The easiest way to waste money on marketing is to not measure the results. Running a PPC campaign, putting an advert in a magazine, sending out a sales letter, or featuring an ad on the radio is only half of your marketing workload. If you don’t measure the response in detail you could be losing out on vital funds.
It’s not just that you might be spending money on something that isn’t working; you might accidentally stop spending money on something that is doing brilliantly.
Here are some tips to help you assess the effectiveness of your marketing.
Use Reporting Tools
One of the many benefits of internet advertising is the wealth of information you can collect about your campaigns. Software such as Google Adwords gives you access to a range of reporting tools so you can create spreadsheets, charts, or infographics that help you visualise the success of your marketing. You might be able to tell just from looking at your cash flow that a certain type of marketing is working particularly well, but if you don’t know the ins and outs you can still be losing money or sacrificing profit. Those tools are there for a reason.
Implement an Offline to Online Marketing Strategy
Using reporting tools is all well and good when your marketing is entirely digital, as this is easy to track. But how are you supposed to track exactly who has listened to your radio advertisement, or how many people stopped flicking through a magazine to look at your print ad?
One way to do this is with an O2O - offline to online - marketing strategy. This is where you use print media, broadcast, and physical advertising to grab people’s attention, before directing them to an online channel, such as your website, blog, or social media presence.
But how are you supposed to know who has come to your online presence from an offline piece of marketing?
Implement Customised Landing Pages
Website tracking allows you to get a lot of information about every single page on your website. You can see where people come from, how long they spent on your page, and where they went when they left (for instance, did they click on to another page on your site, or leave completely?).
If each piece of offline advertising links to a different landing page on your website, and these pages can’t be found in any other way than by clicking on the link, you know that everybody who has visited that page has done so because they saw your advertising. By comparing the analytics from your radio advertising campaign to those of your print advertising campaign, you can quickly see which one is getting the most attention and generating the most interest.
Try Split Testing
In marketing, success is a relative term. Just because an advert is generating a positive return doesn’t mean you should just carry on doing that forever. You could be losing out on money, not because your advert is making a loss, but because there are better results just around the corner that you don’t yet know about.
Which is why split testing is so important. Hard-core marketers split test everything, from the picture on their homepage to the subject line in their email newsletter. As the name suggests, you split your audience into multiple groups, and give each group a slightly different version of your marketing materials. A great example is with email campaigns. Say you have 2000 subscribers: you could split them into groups of 500 and send out the same email, but with a different subject line for each group. Not only will you be able to ascertain which of the subject lines generates the most message opens, you might also be able to pick up certain patterns that are or aren’t very good at generating results.
Ask Your Customers
Businesses often forget that they have a great wealth of knowledge about what kind of marketing works sitting inside their customer base. Many of the people you do business with will have discovered your company or product through your marketing. So ask them about it!
If your service is digital, include a checkbox before the submit button on your contact page, or in the email signup form, asking people how they found you. Not everyone will bother to click it, but you’ll still get a good indication of whether people found you naturally through a search engine, by clicking on a link on another website, by seeing one of your advertisements in the paper, or by word-of-mouth, and so on.
Combine the Best Results
While doing one of these things to test how effective your marketing is will give you some indication, you need to combine all of these methods in order to get the real golden nuggets of information. It might sound like a painstaking process, but at the end of it you will have a very strong understanding of exactly what makes your target market read your ads and respond to them. It’s an investment in time and energy, but the key word there is ‘investment’.
Spend some time looking into how you can report your marketing results. Those results are highly likely to become a lot bigger if you do!