With so many ways to promote your business, the only rational way to decide which marketing strategies are worth using is to test their effectiveness. The problem with this lies in finding adequate metrics for doing so.
Not every marketing technique gives a direct boost to your sales, which makes this equation even harder to solve. This is why you need to step up your game a bit and try to find other ways to make an estimate of how your marketing strategy leads you to your goals. Here are several things you can look into.
Accurately Track Your Return on Investment (ROI)
The first and the most efficient way of examining the cost-effectiveness of your marketing efforts is to track their ROI. By attributing a marketing process to each sale, you can directly correlate the money you’ve invested, make an estimate of your gains and draw a conclusion from there.
For instance, it’s estimated that email marketing yields $40 in revenue for every $1 spent, meaning that it gives you a 4,000% ROI on average. Speaking about ROI in percentages may seem objective, but it can also be misleading. If there are other factors at play – like the average company has concurrently built up a high-quality mailing list over a period of x years to get these results, you may overestimate the potency of your company or team’s initial investment.
While most marketing methods and mediums have their average ROI, you can never truly guess how they will perform without testing them with your brand. To make the best estimate on where to focus new efforts, take industry averages and use them as a reference point. For instance, your email marketing may yield more or less than a 4,000% return, which will give you a basic idea of how well your efforts are performing in comparison.
Outline Goals to Track Conversions
Not every method or marketing campaign will have a direct goal of generating sales, so don’t solely focus on ROI.
On common PPC platforms like Google AdWords, we can benchmark metrics such as Average Click Through Rate, Average Cost Per Click, Average Ad Position, etc. Each business will have unique goals to focus on, but here are a few examples of measurable goals to track conversions with:
- Generating new newsletter subscribers
- Increasing social media followers
- Driving brand awareness
- Boosting social media engagement (likes, shares, comments, etc.)
- Creating awareness of a new product or service
- Growing a new weekly podcast
- Not allowing a competitor to outbid our branded ads
The numbers for benchmarking your efforts will depend on your industry. For instance, e-commerce has a significantly lower conversion rate than some other industries, due to the fact that the majority of the audience leaves to check other offers, even if they do aim to return on a later date.
Each time they return, these potential e-commerce customers will also affect other relevant metrics — bounce rate, sessions, etc. Depending on your goals and the way that your business tracks them, this could negatively impact your other benchmarks. In order to accurately track and measure your goals, it’s important to understand how certain actions can complement or interfere with other goals.
Incorporate Both Digital & Traditional Marketing Tactics
Most effective marketing strategies combine digital and traditional business promotion techniques, which is fairly important to keep in mind. Traditional marketing strategies will help you bolster your local often reputation boost to the company, which is something that’s hard to make an estimate monetary value of.
Still, it’s undeniable that these strategies work, especially if they put the client at a clear advantage, such as going with toll-free 1800 numbers. You can use a unique number for each campaign to track the performance of your advertisements and measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. With an extension for print, one for your website, etc., you’ll gather valuable information that shows you what changes to make in the future.
Dig Deep for Authentic Customer Feedback
As a business, you’ll receive customer feedback through various means. Some will communicate directly with your salespeople about the quality of service that you provide. Others will talk to your customer support about issues and concerns that they have. Most commonly, people will leave messages in the digital environment; they’ll make comments on your blog or social media pages. They might even write a review on your Google My Business listing or Yelp page.
However, they will also do this where they don’t think you’ll be listening. We’re talking about subreddits, forums, and comments across social media. The only way to keep track of the latter is to watch out for brand mentions. One way to do this is through Google Alerts, a free service that will send you an email when your target keyword or brand name is mentioned in a news story or article.
Pay Attention to How Competitors Respond
One of the most important types of passive feedback is competitor feedback. If your marketing campaign is compelling your competitors to adjust their own presence on the market, make radical moves or even start mimicking your tactics, you’ll know for sure that your marketing strategy is as effective as it gets. Pay attention to how your competition is responding to your campaigns – this alone should speak volumes about its effectiveness, yet, also urge you to adjust in order to stay ahead.
Prioritize Building Brand Awareness
At the end of the day, the ability of your customers to recognize the name of your brand, its logo, and its main products is a huge plus, however, it’s only a stepping stone towards something even greater. With a marketing strategy focused on developing a strong brand awareness, you’ll naturally increase brand equity. As a result, your company could easily benefit from the ability to raise product/service prices or promote new products/services with existing customers.
According to Simplicable, building brand awareness will get you farther than brand recognition alone:
- Brand Recognition: “The ability of customers to identify your brand from its visual symbols and products.”
- Brand Awareness: “Customer knowledge about factors such as a brand’s reputation, culture, values, quality, features, specifications, and social status.”
The difference between brand recognition and brand awareness is that the observer sees more than a surface level snapshot of your company. Needless to say, focusing on building brand awareness will help you turn paying customers into brand champions.
Whether you’re creating or refining a marketing strategy for your business, the most important thing to keep in mind is to align your strategy with your overall business goals. If your company’s goal is to increase e-commerce revenue by 25% next year, then your marketing goal might be to generate 50% more qualified leads online to help your business achieve that goal.
With the six tips in mind above, revisit your buyer personas, marketing collateral, email marketing lists, etc. and look for gaps that you can fill going forward. While you should commit to a plan up front, it’s important to remember that you can always fine tune and make adjustments to your strategy as you go.
Have any suggestions or insight to share? Let me know in the comments below!