Running specials, advertising and new public relations campaigns for your business are all well and good, but how do you know if your efforts are a success?  Far too many business owners spend time and/or money on marketing without understanding the value they are receiving in return, if any.

The first step in gauging the success of a marketing campaign is having clear, measurable goals.  Admittedly, marketing ROI cannot always be easily translated into financial return.  For instance, if you pay a press release service to write and distribute a press release highlighting a recent event in which your company sponsored a non-profit, it will be difficult to measure how many new clients are acquired as a result of that piece.  Additionally, you cannot know how this publicity will translate into new, repeat, customers.  A single client may bring in $50 with a single sale, but you may make $6000 in repeat sales from that person.  Here are three easy ways that you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

  1. Measure Revenue.  Prior to starting your campaign, look at how much revenue you are currently making per month.  Review your earnings over the same time period (dates/ months) in past years. With both pieces of information, current and historical trends, calculate a rough estimate of what you should expect to make during the time period in which you are implementing your marketing program (minus the influence of the program itself).  Take into consideration any additional variables that might affect sales.  Compare your actual results (once the campaign has begun) with your anticipated results.
  2. Measure Website Traffic.  Analyze website data.  If you do not already have a measurement tool, use Google Analytics, a completely free and very effective website traffic measurement service.  Compare the increase in traffic over the period of the campaign with past months and past year trends over the same time period.
  3. Measure Publicity.  Use tools like Google Alerts and TweetBeep to track your company name and product titles on the web and Twitter.  A spike in these terms over past months can likely be attributed to your marketing.
Question mark photo by Leo Reynolds. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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