ensure marketing dollars work

One thing that isn’t talked about enough is ensuring that your marketing works. I don’t know if maybe it’s because the topic is boring, but it is a little alarming how much it isn’t discussed.

I’m sure you’ve been there in the board room or even with just some friends, talking about some amazing marketing campaigns. It’ll have awesome photography, engaging Facebook posts with some tastefully branded content. How much of that conversation is about tracking and ensuring that all the money you spent is paying off the time and resources you spent? Most likely none.

Well right now, I’m trying to bring more attention to it. I think the best way to hone in on this topic is to show some simple tips and strategies your business can immediately use to track campaigns:

1. Use a Landing Page

For any campaign, whether it be social, direct or paid advertising, it is good to start segmenting your channels. The reason being, if you’re just sending everyone to your home page, you will never really know which campaign brought all the traffic. In an ideal world, it’d be 25% social, 25% direct, 25% paid advertising, 25% other. But of course, that’s now how it works. You need to figure out what is really going on.

So the best way to do this is to create landing pages specific to each medium or campaign. Work with your webmaster or if you do it yourself, create simple pages like sbmarketingtools.com/Example. Send all your Facebook traffic there. All your paid advertising? You can send it to sbmarketingtools.com/example2.

From here you can get as complex or basic as possible. You can leave it at that and see how many people are entering that page through your analytics provider. Or you can go deeper, offer a deal on the page and then start checking how many people are redeeming or taking advantage of the deal. From there you will then start understanding how much traffic you’re getting. For a deeper understanding, one of my fellow peers here wrote a great post on optimizing landing pages.

2. Use a Unique Deal

A more basic approach that takes WAY less technology, is segmenting based on deals. It sounds basic, but honestly it works. I’ll use a coffee shop as an example for now.

Facebook: 25% off any mug
Paid Advertising: Free bagel with any coffee purchase
Direct Marketing: 25% off any coffee

It is as simple as that. Stay consistent with the deals and leave them at that. That way at the end of each month, count the redemptions of each deal and evaluate how much you’re getting from each. DO NOT use the same deal for different campaigns or you will not know where people came from.

If you are in love with a deal and you think it works on all spectrums, then you’ll have to train yourself, your employees and program your POS or whatever software that is applicable for your business, to understand where the deals are coming from. Most likely though, you’re a small business and you’re just getting into tracking, which I would suggest you start small. Just do deal specific campaigns.

3. Establish KPI’s

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators. As your business grows and you work with higher level marketers and business professionals, this will become your life. The reason this is important is because sometimes the translation from online success to sales is a long, convoluted funnel of multiple visits, actions and meetings before you make money. What you need to do is create simple KPI’s that will allow you to quickly evaluate success.

If you’re really trying to make sure your website work for you, establish a KPI. If you’re a gym owner, the most important thing is getting more leads and visitors to the gym. So an easy KPI is how many Free Day or Week Passes are downloaded. In this way, you don’t have to constantly try to look at your sales, look at the website and wonder how much came from the site.

With a simple KPI set as downloads, you’ll have a base metric to work with. Over time you will learn how many downloads translates to in person visit and, ultimately, sales.

The above may seem somewhat rudimentary, but to be honest you’d be surprised how many people don’t do it. So if you are struggling with trusting the marketing dollars you’re spending, take some simple steps in the right direction and start tracking small.



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Jason Khoo

Marketing Director at Ron Wave Design
Taking a gritty, bootstrapping method of marketing that developed as a poor college student trying to start a business, Jason has helped businesses utilize the best online marketing tools to accomplish marketing campaigns at a small business budget. Currently, Jason can be found at his Orange County Agency, Ron Wave Design.

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