There are two critical questions you need to ask when embarking on a new marketing campaign:
1. What results are you expecting from marketing?
2. How will you measure marketing effectiveness?
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When we’re going through this process with clients at Marketing Angels, we then break question one down into fundamentals:
- What’s the total number of sales you need?
- What value do they need to be?
- To achieve that many sales based on your conversion rate, how many leads do you need to generate?
We then work out how marketing is measured and if we need to implement new measurement tools and reporting processes.
So often these two aspects of marketing have not been thought through previously or implemented in the businesses we work with.
There are some easy ways to measure your return on investment on marketing and subsequently enhance your marketing effectiveness.
Tracking leads and sales
Leads and sales are usually in the short term what most businesses owners and marketers are measuring their marketing effectiveness on. These tools provide important data to help maximise ROI on any marketing campaigns.
Implementing Google Analytics on your site is a must and then subsequently analysing your reports at least monthly. Makes sure your Google Analytics account is set up to measure not just where your traffic is coming from but also measuring which tracking converts through setting up goals and conversion tracking.
Google call tracking
Google has just made website call conversions available to Australian AdWords customers. So if you are buying pay per click advertising through Google, you can now identify and measure calls to your business up to 90 days after a visitor has clicked on a Google ad and arrived at your website.
Other call tracking and call recording services
If you are not using Google AdWords it is still possible to implement call tracking by acquiring unique phone numbers to be used on different marketing activity. You can also implement call recording so that you can judge how calls are handled and the quality of leads. The subsequent data that results can help you optimise your marketing activity, and also your conversion rates through better call handling. Many IP telephony systems have these functions built in or you can work with specific call tracking service companies.
Use unique URLs wherever possible. Unique URLs work best as a specific call to action on online ads. If using them to measure offline activity (e.g. print, TV, radio or outdoor) advertising, you might be better off creating a micro-site relating to your specific campaign or promotion e.g. jonessummersale.com – so that it’s easy for any punters responding to your ad to remember.
Engagement and awareness
Before you can create a sale or generate a lead, you need prospects to be aware of you and increasingly engaging with your brand in other ways. Brand awareness and engagement are important indicators of marketing effectiveness that leads to sales in both the short and the long term.
Email marketing measurement
Measure number of opens, reads, forwards or social shares to your email marketing. If you don’t use an email marketing platform that allows you to measure this activity then it’s important you review your email marketing platform. Personally I’m a big fan of MailChimp predominantly because of their excellent measurement tools.
Social media following
If you are using social media then you should also be measuring your follower growth. A growing following means growing brand awareness.
Stats available on age, sex, location and seniority of followers will show you who your brand is resonating most strongly with and subsequently help you create offers and content to suit or target your any ads to attract the followers you want.
Social media clicks, shares and comments
Tracking engagement with your content to help you devise content that is likely to grow your brand through social shares and interaction is critical. Content is expensive and time consuming to create so you want to make sure it is working for you. Social media tools like Hootsuite and others can help you combine your engagement scores into a useful dashboard.
The final piece of the puzzle
Often businesses have many of these measurement tools in place but no one is responsible for presenting the results in a meaningful way, suggesting changes to marketing and then enacting those changes.
Make sure you have someone internal or external who “owns” marketing and is accountable for results and you’ll have a marketing model that works and delivers real return for your investment.
Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.
This article was originally published on SmartCompany.