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Marketing for Money: Track Your Progress Effectively

This is a guest post by Carly Lance.

Marketing can feel like a black hole. You pour money into it, only to see almost no return. If you’re not tracking your marketing progress effectively, you’ll never see the return on your investment. ROI isn’t just a fancy acronym that clients toss around to feel important. Learning how to calculate your return on investment is a critical component of any marketing campaign. Here are a few simple tips to help you get your ROI right:

Figure out what you need to track. Different campaigns may have different measures of success. Additionally, you may want to use tracking to gather pertinent information for future campaigns. This critical first step will guide your marketing campaign and help you make smart choices about your tracking mechanism.

Design and implement a tracking mechanism. In order to track various information about your marketing campaign, you’ll need to come up with a tracking mechanism. For a direct mail piece going out to two different regions, you might want to put a different URL on each piece. The URLs will lead to the same landing page and the ad should be exactly the same, barring the unique URLs. That way, you can see which area was more responsive to your ad. Your tracking mechanism can be even simpler than that: You can simply ask your customers how they heard about you. This can give you valuable information about your client base.

Start tracking your information in a database. A database or even a simple spreadsheet can be critical to tracking your marketing efforts. For every new campaign, keep track of how many sales or leads were generated. This critical information could come in handy when designing future campaigns. For example, your email marketing campaign might generate twice as many sales as your direct mail campaign for far less money. If you’re not tracking your campaign, you might never have known this.

Look for programs with built-in tracking and use it. Email campaigns are a great example of this. You want to be able to tell who responded to your campaign. Who opened it? How many people clicked which links in your email? This invaluable information can be used moving forward. It can guide your marketing process moving forward.

Tracking your marketing efforts can help you learn more about how effective your marketing dollars are. If you’re flexible and let your new information guide you, you could be able to see a much larger return on investment for your marketing dollars.

Carly Lance loves to blog about personal and small business finances whenever she can. She is also employed as the blog and marketing manager at Personal Bankruptcy Canada, a company that deals with people going through bankruptcy in Canada.

 Photo: Horia Varlan on Flickr
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