Isn’t it strange then that when it comes to business in general and our marketing activities in particular that we often seem to forget or ignore the need to measure?
In our last article, “The Importance of Lifetime Value”, we looked at how to ensure that you understand the true value of the results of your marketing campaigns.
In order to achieve this you have to be able to measure the results of all of your marketing campaigns in detail.
In not measuring their response rates, businesses are not only potentially wasting money on marketing activities that are not producing results but are also missing a huge opportunity to improve their marketing processes and, as a result, their profits.
If you are planning a marketing campaign, don’t make the same mistake. Before you embark on such a campaign, consider carefully how you are going to identify (and therefore be able to measure) the responses to your campaign.
There are lots ways to identify responses to a particular campaign. Many of these are fairly simple and cost very little. Here are a few examples:
Incorporate a special offer or offer code into the marketing material. This will not only help you measure response rates, it will also encourage people to take action.
Put a special web site address on it and then measure ‘hits’ on the web site. You often see examples of this in TV adverts where the advertiser will incorporate the word ‘TV’ into the web site address shown in the ad.
Use unique contact information, such as an e-mail address or telephone number for each campaign.
If you are running a number of campaigns concurrently or in close proximity to each other then you need to be sure that you are able to identify the responses generated by each campaign.
There is no point in creating the ability to identify the responses to your campaigns if you don’t have the processes and procedures in place to capture and subsequently use this valuable information. It is, therefore, important that you have these processes and procedures in place before you start your campaign.
The easiest way to achieve this is to have an automated system. A simple example of this would to create a special web address for each of your campaigns. Here you would simply measure the number of ‘hits’ on that web address.
If you have a more manual system, such as special codes or vouchers then you should ensure that the staff who are dealing with enquiries are aware of the need to keep a record of every enquiry and/or order.
Most of us have run or are running marketing campaigns where we have no way of tracking response rates. I have a number of marketing activities in place, such as yell.com, where I have no easy way of identifying where enquiries are coming from.
If we just keep answering the ‘phone and don’t collect information then we will have no idea where the leads are coming from and will continue to waste money on marketing activities that are not producing any results.
The solution to this problem is pretty straight forward – ensure that everyone who takes an enquiry from a potential new customer asks the person where they got your number and take a note of it. This information should be collated on a regular basis in a central location so that the information is available to everyone who needs it. A simple spreadsheet can be used for this purpose.
1) Identify all of the marketing activities that you are currently undertaking. This will include advertisements placed in long-term publications such as Yellow Pages, web sites, etc.
2) For each of the activities identified in (1), determine if you have a way of tracking the enquiries (or leads) generated from each source.
3) Where you have ways of tracking responses, ensure that you have systems and procedures to ensure that you are able to measure those responses.
4) Where you do not have a ways to track responses then implement processes and procedures to ensure that the source of each enquiry is captured. This will almost certainly be a manual process and will require the understanding and commitment of the staff concerned.
5) Before you embark on new marketing activities, make sure that you have ways to identify and tract the results of those activities.
6) Finally, act on the results. There is no point in making the effort to collect information on your marketing activities and then ignoring the results. If the activity is not working amend it or stop. If it is working, do more.
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