Do you know how effective each of your individual marketing tactics is? Many small business owners market in a vacuum. They spend money on brochures, advertisements and web sites with no real way to tie specific results to specific endeavors.
If you are unable to associate leads and sales with the specific marketing efforts that generate them you have no way of knowing what is working as an effective marketing mechanism and what is not.
The money you invest in marketing your company is precious. In order for you to maximize your marketing dollars you need to know the results individual marketing efforts generate. When you know the results of your marketing tactics you can make intelligent decisions about how to better allocate your marketing budget.
For instance, if you concurrently run a direct mail campaign, a search engine advertising campaign and weekly ads in industry periodicals without some method to discern results you will not know which effort generates the lions share of any new business.
If you don t know that your direct mail campaign yielded 90% of your revenue with a 2% response rate, you are powerless to make the wise decision to reinvest in the direct mail campaign and make changes to or drop entirely the other campaigns. What s more, if you can figure out how to double the response rate of your mail campaign, you can nearly double the revenue your marketing campaign without spending money on search engine marketing and periodical advertisements.
Measuring your marketing results will help you save money by allowing you to eliminate unproductive marketing tactics and at the same time, will help you make more money by allowing you to reinvest in productive marketing tactics.
Do you have a method for measuring the effect of your marketing?
Tips for Gathering Success Measures
Here are four tips for gathering the information you need to make wise marketing investment decisions.
Use a Database.
Start by designing a database to keep track of individual marketing efforts and the leads and sales they generate. Make sure you include fields to track the dates of your campaigns, campaign descriptions, the number of leads generated and sales made. Once you have a central storage location for this information you will be able to make queries to glean the information you need to make wise marketing decisions.
Tag Your Campaigns
Whether you are running a banner advertising or social media campaigns, or offline campaigns such as a direct mail campaign, make it a point to design your campaigns to allow you to know the source of the traffic or conversion. You need to know which of your marketing efforts are most effective.
If you have a website, use a tracking code to determine which campaigns are driving traffic and sales: the more granular, the better. For example, if you are running four different banners for a banner ad buy, be sure to track each one to determine which of the 4 is working for you.
When you or your staff speaks with a prospect on the phone make sure you ask how they heard of your business; was it a referral or an ad in the local newspaper? It s such simple way to gather valuable information many small business owners overlook it.
Be sure to ask your prospects how they heard of your business.
Make It Easy for Your Prospect to Help You.
Make it easy for your prospects to properly identify the marketing piece to which they respond. If you have multiple phone lines into your office you can easily accomplish this by assigning a unique phone number to individual marketing efforts. This way, you or a staff member can ask what number your prospect dialed or, if you have the right phone system you can look at the phone to see which line the call is on.
Data Entry Should Be Easy Too.
Once you or a staff member have garnered the information you seek from your prospect, make it as easy as possible to have this information to be entered into your database system. If you employ a staff, make certain everyone is up to speed on your latest systems. Training is a must.
Move Your Marketing Forward.
The idea is to gather as much information as you can about which marketing mechanisms generate the best (and worst) response, who is responding and why they chose to respond.
Once you have this information you will be better able to think like a future client, cater your marketing material to their needs and generate more leads and sales.
What are some other steps you can take to measure the effect of your marketing efforts?
Jeremy Cohen helps small business owners and professional service providers attract more clients and be more successful by helping them deliver a web site that sells and improve their marketing materials to generate more interest in their products and services. Get his free marketing guide, Jumpstart Marketing: More Profits, Clients and Success: http://www.bettermarketingresults.com/marketing-services.asp