The third step in the Four Step Marketing Process states that we “measure” and “leverage” the marketing arsenal. You might be thinking, no duh Matt, but 99% of business owners I meet don’t really MEASURE their marketing. When I teach marketing, there is always a former business owner who comes up after a session and tells me their horror story. Here are a few I’ve heard through the years.
1. The Billboard Business Owner – “Matt, you might not believe this, but last year I spent over 2 million dollars in marketing. We spent about $400K on billboards and I had no idea what was working at all. I wish I knew back then what you’ve just taught me.”
2. The Online Business Owner – “Matt, I spent over $20K in SEO with a guy I found online. He never once showed me Google Analytics or how I should measure my online traffic.”
3. The Yellow Page and Print Business Owner – “Matt, we’ve literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars through the years in newspaper and print marketing and I never understood until now how to measure my marketing.”
Simple Measureable Marketing Tactics
While there are highly complicated scripts and tracking methods out there, most business owners don’t realize how easy it is to set up marketing tracking. Most agencies FAIL to mention this to the client because they don’t want the client to track the results. Yes, there is a stigma that a business should use repetition over and over again and it is impossible to measure marketing. That is a lie. Branding is impossible to track. Good Marketing isn’t! Here’s a couple of ways to start measuring right away.
Print Marketing – For print marketing, any online phone number which provides reporting can quickly determine the number of calls received from an ad. The number can be forwarded over to the main line and for a few dollars per month, a company can actually track the calls received from an ad. If the ad is driving people to a website, a simple $9.00/year domain can be purchased which then forwards over to the main website. It doesn’t have to be complicated. By using these two small steps any business owner will begin to SEE if the marketing is working.
Online Marketing – For online marketing, the easiest way to track traffic is through Google Analytics. It is a free service provided by Google which allows the website owner to see where the traffic is coming from. With a few simple steps, you can add tracking to your ads and set up goals inside of Google Analytics. Once that is in place you can actually see where all your traffic is coming from.
An Example of Measured Marketing
Case and point, here are a couple screenshots from a marketing campaign we have running right now. It is a fairly small campaign through Bing Ads. You can see that the total spend on the campaign is $330.44 over the last few days. There are two different types of campaigns here. One of the campaigns is content, which generated 979 visits for $237.22. The other campaign spent $93.22 for only 173 visits.
Most business owners would assume that more traffic is better and that they are better off spending on the campaign with the cheapest traffic. Take a look below and you’ll probably agree that $0.24 per click is better than $0.54 per click.
Measured Marketing TELLS the Truth
Because this campaign has tracking turned on, I can see that the 979 clicks are actually listed as 743 clicks inside of Analytics. We received a total of 35 leads from 743 visitors at a conversion rate of 4.71%. Not too bad, but wait. Look at bing / cpc, that campaign is converting at 17.93% and has 33 leads. Yes, we generated almost as many leads for less than half of the cost.
Side by Side Comparison
Content Campaign – Bing / Display Ads
Total Visits – 743
Average Time on Site – 0:31
Conversion Rate – 4.71%
Total Leads – 35
Based upon what we spent in the marketing, the cost per lead is $6.77. ($237.22 divided by 35 leads)
Search Campaign – Bing / CPC
Total Visits – 184 (559 Less than Content)
Average Time on Site – 1:12 (42 Seconds More than Content)
Conversion Rate – 17.93% (13.22% Better than Content)
Total Leads – 33
Based upon what we spent in the search campaign, the cost per lead is $2.82. ($93.22 spent divided by 33 leads) As you can see, the campaign which costs more per click, actually generated a much lower cost per lead.
Fleshing Out the Data
Ok, so now that I see the data, what should I do? The first thing I would do is leverage my spending. I’ll change my budget so I spend more money on the campaign that produced better results. I’d also cut back my spending on the campaign which didn’t perform as well. This will allow us to make the most of our marketing dollars.
What if I were to spend the same amount of money each week as I’ve shown you above, but I changed where I spent it. I’m still going to spend $330.44 every week, but the difference is I’m going to invest it where it works and cut back on what doesn’t. For this example, let’s say I spend $237.22 per week on the better campaign and cut the nonperforming campaign to just $93.22 per week. I’m still spending the same amount, but since I can track this data, I know to change where the money is spent.
The Current Data as-is Today
Content Leads – 35 Leads at $6.77 each for a total of $237.22
Search Leads – 33 Leads at $2.82 each for a total of $93.22
Totals – $330.44 for 68 Leads at an average cost of $4.85 per lead
With the Proposed Changes
Content Leads – 13 Leads at $6.77 each for a total of $93.22
Search Leads – 84 Leads at 2.82 each for a total of $237.22
Totals – $330.44 for 97 Leads at an average cost of $3.40 per lead
Now what if a company measured everything? I’m talking about companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on marketing. They could actually spend the same amount as last year and still see huge growth. Measurable marketing forces companies to SEE the truth and then reallocate their marketing dollars. Based upon the example above, they could grow by about 30% without spending another penny. This is why we say, “Measure and Leverage” the Marketing Arsenal.
SO WHY DON’T BUSINESSES DO THIS?
I agree, it is a no-brainer. All the same, few business owners actually measure ALL of their marketing. If they did, they would STOP many forms of marketing all together and reinvest their marketing dollars into marketing where they’re seeing a better return. In the example above, I showed you the same $330.44 spent. However, because of the tracking of the marketing, I can see which one performs better. Wouldn’t you rather have 97 leads versus 68 leads? Of course you would! Looking at the ad data, most business owners would say getting more traffic is better, but they wouldn’t know for sure unless they measured the conversions.
Imagine if every YELLOW PAGE AD WAS MEASURED? I’m pretty sure that people would cancel their ads immediately and invest their money elsewhere to grow. What many business owners don’t understand is that it isn’t how much you spend, but where you spend your money that matters the most.
Spending Marketing Dollars with Confidence
When a business owner uses the 3rd Step in our marketing process, he’ll be 100% data driven. He doesn’t care about opinions, he can see in black and white what is working and what isn’t. He’s ignores the competitor’s generic slogans. He ignores the hype about “branding” or “getting his name out there” or any of the cliche sayings. His marketing could be considered UGLY by peers and the 5th avenue marketing suits, but he wouldn’t care. The data tells him the naked truth.
In years past, we’ve tested hundreds of marketing methods for dozens of businesses. I’m often surprised at what works and what doesn’t work. Because the Marketing Arsenal is always changing with new ways to market a business, what matters is not what used to work, but what is working right now. Adding tracking to your marketing instantly gives you the mile high view of your campaigns. If a form of marketing isn’t generating revenues, then it is paused or trashed to free up money to be spent on what is working. When a company measures their marketing they can actually SPEND LESS and generate more sales.
Questions or Comments? If you’ve owned a business in the past, what type of measuring have you done for your marketing. What did it tell you? Feel free to share in the comment section below.