Any business of any size some sort of marketing strategy in place, but very few complete the process because they fail to track marketing results, so they have no idea which of their marketing efforts works. For all they know, they could be wasting thousands of pounds on newspaper advertising when their most successful marketing strategy is their billboard on the street!
Simple – you just have to know where your leads are coming from.
If your customers are speaking to you face to face or on the phone, ask where they found you. Make sure your staff are on board with this as well. One of my clients religiously asks his customers where they found him, and fills in the information on a lead/booking book. However, the staff of the shop never ask and the “Where found us” column of the book has numerous gaps. The poor business owner has only a partial picture of where his leads are coming from, some information is better than none, but don’t you think it could be done a whole lot better. Perhaps by incentivising his staff – either by stick or carrot – he would have a snapshot of how effective each marketing medium he uses was and adjust for better results.
There are various methods of automatically tracking your marketing strategy. A web form can be set so that every time someone fills it in and sends it to you, it also tells you which page of your website it came from. To do this effectively you need to have a contact form on every page of your website – something I advocate very strongly, you should make contacting you as easy as possible for your website visitors, even to the extent of eliminating that extra ‘click’ to your contact page!
If you are advertising, make sure you have dedicated email addresses and phone numbers for all your adverts. You can have a local number from as little as £4.99 per month or even have 0843 and 0844 number that are free to set up and pay you money when customers call you. I found this company in about 2 seconds – Windsor Telecom, the whole process would take less than 10 minutes.
If you are using social media, have dedicated landing pages for your offers and promotions, and use Google Analytics to see where the traffic on your website is coming from.
You can also hire companies to track visitors to your site via the IP address of their computer. They will send you the details of who has visited your website and you can remarket to them, and find out what made them leave your site without taking action. This information will allow you to find out what your visitors really want from you and your website, and by making the necessary adjustments you can make your site a really effective marketing tool.
Over a short period of time you will start to see how effective your marketing budget spend is, and if one of your methods is a cash machine for you business you can exploit this medium and review the other methods to see if they are worth pursuing. Of course the number one rule of advertising is that if it isn’t working stop immediately.
I spent a short period (thankfully) of my life as a field sales rep for a local newspaper. Many of the regular clients that I inherited ran the same ad week in, week out, and I couldn’t see what value the advertising gave them. I tried to give the new customers I found real value for their money, worked with them and we make some good campaigns, but those other guys could not be told for 2 reasons – 1. that’s how they had always done it and it “worked fine when Grandfather ran the business so it will work just fine now”, and 2. my sales manager would have killed me if I had rocked those particular boats.
Hopefully you can see after reading this post that it takes very little effort and money to track your marketing strategy and the positive effects for your business are infinite – especially if you narrow your marketing strategy down to that one highly effective tool that brings the most customers and the most revenue in.