Sometimes great ideas don’t work. As a marketer and consultant, I want to offer great ideas to my clients. Over the last five years, I’m happy to say that the majority of campaigns we’ve created have done very well. On average, we’ve seen most of our client’s revenues and business grow by around 25% per year. Some have grown by more than 400% and others have flatlined depending on the type of business and their willingness to implement the marketing ideas we share. Sometimes however, I miss it, and the concept implemented doesn’t pan out. In today’s post I’ll share why this doesn’t bother me and how “failures” actually become amazing stepping stones for success.
Step 3 – Measure and Leverage the Marketing Arsenal
If you have followed my work for a while, then you know that I often say that TESTING is another word for Marketing! Step number three in the Four Steps of Marketing states that we must MEASURE and Leverage the Marketing Arsenal. So first and foremost, every business owner should be MEASURING their marketing efforts. This is the only true way to know what works and what doesn’t work. A few times over the last few years, I’ve told some of my clients that they should stop doing certain forms of marketing based upon the data they showed me. However, businesses with tracking metrics are actually very rare indeed. Typically, 9/10 businesses I meet with don’t know if a form of marketing is working or not because it isn’t tracked properly.
Flushing $100K Down the Toilet
For example, in 2010, I met with a client who wanted to improve their website and marketing campaign. When I asked them how much they spent annually on marketing, it was $106K per year. When I asked how they tracked their ROI, they began to squirm in their seats. It was brand marketing. They were just getting their name out there. Really, they were flushing that $100K down the toilet every year. If marketing doesn’t work, it should be fired! Step Three in the Four Steps of Marketing understands that every business is different and has different ways of marketing because of their target market. The goal of this step is to make sure that marketing is measured to see what generates the greatest return on investment. It then states that we will leverage what works and avoid what doesn’t work. What forms of marketing does the marketing arsenal use? All of them! Four Step Marketing is principally driven, which means that if there is a new form of marketing that comes out in 2015, it can be tested with the other weapons of the arsenal and perhaps implemented if it does well.
LMS Internet’s Test Module – Failure 1
In late 2013, we launched a new website as a test module. The module was set up to allow LMS Internet to generate clients who were interested in Search Engine Optimization or ranking higher in Google. The site was built quickly and we decided that we would drive traffic to it using Google Adwords and Facebook. Keep in mind that in times past, 100% of my clients were generated organically and through various website connections. This would be different! We were actually going to spend a little money to see how many clients we could snag quickly!
We invested in a couple of different types of paid marketing to see how it would work. The site received immediate traffic and we started generating leads into the database (Step 2). It was working fairly well and we even generated some revenues off of the site, but I realized something very weird. Our ads on Google were not getting many clicks. Why? Because anyone looking for a company who sells search engine marketing, must be doing it themselves. Yes, these business owners were searching, but skipping our ads because they wanted us to use our SEO in our marketing.
As I sat down one day looking at the module and going over the numbers, it hit me like a tone of bricks. My target market will ONLY look in the organic rankings! In fact, they will purposely ignore the other forms of marketing because they wanted to see if I could actually “rank” my site in the search engine.
Data Brings Clarity and Experience
Because I could track our lead sources and how prospects were responding to the ads and what they were doing with the data, I knew right away that we had missed the mark. The part I missed was simple. My target market would only look at the organic rankings, an area we had planned to skip altogether because we wanted to do things quickly. After a couple of months of planning, work, and research, we’re getting ready to launch this module again for testing. By understanding where the marketing failed, we were able to improve it. The main focus is now on ranking organically and the secondary focus is the paid advertising. Unfortunately, search marketing takes a little longer to see the results, but based upon my research of what we’ve done to the site, we’ll be smoking our competitors very soon and capturing the marketshare.
How to Measure Marketing Efforts
Most forms of online marketing have accountability. You can track conversions and goals inside of Google Analytics. However, there are many business owners who don’t have this set up correctly. It is a fairly simple fix and would allow business owners to know exactly which forms of online marketing are working and which ones are not. Offline marketing is a little more tricky. For most businesses, the best option is to create a few phone numbers which can be forwarded to the main phone line. In today’s internet world, phone numbers can be purchased for $1.00 per month and used in printed advertising. If the business owner posts ads in a newspaper for six months, they can then take a look at the report and see how many calls they received and who the call was from. If they want to drive traffic to their website from the print ad, then they should also create a separate URL which forwards traffic over to the main website. For example – CompanyNameSpecial.com, which would forward over to CompanyName.com. By doing this, the print ad’s success could could be seen by the business owner.
Obviously, measuring marketing is something that most business owners and brand marketing consultants don’t do. Step Three of the marketing arsenal assumes all forms of marketing are not effective unless we can see the data. By exposing what works and what doesn’t, it allows a business owner to leverage further what is working and scale back on the ineffective forms of marketing. As we relaunch our module for my marketing agency, the truth is, what we’ve set up might have to be tweaked again. However, there is a refreshing feeling of knowing that I’ll be able to see how the site is doing because I understand the value of measuring my marketing.
How about you? Do you measure your marketing? If you have a special way of tracking your results, post below and let us hear how you do it