If you want to get the best results from your marketing efforts, you’ve got to be strategic in your approach. Choosing the right strategies for your business starts with selecting techniques that fit your goals and the solutions your ideal prospects are looking for. Then you need to IMPLEMENT those techniques and consistently track your results.
Without tracking, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. Nor will you know if you have met the goals you have set for yourself. If you don’t measure what you’re doing, it’s like throwing “stuff” against the wall to see what sticks, but with your back turned so you can’t see what has actually stuck.
Testing and tracking your results will help you be more strategic in your efforts AND save you time and money. With each step you take you’ll get closer and closer to the right marketing mix that will work for your business.
Here’s how to use tracking and testing to grow your business:
- What to measure– Everything! This is why should only be pursuing a few key marketing strategies at a time. I recommend that you focus on no more than three. This way you can easily and accurately track your results. For example, if you are networking, what percentage of the audience were you really able to connect with? What percentage of that turned into leads, then to clients? You can use the same measurements with speaking. With email marketing, you’d look at tracking open rates, bounce rates, click through rates. For blogging, track your views, comments and traffic to your website.
- How to measure – Google Analytics is a FREE MUST HAVE tool. You can get a weekly report on traffic to your site, sources of that traffic, keywords used, how long they’re staying on the website and a number of other important measurements. Also, you can set specific goals that you want to achieve and it will track the results for you. With other online tools, there are usually statistics built in, such as with your email newsletter.For example, for your Facebook Fan page, you can get a weekly report on the activity for your page. For offline networking, you’ll have to pay close attention and make time after each interaction to jot down the results. You can use a simple spreadsheet to track who you’re interacting with and how many of those individuals are becoming clients. Keep all your data from your marketing tactics in one place, ideally a spreadsheet, so you or your assistant can quickly drop in the numbers.
- What you’re looking for –As you measure, you should look out for trends, dips and spikes. For example, if you see a sudden jump in your website traffic one day, look back to see what you did. How can you replicate that? Do the same thing if you see a dip. Notice what you changed and determine how to revert to what worked well previously. If you notice a particular email newsletter didn’t get a great open rate one week, consider what you did differently from the preceding weeks. Did the subject line not really connect? Did you send it at a different time of day? No one week of activity means much in and of itself. You want to compare at least 3-4 weeks of data to see what worked great (and keep doing it!) and what didn’t work so you can tweak it and move forward.
Although initially setting up your tracking takes a bit of time, it’s very important to take the time do so. No, it’s not the fun, exciting part of running your business. But without doing so you are guaranteed to waste time, money and effort on strategies that don’t work. (How “fun” is that?)
Once your system is set up, you’ll be able to track your results and narrow your marketing efforts to only those strategies that work the best and enjoy profitable results in your business.
What marketing strategies are you currently pursuing in your business? Post your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll discuss how best to track your efforts.
YOUR “TAKE ACTION” PLAN FOR THIS WEEK
- Narrow your efforts to three specific marketing strategies. Pick just three techniques that you’re going to test and track for the next three months.
- Register for Google Analytics and set goals related to your three marketing techniques.
- Track the marketing steps that you take each day in a simple spreadsheet.
- After three to four weeks, compare your marketing activities to the traffic reports from Google Analytics. Match up your marketing techniques to specific steps that you took to see what works best.