The Truth About Marketing

There are tons of opportunities to spend money on marketing and advertising; however, very few will deliver results that will be a good return on your investment. Some of the most popular forms of marketing include radio advertisements, TV commercials, newspapers ads, magazine ads, promotional products, email marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, web banner advertisements, search engine optimization, text message marketing, direct mail, and social media marketing. However, when was the last time you figured out which forms of marketing are working for you and which forms are not working? All forms of marketing do not work for all businesses. Chances are, you are wasting money on ads that are not bringing in the dough for your business.

It is extremely important to track each form of advertisements you are doing and figure out your Return On Investment (ROI). At the end of the month or the end of the quarter, have you brought in more profit than you spent on the marketing? Hopefully so. There are only a few ways to actually track your marketing and I have listed them below:

  1. With each of your advertisements, include a unique coupon code which entitles the customer to a special deal only available with that coupon code. Make sure no other ads contain that coupon code and record all the sales you receive from that ad.
  2. If you offer ecommerce, make sure you are tracking all of your website hits with analytics software such as Google Analytics (which is FREE). There are many other choices for tracking software, but almost all of them require a monthly fee and Google is robust enough for most businesses. Google analytics will show you how each visitor to your website reached your site including the keyword search, referring URL, or by direct hit. From there you can break down your online sales and determine what is working and what is not.
  3. Ask your customers. This works okay for really small businesses, but I find that many of my clients who search for my business online can’t tell me exactly what they searched. They can give me a ball park search phrase but not the exact.
  4. If you don’t want to offer a discount in your advertisement, offer a FREE gift with purchase if they mention this ad. Keep track of the sales of each customer that receives a FREE gift as a way to track your sales from that ad. Branded promotional products are a great free gift to offer customers and that helps you to continue to market to that customer for months or even years.
  5. When using promotional products to market, make sure you are delivering usable items to your prospects. Printing a special offer on promotional products is a great way to bring in new business. Not only do they have some type of tangible item that can be useful to them, but they are much less likely to lose or throw away your coupon.

Overall, my experience has been that it is much easier to track coupon codes if your point of sale software allows you to input this info (which most point of sale software do). Asking is unreliable often times because people don’t remember where they saw your ad but only that they saw an ad for your business. Google analytics or a similar software is vital for any website so you know what is driving customers to your site. It also helps you to know what areas to improve and what areas to expand on your site. Start tracking your marketing today and don’t waste any more unnecessary money on marketing that doesn’t work.

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