Half of 2011 is nearly in the books. What a perfect time to review your marketing plan. Measuring marketing success isn’t always an easy task, especially if you’re utilizing several tactics to reach potential customers.
What Goals Were Set?
Before launching any marketing campaign, it’s critical that you establish what you want to accomplish with each marketing tactic. The obvious and acceptable answer would be to increase sales, but maybe you want to increase awareness or get more qualified leads on your mailing list. Whatever the goal, make sure it’s easy to get measurable data for you and your staff. If you forgot to do this for the first half of the year, do it now. Here are some ways to evaluate the success of your marketing campaigns.
Direct Mail and E-mail Marketing
There are several ways to measure the return on your direct mail or e-mail marketing campaigns. The most important aspect is to have a clear and specific call to action consistent with your marketing goal. You can add promotional codes and unique phone numbers, or require people to show the direct mail piece in order to get the offer. Know that not all customers will take you up on the specific offer, but they may contact you as a direct result of the mailing. So you may want to compare sales from a similar time period when direct mail wasn’t in use.
Measuring social media success can be a challenge; but if you know your goal you’re ahead of most of the competition. First, know the purpose of your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages. If you’re trying to increase the number of people following you, or using social media purely for customer service, then generate activity that reflects that goal. If you’re trying to increase sales, determine unique and personable ways to deliver special offers and contests that will get people to act. Be careful of being too salesy as that could annoy people and scare them away.
Marketing tools like signs, billboards and vehicle wraps may be more difficult to measure success because they’re often brand awareness tools. That doesn’t mean they’re not critical to your success. The key is to keep outdoor simple, because people are often passing by in a moving vehicle. Make sure you display your phone number or website address so people can follow up when it’s convenient for them. The good news is that most of these marketing tools are long-term investments.