If you’re spending money on marketing, you want to see a return on your investment. Seems simple enough. But with so many different metrics and advertising avenues, it can sometimes be hard to know which of your efforts are having the biggest impact on sales.
What Should I Put in Place to Measure Success?
One of the best things about digital marketing is the plentiful data available for your campaigns. To take advantage of the many analytics available to you, a bit of legwork is needed in the beginning.
You should always ask the following questions to anyone offering a digital marketing service (or research the answers if you are going to give it a try yourself):
- What will this help me achieve? Common answers include increasing leads, expanding brand recognition, and nurturing existing customers. You must know your goals before getting started!
- Which metrics will establish ROI? Cost per lead, cost per click, and cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) are all popular choices for ongoing campaigns.
- How will I see these metrics? Will you be tracking results internally, or is someone else responsible for reporting? Make sure your analytics systems are ready before getting started.
- How long does it take to get results? Set your expectations appropriately before getting started. Most digital marketing methods take a few weeks or even months to gain significant traction, and many professionals prefer to run a few tests before going full throttle. Allowing a reasonable amount of time for testing and growing reach will save you money in the long run!
- What are the industry benchmarks? To properly understand if your results are “good,” you should take a look at what is typical for your industry. More competitive spaces may require a higher investment to get results.
What Should I Do if Sales Are Down?
Many business owners have a knee-jerk reaction to a slow month or quarter. Some will think the whole system is broken and desperately pull all their advertising. Others will throw a ton of money at any and everything in hopes it can increase their numbers.
Neither of those strategies work. Why? Because they aren’t really strategies at all.
A true marketing strategy should be based on data and real insights. Here are a few things you can do to get things back on track:
- Identify the issue – often, it can be traced back to lead volume, lead quality, or lead nurturing. Are you getting contacts that aren’t true “leads”? Are your leads not turning into paying customers? If you don’t know the problem, you won’t be able to fix it.
- Have customer service and sales staff keep a record of key information from anyone who reaches out to your business. This should include the lead source(s), the problem the contact wants you to solve, and any demographic data you can collect. Use this to develop buyer personas.
- Carefully look at every advertising avenue you are using. Use data collected from analytics, tracking numbers, and customer feedback to understand if you are getting a good return on investment from each channel. Remember that multiple pieces of advertising often work together to influence a buyer!
What Should I Do if Sales Are Up?
Keep testing. Keep testing. KEEP TESTING.
I can’t stress this enough. While you may not want to mess with a winning formula, a couple A/B tests per month certainly won’t hurt. Mixing it up may eventually be necessary to maintain your growth, and with digital advertising, there is always room for improvement.
When running an A/B test, you should only change one variable at a time. This way, if one version of your ad or website performs far better than the other, you will know exactly why!
Quick Recap of Measuring Success
In digital marketing, you should always be measuring and testing in order to understand and improve your results.
You should also know what metrics you care about and what the industry benchmarks are with those metrics. Before beginning any campaign, you should have a plan in place to collect that data on a regular basis.
If your marketing plan doesn’t seem to be working, do a thorough analysis of your marketing data, your customer base, and your sales funnel to find the issue and develop solutions.