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By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on July 27, 2016
Filed under: Advertising, Communications, Marketing Collateral, Public Relations, Strategic Communication

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Need to take your marketing to the next level? Do this first!

People often ask me, “What can I do to shake things up with my marketing efforts?”

While I believe this is a very loaded question, I do have some advice to give.

First, there are a few more questions that need to be asked:

  1. What’s currently working?
  2. How do you know it’s working?
  3. Could this activity be tweaked or enhanced in some way?

These questions can apply to many different types of organizations. Whether you’re running a not-for-profit, a county tourism office or a small retail business, the questions are almost always the same.

The challenge is in how you answer these questions. Do you know what’s working? Do you know how you or your team are measuring success?

This process can feel overwhelming if you haven’t had a system for tracking your results. However, it can actually be quite simple… Here are 4 steps to do so!

Step 1: Create a list of all of the marketing activities that are being done by your organization.

This includes absolutely everything that falls into the marketing line item in your budget. It could be your Chamber of Commerce membership, conference attendance, MailChimp or ConstantContact fees, website hosting fees, or the most traditional paid print advertising.

Once you have your master list, you can start to identify what’s working!

Step 2: Next to each item created in Step 1, create a column that states how you’re measuring effectiveness.

Now, don’t skip ahead and make assumptions that something is useless (yet)! First, we want to identify our current tracking method. Are you using website analytics? Monitoring your sales funnel on new calls? Open rates in an email campaign?

If you don’t know all of the answers yet, just leave it blank. That might in fact be the answer: it’s not being tracked.

For the items that are being tracked, note items that you’d like to see continued… because you think they are effective.

Step 3: Now, you’re ready to measure your results!

We need to know what is truly effective and generating a return on your investment. How do we do that?

Look at the following next to each item:

  • The money spent
  • How we are monitoring or tracking sales
  • If we are generating sales (or leads)

You might be surprised to see where you are getting the greatest return on your investment, and what efforts aren’t proving to be as worthwhile!

After doing this exercise, you have a clear idea about what marketing is most effective with your customers. This allows you to make informed decisions about where you’d like to ramp things up to get even better results.

So, are you measuring your marketing results? Are you going to give it a try after this blog? 🙂 What are you working on right now in your marketing plan? Let me know — I’d love to hear from you!

Photo credit: Random Thoughts to Me. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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