If not carefully planned, implemented and tracked, marketing campaigns can sometimes feel like a gamble. You have two choices, either do the promotional work yourself or hire an outside company. After shelling out some serious cash, you then then cross your fingers and hope that everything works out. If you’re like most businesses and you decided to do the marketing yourself, the tricky part is figuring out the most effective ways to track marketing results so you can improve your overall marketing experience.
In general, the average company spends about 5 percent of it’s total revenue on marketing. This means that 95 percent of your entire budget is dependent upon the 5 percent to provide funding! If you feel like you are not maximizing that 5 percent, here are a few ways to track your marketing efforts to achieve better results.
Talk To Your Customers
The first way to track marketing results may seem a little too obvious. “Of course I talk to my customers!” you might be thinking. The difference in using this approach as a tracking tool is the intentional language that you use and the results you are recording for future analysis.
Talking to your customers is a simple way to get started. Ask them what brought them into your place of business, how they heard about you, and so on. If they say a friend referred them, be sure and get the name of the friend (and don’t forget to send a nice thank you note!).
Getting this information is only the first step in the process. It’s great to ask hundreds of customers where they came from, and it’s even better to record those results! Make sure you keep a detailed database of customer specific information.
If Joe Smith walks in and says he saw your flyer in the newspaper, then jot down a few notes and enter that information into a spreadsheet later. Be sure to add Joe’s zip code, too, so that you can better track specific areas that are attracting customers.
Once you get enough customer feedback, you can begin to analyze it over time. You will see if the majority of customers come in because of print ads, word of mouth or radio ads. You will also notice if certain geographical areas are attracting more customers so you can target your future campaigns there. Let casual conversations become the weight behind your tracking efforts.
Domain and Landing Page Tracking
Because most businesses rely heavily on a website to drive customer sales, domain tracking and landing pages have risen in importance among companies. The idea behind the concept is simple: you use designated domains or landing page URLs and track the traffic through your online analytics.
Whether you’re using unique domain names or landing pages for your various online and offline campaigns, it’s important to track everything. This effort will enable you to track whether more people are driven to your company from your newspaper ad, billboards, direct mail, the radio or wherever you advertise your business.
While this method of tracking has its benefits, it is not 100% accurate. In theory, someone could easily type your company name into a search engine and end up at any of those sites without having seen any the offline campaigns you’re trying to track.
Call tracking is a great tool that combines the efforts of both offline and online methodologies. The idea behind call tracking is that each individual marketing campaign is given a different phone number for customers to call. If they view your online banner, they call number A. If they hear your advertisement on the radio, they call number B.
If they pass a billboard on their way to work in the morning, they call number C. The list can go on and on. The value from so many individual numbers is that information can be collected and analyzed from different sources and yet is funneled back to the main number of your company.
The customer does not know that they are calling a specific number for a specific marketing campaign. The number goes through the call tracking application and is routed to your main number, capturing all of the important information behind the scenes. This information becomes invaluable when consistent.
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