You’ve spent months drafting a plan. Countless hours strategizing. Hired a number of professionals to consult with your team. Outlined your budget and allocated it accordingly. There was a hiccup here and there but eventually, you launched your marketing campaign and executed it to completion. Your business has been operating with ups and downs as usual, so what’s next? How do you know if the time and energy was worth it?
Having a marketing plan that doesn’t work is worse than not having one at all. If you’re not measuring your results and whether they return the cost, then you very well could be throwing your money away. How do you figure out if this is the case? There are several ways to tell if your marketing is working, and some of the best methods will differ based on each type of business and its goals. Take a look at the following options to understand which avenue(s) may be best for you.
Data and Analytics
Measuring sales or web traffic is the most cut-and-dry way to see the general results of your marketing efforts. Have there been more clicks in one area of your website than another? Is your funny Facebook ad getting enough laughs or likes? Tools such as Google Analytics can calculate metrics like this for free and other tools like Zoho can do it at a cost. A one-time investment of a tool that tells you whether you’re wasting your money can save you more in the long-term.
Social Media platforms have their own analytics that you should always be checking whenever you run a campaign to see if it’s working. If your campaigns are on a large enough scale, it may be worth investing in paid analytics.
If you want to know something, sometimes all you have to do is ask. Online surveys are one of the most inexpensive yet effective ways to communicate with your customers about how they found you and how they feel about your products or services. Surveys are also helpful for information on your target audience and how your business is doing in general, which can then be applied to your marketing strategy.
Surveys are best for small B2C businesses and companies who aren’t ready to spend too much time and effort breaking down their marketing data, or those who don’t have too complex of a strategy to be analyzed. No matter how annoying they can be, the results from surveys should always be integrated into marketing efforts to make your campaigns as accurate as possible.
The gathering of people to discuss opinions and ideas on certain topics is a pricey, but effective way to tell if your marketing is working. Focus groups dive deeper into the consumer’s mind than surveys can through personal interaction instead of multiple-choice questions or short sentences.
A client of ours used a focus group to find out if the advertising for its program was appealing. After discovering that many didn’t like it, they found useful suggestions from the group about what they could do to improve the messaging and get more people to participate in the program they were advertising.
Focus groups allow respondents to answer questions in their own words instead of a computer’s and offer more complex information about how people feel toward your product. Typically, you’ll need to offer some type of compensation and perhaps a meal in exchange for people’s time and feedback, making this a slightly more expensive option. However, this in-person chit chat can provide more useful information about your marketing than a survey or the raw numbers. If you decide to invest in a focus group, make sure you plan it carefully and have clear goals set for what you’d like to discover.
Key Performance Indicators are self-explanatory, defining metrics for how companies choose to measure their success. Your KPIs may be simple: tracking sales, inbound leads, or conversion rates. But whatever they may be, you should choose and track them accordingly. There are different KPIs for different businesses depending on the products or services they offer, and you should look through and study them to find out which ones are important to you. Which KPIs apply most to your business and what are you using to track them?
Not sure which method is right for you to tell if your marketing is working? Or maybe you need some direction on which KPI’s to use. Get in touch with us so we can go over your marketing checklist and help increase the ROI on your efforts.