No matter how much you’re spending, you’ll never know if your marketing is working unless you track it.
Every business owner wants to know that his or her marketing is working, because marketing isn’t free. But there are a few things that many business owners fail to do that can lead to a lot of marketing money waste.
Here’s what you need to be willing to do in order to truly get more from each marketing dollar you spend.
First and foremost, you have to be willing to spend! A marketing budget is an absolute must. You have to have money set aside just for that purpose and you have to be willing to spend or you won’t reap the results, especially in a highly competitive market.
When setting a marketing budget, the most important thing is that you’re realistic. Don’t assume you can or can’t afford something — get the real numbers and figure out what makes sense for your business.
No matter how much you’re spending, if you aren’t tracking your marketing, how can you ever know which marketing tactics and methods are working and which are a waste of your money? Tracking is key to making the most of your marketing, because it tells you where to feed more money and where to cut the budget. Are you tracking your marketing?
The whole purpose of marketing is to raise awareness and make your phone ring, right? But if you don’t have metrics in place to track the results of your marketing, you won’t know what to attribute those sales and phone calls to. It doesn’t matter what type of marketing you’re doing, you have to look at the data. What metrics do you have in place?
Whether you’re funneling money into direct mail, email campaigns, online marketing, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or you’re sponsoring local sports teams, you have to determine how you’re going to gauge the success of those marketing dollars. You can’t just buy an ad — you have to look at the numbers. How much business is that ad bringing you? Are they quality leads that convert? Figure out what success looks like with each marketing dollar you’re spending.
SEO has a reputation for being difficult to track, but there are ways to gauge the effectiveness of your SEO, you just have to do it right.
Once you’ve defined success and determined what metrics to use to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you’ll be able to start refining and adjusting to make the most of your marketing spend. But it’s important that you give your marketing efforts time before you start adjusting things.
When trying something new, let it run for at least three to six months so you can gather enough data to make informed decisions. After that trial period, look at your metrics and if something’s not working, take the time to analyze it and figure out why it’s not working.
Be willing to tweak things as needed and if something’s not working for you, try something else. Just because your competitor has had huge success with one type of marketing doesn’t mean you will. So constantly look at the data, be flexible, and shift as needed.
Try New Things
The marketing world is constantly in flux and new avenues and tactics pop up almost daily. Stay on top of it and be willing to try new things that become available to you. Sometimes being the first in your market to try a new marketing method can bring massive success. Don’t just stick with what you know — be willing to be a little bit adventurous. Don’t be careless, but don’t be risk averse either — the magic is somewhere in between.
Marketing Brings Leads
Many people ask us why we, as marketers, started the Blue Collar Proud movement. Well the answer is this: we kept seeing the same things again and again.
We kept having the same conversations with business owners, and they weren’t marketing related, they were business related.
Sometimes the problem isn’t your marketing and no amount of ad spend will fix it.
No matter what type of marketing you’re doing, no matter how well you’re tracking, and no matter how much money you funnel into your marketing, if you run a poor business that offers poor customer service, you’re going to lose money. All your marketing efforts can do is bring you leads, but you have to close the sale. Is your business set up to make the most of the leads your marketing brings you?
Even the best marketing campaign will fail if the business itself is a mess. If you don’t have good customer service, good leadership, and good systems, or if you have a whole host of HR problems and unreliable, unprofessional employees, all your marketing will do is put a megaphone or a spotlight to your company’s issues.
So take a step back, look at your business, and pinpoint where you need to improve and what systems you need to put in place before you ramp up your marketing spend.
Get the business right first so when those leads start pouring in and those phones start ringing, you’re ready to close every sale and gain happy, loyal customers. And make sure you’re tracking every effort, start to finish!