Anyone who manages a sizable marketing budget is often asked to provide solid numbers to demonstrate the result of their marketing campaigns. The types of results depend on the marketing media you chose for your campaign. Some media are more difficult than others to measure, but may be equally important to your business. Of course, you must determine the goals you would like to accomplish before starting your marketing strategy. Once your goals have been established, there are many simple, low cost ways to track your efforts.
Ask your customers
How did customers hear about you? This is a great way to engage in conversation and continue to build a relationship. Was it a referral, web search or company advertisement? Traditional media such as television, radio, billboards are more difficult to track unless you are promoting a special offer.
Online Tools to Monitor Social Media
If you have a presence on any social media platform, you can use their tracking data to measure your engagement. The allure of social media marketing is that a small business can inexpensively tap into different networks where target audience reside. There are many low-cost tools that alert you when your business is mentioned in social media conversations. Tweetdeck (owned by Twitter), Hootsuite and Brandwatch are three great, free social media monitoring tools.
Google Alerts is another great way to track online mentions of your business. Set up some keywords or phrases and Google Alerts will send you an email when it finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web. For example, people use Google Alerts to:
- Find out what is being said about their company or product.
- Monitor a developing news story.
- Keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
- Get the latest news on a celebrity or sports team.
- Find out what’s being said about themselves.
Your own website analytics can provide an overall picture of website traffic including hits and page views. It can also give you a snapshot of which products or promotions hold the most interest for your clients and prospects for future marketing efforts.
CMS (Content Management Systems) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms such as Hubspot and Salesforce offer dashboards, data management and analytics to track campaigns as well as customer relationships. You can manage your company’s interactions with current customers, and nurture relationships with your website visitors to develop future customers. This closed loop marketing process involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.
Start by setting goals
It’s difficult to finish a race if you don’t know where the finish line is. Start by identifying a couple of attainable marketing goals, then use web analytics data to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. If you determine that your marketing campaign needs to drive 500 new visits to your website or convert 25 new customers this month, only then can you say definitively whether your marketing was or was not successful.
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