Marketers spend a lot of time in this new age talking about how to measure results. New social media tools have made it both easier and more difficult than ever to determine the return on investment of your marketing dollar.
Here are three rules that are important to keep in mind in your marketing planning:
- Measure results for your own information, not to impress anyone else. Not every campaign or idea is going to be successful, but if your marketing program routinely incorporates tests and monitoring, your results will undeniably improve over time. This can be hard to explain to a boss or client who has heard that powerful new social media tools yield instant results. That’s where #2 comes in.
- Break your marketing program into components and measure results for each component, if possible. First, you will be able to tell which components of your overall program are working and which are not working as well or not at all. Drop those components that are not boosting your overall results and you’ll have more time to perfect those components that are working for you.
- Set goals and don’t lose sight of them. Your goals should be specific to your business. For example, you can peruse the internet and discover all kinds of opinions about what is a good open or click-thru rate for an email blast. But the value of any of these statistics depends on your own goals. If you want to build awareness about your business, a high open-rate is important. If you want to make sales, the click thru rate becomes critical. How much you have invested in the email blast and how much each sale is worth to you will also factor into your overall return-on-investment. There is a price to pay for focusing on short-term goals that don’t serve your ultimate goal. For example, using a sensational subject line to get people to open your email could improve your open rate, but if folks are disappointed by the message or offer they see when they open the email, you may ultimately lose a customer. Make sure each component of your campaign will move your closer to your goal and that your message is consistent with your organization’s image.
For this week:
Take some time to create a hierarchy of goals for your marketing program. What is the ultimate goal that should be served by everything you do? Are there short-term goals that will move you closer to that ultimate goal? Are there goals that might actually be serving as distractions, preventing you from focusing effectively on that ultimate goal?
Once you are clear about your goal hierarchy, your planning and marketing processes should be streamlined and efficient.