Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Marketing Results Must Be Tracked"

If you're currently running some marketing initiatives, and aren't tracking your results, just how do you know if your marketing is working?

...Yes, you may have seen a slight increase in sales, or increase in inbound phone calls, or online orders, but if you aren't specifically tracking each marketing initiative separately, you'll never know what's working and what's not. This information is important because you want to maximize your return on investment. (ROI)

You should devote more marketing funds from your budget to what's working, and less to those initiatives which don't prove very valuable - but you have to test, to find out which initiatives those are.

The easiest way to test your marketing is to run one initiative at a time, and test the results by comparing the increase to that which the business was doing before the campaign was started. However, for most businesses who begin a marketing campaign, or change their current campaign, sometimes we start more than one new marketing initiative at a time. When this happens, we must study the end results to justify the means.

There are several ways to track your results. Lets say you have decided to run both a television ad, and a news paper ad, at the same time.

On your web page, you may set up two different "landing pages" that each of the ads will send your customer to. (Even though the pages might look exactly the same!) For example, your television ad might send your customers to "www.mybusiness.com/tv" where as your newspaper ad might send them to, "www.mybusinesss.com/newspaper" or you might have a different domain name all together; for example the newspaper could send them to "www.mybusiness.com" and the T.V. to "www.mybusiness.tv". Regardless, the point is to send them to different pages so you will know where they came from when you check your traffic reports. (Ask your web host provider for access to these, if you do not know what I'm talking about.)

If you are having the customer call a number, have them call different toll free numbers per each ad. You can get toll free numbers from several companies, for around $10 / month.

If they are coming into your store, make sure you don't forget to ASK how they heard about you.

The point is, you must track your marketing results to know whether what you are doing is beneficial to your business. This way you can stop wasting money on what doesn't work, and start allocating more funds to what does.


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