Do you ever wonder how the top businesses in any industry got that way? How their marketing seems to reach exactly the market they are looking for? Why it seems they hit the mark time and again while in your business you may feel like you aren’t hitting the target as often as you should (or could) be?
You may be giving these people a bit too much credit. You see, the greatest businesspeople and marketers in the world are not necessarily the smartest or most innovative. Most simply understand the concept of testing and measuring.
These people aren’t caught up in the idea that a piece of marketing (and therefore they) may fail. They know that when you are testing and measuring there is no failure (except the failure to record and analyse your results). Every step brings you one step closer to the right formula and right approach, and that is the path to finding success.
You can’t always get it right the first time. Nobody is perfect. Steve Jobs (or any other success you can think of) failed at times. Usually many times. If you approach most aspects of your business (including marketing) expecting everything to work first time, you’ll be very bitter and twisted when you discover it doesn’t. You will be harder on yourself than you should be and your business and your life will suffer, which means you may give up before you should.
Remember this: marketing has certain rules, business has certain rules, but success in both areas can still largely determined by trial and error. You give it your best guess and then find out for sure.
So starting today, it’s essential that you meticulously record every result. It’s extra work, but you’ll be glad when you have a strategies that you know will produce results. That confidence only comes from testing and measuring.
To test and measure properly, you need to know exactly which advert or marketing piece you are getting results from (or not getting results), so that you can record that. It’s a bit oversimplified to just measure, how many phone calls or inquiries you get and say ‘that’s good, my marketing is working’, or ‘that’s not enough inquiries, my marketing isn’t working’. You should be measuring each and every marketing piece you publish, distribute and use.
There are a few good ways to do this. One is to put a “Call and speak to Bob” line in your adverts on on your flyers. You then use different name on each flyer, advert or any other piece of marketing you produce. So you know, when someone asked to speak to Bob, it came from the yellow pages. When someone rang and asked for Sally, it was from the mail out you did in January (for example). Another, which can be more costly but even easier to track, is to put a different phone number or email address on each advert, flyer, or other piece of marketing. That lets you track exactly how many calls or emails came from each piece of marketing. You can then keep the effective ones, and tweak the less effective ones (or scrap them).
Also don’t just track the success of flyers, against the success of your ads, against the success of your mail outs and so on. Try different a variety of adverts or flyers – all with slightly changed wording, different imagery, different layouts, and even track that. So track the success of one flyers, versus a different flyer. Same goes for adverts, or calling scripts if you do phone marketing. Just a few words different words can take a mail out from failure to raging success. So every time you make a change, even if only subtle, track the results.
So after all this testing and measuring, when is a piece of marketing worth the spend? This is slightly oversimplified for the benefit of keeping this article short, but basically it is when the profit (not revenue) from your sales directly attributed to that piece of marketing, has paid for the marketing cost and then returned further sales beyond that. If that’s the case, you can run that marketing piece forever (providing it keeps its effectiveness) and it never costs you a cent, it makes you money – so why would you not do it as much as possible!