what if I miss anything?” feeling, because you’ve done your evaluation and you feel good about it.

Hopefully, today’s video can help you chart your business to more profitable territories. See you next week!


Here’s how you can get over Shiny Object Syndrome and actually find out if your marketing solution is making you money or losing you thousands of dollars per month. Share on X Did you know you can cut down your monthly expenses by 15%? Sure! Just follow the tips outlined in this article... Share on X What if you could have 15% more profit? Use these three ways to calculate your marketing tool’s overall contribution to your business’ growth today. Share on X