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Is my marketing working for me?

Updated on January 26, 2016

Your business is up and running, and you've started to get a marketing plan in place. You might be sending out newsletters, emails or special offers to your database, posting on Facebook and Twitter and feeling super pleased with yourself. You sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. Which they start to do.

Great! Your marketing must be working. But how do you know that? How do you know that your increased sales aren't due to the fact that you’ve been hanging out with the right people who are buying your products, or from a customer who has been spreading the word about how great you are to lots of people, or even from a local advertisement?

How do you know whether you’re getting any return on your investment? You may think that marketing is money wasted, and therefore put any activity to the back burner. But the question to ask is are you actually tracking your activity? No? No wonder you can’t tell if it’s a success!

There aren’t many aspects of a business that you would be prepared to shell out money, and then accept the fact that you may or may not see some results, and the same is true for marketing.

So before embarking on a marketing campaign, you need to know how you’re going to evaluate the end result. There are various ways of calculating what's working, and what isn’t. For example, you can use specific URLs on your emails, a specific phone number on a website, or a reference number on an advert so you can track the number of people that respond.

There are also software packages available which can easily evaluate the success of emails sent to your database, such as Active Campaign, so you can find out the number people that have clicked on the email to go through to your website, who’s opened the email, and who’s deleted it straightaway.

One of the simplest ways is to ask your customers directly. How about adding ‘where did you hear about me’ to your enquiry form, or asking them at the end of your initial phone call seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this.

However you analyse your activity, the important thing is that you’re doing it in the first place. Not only will it enable you to see if you’re reaching people, but more importantly, that you’re reaching the right people, i.e. your target audience. Without this insight, you might as well be giving your money away.

Marketing does work, but you need to put processes in place before you begin so that you can gauge the success of your campaigns; otherwise you’ll be one of the many that are convinced that marketing is just a pie in the sky tactic that may or may not work, so they give it a try, and then give up. A wasted opportunity, which could pay dividends with just a little preparation.

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