MoreVisibility Increases The DMA’s Paid Search ROI Over 2,000%


  • ROI of Over 2,000%
  • Increased Conversion Rate YOY 33%

About the DMA

The Direct Marketing Association ( is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing.  Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques. DMA provides the Voice to shape policy and public opinion, the Connections to grow members’ businesses and the Tools to ensure full compliance with ethical and best practices as well as professional development.

Since 2006, MoreVisibility has worked with the DMA to promote the organization’s signature Annual Conference. Every year, this conference attracts some of the planet’s brightest data-driven marketing minds to share their insights and best practices with the rest of the marketing world. Last year’s conference, DMA2013, was held in Chicago.  This year, DMA2014 will be held in San Diego, Oct 25-30, 2014.

The Objective

DMA has effectively used Paid Search in the past to drive registration for its annual conference.  Yet, in 2013 DMA sought to optimize its approach to Paid Search by using transaction data to better-inform marketing decisions.  Additionally MoreVisibility was asked to pay increased attention to the cost per acquisition of conference attendees.

“In the past, DMA was challenged with attributing registration performance precisely across channels.  Yet, with guidance from MoreVisibility, we were able to increase ROI from our Paid Search strategy by unifying onsite metrics with in-market advertising stimulus,” explained Bob Traino, VP Marketing at DMA.  “We were also able to expand our reach beyond our core market to appeal to a new generation of marketers who are driven by data.”

The Solutions

To achieve our objectives we:

  •  Performed in-depth analysis of the prior year’s metrics. It was important to see what this data could tell us about:
  •  How much budget we should allocate per month leading up to the conference.
  •  What channels might be our best avenues for registrations.
  •  Planned monthly spend and engine allocation for entire campaign based on the in-depth analysis.
  •  Held bi-weekly check-ins with client to review progress.
  •  Provided detailed tracking and charting of performance.
  •  Remained agile in our response to what the numbers were telling us. In a relatively short campaign, it was important that we used the data to spot trends early on and adjust our tactics as accordingly.

Initially we decided to allocate more than half of our spend to Google Search. Since the data we had about LinkedIn and Facebook performance did not lead us to believe the channels would perform well for direct conversions, we allocated very little budget to them. 

What we discovered through careful monitoring of not only conversions but also the cost per acquisition, was that – in addition to the enhanced effectiveness of Google, LinkedIn, and Bing; Facebook emerged as an unexpected “star performer”. While it brought in a little over half of the revenue realized by paid search, it had a far higher conversion rate.


Using actual transaction data (beyond CTR, as had been the standard practice in the past) we were able to re-allocate the DMA Paid Search marketing investment – based on real-time performance.

The results included:

  •  ROI of over 2,000%
  •  More than doubled conference registrations attributable to the Paid Search spend, YOY with the same budget
  •  Increased conversion rate YOY 33%
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