You've put into place what you think is a pretty good marketing strategy for your business, and sales have definitely improved, but do you know which part of your approach worked?
How do you evaluate your marketing efforts in a definitive way? Well, the short answer is – while it's impossible to gain a complete, 100% accurate perspective, there are a range of simple steps you can take in order to gain a reasonable impression.
Keep in mind, however, there's always going to be 'intangibles' involved – you'll never really know which factors drive every individual customer to buy your stuff, because sometimes they don't really know themselves!
“Making sense of all the numbers (and terms) in marketing measurement can be complex, and it's easy to focus on vanity metrics and get distracted from the numbers that really matter,” social media marketing strategist Tiffany Monhollon comments in an article on the Entrepreneur website.
“The reality is, there will always be some benefits of marketing that simply aren’t trackable.”
“(These include) brand awareness from people who see your ads but don’t click; buzz from those who talk about your business on social media but didn’t fill out a form on your landing page; latent conversions when people interact with or are influenced by multiple marketing sources but convert on just one of them.”
According to author and entrepreneur Jon Miller, some of the key challenges to marketing program measurement include knowing when to measure, the occurrence of “multiple touches”, as well as “extraneous variables”.
“The money you invest today will have an uncertain impact at an uncertain point in the future,” he explains in a blog on the Marketo website. “Last month’s tradeshow may deliver results next month or perhaps not for two years, but marketers need to decide where to invest their budget today.”
Simplicity here is key. An article on the Marketing MO website, for example, recommends focusing on accurate return on investment (ROI) measurements in particular. “Marketing campaigns are investments,” the article says. “And like any smart investment, they need to be measured, monitored and compared to other investments to ensure you’re spending your money wisely.”
“ROI calculations for marketing campaigns can be complex – you can have many variables on both the profit side and the investment (cost) side,” the article explains. “But understanding the formula is essential if you need to produce the best possible results.”
Although, fortunately there are plenty of marketing approaches that do offer real transparency for return on investment. At Sensis, we offer Advertiser Performance Reports (APR) to our customers based on their advertising. This means if you have an online directory listing with Yellow Pages or search advertising with Sensis we can tell you how you budget is tracking.
These APRs allow you to track the leads you get ensuring you get your money’s worth. They contain information on the amount of times your listing shows up in an internet search in addition to the number of people who have clicked on your ad and how many people have contacted your business through the ad.
In the Sensis Customer Centre there’s also some tips that explain how to calculate your break-even point which is the minimum amount of customers that your advertising has to deliver as well as the amount of business you’re generating from your sales leads.