Marketing is something that like it or not pretty much every business needs to allocate funds to and use in some meaningful way. The unfortunate reality for many businesses is not that the more dollars we spend on marketing the more money we make. While this may be true for some business it is just the opposite for many others.
As a business owner you may remember more then once getting to the end of the year and thinking where did the marketing money go. Far to often this is how many people see the money they put into marketing, they know they have spent it and know roughly what on, but do not see the value that it has provided. This is really where spending even a little time to get everything working together can pay off, and really it is as simple as setting up a way to track how your marketing performs.
I just want to cover how you can track a couple of different marketing idea’s today and hopefully it will give you some good idea’s on how to better track your other marketing efforts.
Print marketing, can be one of the more difficult methods to know if anyone is actually reading your ads. Even more so if you are not making some sort of offer that they are responding to. There can be many ways to generate a way to track your marketing in this area. Some will quickly make it obvious others rely to some extent on the reader still.
– Use a coupon, include in your advertisement. This may be a “Buy one get one free” or “Present this coupon for 5% discount” anything that will encourage the reader to cut the coupon and bring it with them. The key to working this properly is to ensure you have a number printed with the coupon that you can reference back to what the ad was and where the ad was printed. There is nothing worse then advertising in 5 different newspapers, and getting a stack of coupons and not knowing which paper they came out of. This will not work for every business but can be a valuable way of knowing which ads are working.
– If you do not want to do coupons, then it can come back to what the offer is. Every time you place a new ad put a slightly different offer in the ad that you want people to respond to, so when they ring up and ask about a particular offer you can link this back to the ad they saw it in. Of course this method is not perfect, but it can provide a good starting point.
Offer a free report or email newsletter
If you operate a business that people often want information on a ongoing basis before they decide to use your business or not, offering a free report or email newsletter can help you get your business in front of them more often. This can also be a great source of tracking what marketing is and is not working. To join the list it can be a simple matter of having three boxes on your website, one for name, one for email address and a third drop down box listing the places you advertise, but called how you found us.
Taking the time to track your advertising can make a huge difference to your business, it can help you better understand your market. It can also help you eliminate underperforming ads, that before you may have had no idea if they were working or not. But the best thing is that it helps you to better allocate your marketing funds and to calculate at least to some degree a return on investment for your marketing.