Are Your Small Business Marketing Efforts Working?
January 22, 2016
Nine ways to assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaign
Small business marketing is not an exact science like physics. If you tell a physicist the speed and velocity of an object in motion, he or she can accurately predict how that object will behave through time and space. However, you can only approximate the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. But there are still ways to discover what’s working and what’s not.
Before measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, you need to develop clear marketing goals for your business. Your goals might be to increase sales of a new product or service, to build awareness, to drive volume during a specific time period or to grow your business in a new market. Whether your marketing campaign is online or offline, you’ll need to tailor your method of measurement with your goals.
To gauge the effectiveness of your small business marketing campaign, you can track sales, new customer requests for information, phone requests, retail store traffic, website traffic, bounce rates or social media engagement. Here are nine ways to start assessing the effectiveness of your marketing campaign if you’re new to small business marketing:
- If you have a storefront, you can measure your marketing effectiveness by tracking retail traffic. Simply count the number of people who enter your store. Monitor traffic before you start your marketing campaign to get an accurate comparison. Ask new customers how they heard about your business and record their responses.
- Always compare sales before, during and after a marketing campaign. Patience is key, because marketing often has a cumulative or delayed effect, so results might not appear immediately. That said, after three months you ought to have a good grasp of what’s working and what’s not.
- When using print ads, you can include a coupon that customers can redeem for a discount or gift with their purchase. Create unique tracking numbers or codes for your coupons so you can determine which ad or publication generated the best results.
- When using Google AdWords or banner ads, you can use KISSmetrics.com to track people engaging your ads. This type of tracking will measure your ROI on your AdWords and banner ads.
- Give your customers an incentive to tell you they’re responding to an ad. You can say, “Mention this ad and get 10 percent off your first purchase.” You can place this ad in your local newspaper or use it on a local TV or radio spot.
- If you use a toll free number in your ad, assign a dedicated extension to that particular advertisement to track its effectiveness.
- Compare traffic to your website before and after your campaign. On Google Analytics, you can look at your bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site after viewing just one page) rather than your click-through rate. Click-through rates only tell you how many people viewed your ad. A low bounce rate tells you that people are staying on your site and engaging with your product, service or messaging.
- Google Analytics is an invaluable tool that tells you what search engines and keywords people are using to get to your website.
- To measure the impact of social media on your small business marketing campaign, there are a couple things you can do. For example, you can use Page Insights to track follower engagement on your Facebook page. You can track mentions on your Twitter feed by keeping a close eye on your notification, or by using a third-party tracking tool such as HootSuite.com. Mark which social media network generated your leads, follow those leads and look for a pattern of engagement within that social media network.
As you can see there are a lot of ways to measure the impact your marketing campaign is having on your sales and leads. If you need help with your small business marketing campaign, please contact me for a free consultation.
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