The issue of marketing in business is one that could be talked about almost forever, one which could – and has – filled any number of books. If you’re looking to get a business off the ground, or hoping to reach out to a new sector of the market, then marketing is going to play a part. However, for a business owner, this important consideration can bring with it a question many of us would struggle to answer. Namely, how do you know if advertising and marketing is working?
It’s a question that is worth asking. Let’s bear in mind here that a company as large as Coca-Cola still spends billions of dollars a year worldwide on advertising. Now, you know the Coca-Cola brand. You’ve known it since you were a child. You might even struggle to forget it exists, so why do they need to spend that kind of money? Evidently, there is a reason – and there are interesting discussions as to what that is – but for a smaller business, how do you know when you’ve got value for money from a marketing campaign?
Sometimes it will be obvious
It’s not unheard of for a company to become almost virally popular after a successful marketing campaign, to the point where its servers are creaking under the weight of all the new traffic. Even if it’s not viral, a line can often be drawn from one point to another. If you attended a trade fair in, say, Norwich, and all of a sudden orders started pouring in from there and nearby towns, you could be confident that your stall, your sales force and the branded reusable coffee cups you gave as free gifts made a difference. Sometimes marketing delivers results faster than you’d have imagined.
Keep an eye on analytics
There are so many stats that you can pick up from an analytics tool and its evaluation of your website’s performance. One negative side of all this data is that it can be hard to figure out the lesson that needs to be taken from it. It’s important, then, to learn what each statistic means. For example, if you have a low bounce rate it means customers are coming to you and staying around; that’s a sign that your marketing content has spoken to the right customers and they want to be part of your journey. A new spike in traffic is also instructive for obvious reasons, but the key here is to use analytics, and be sure you understand them.
Ask your customers
If you’ve gone to some lengths to bring customers in, then it’s worth listening out for what they tell you. Seeking their feedback is something that sounds obvious, and if you’re an online shopper as well as seller, you may well know that a lot of customers click “X” the moment they’re asked for an opinion by a company. However, if you offer free credit or a special deal for your customers’ honest feedback, it’s more likely that they’ll think about their answers, and you can then find out what won people over, and what didn’t work as well. That will be invaluable for future campaigns.
There is no one factor that makes marketing work. It’s nonetheless important to take the lessons of existing and previous campaigns, so that you can understand what works and use it in the future.