Marketing can be a mystery for the small business owner. Attempts to attract new customers can feel ineffective, but their success or failure should not be assumed, particularly when you can track the marketing return on investment (ROI). The marketing ROI is a metric used to understand the profitability of marketing initiatives.
Although this is typically a monetary investment, money is not the only resource. When you invest time and effort into marketing, launching a campaign or ad is only a part of the process. An equally important aspect is determining the effectiveness of the investment. That comes with having a clear plan in mind.
BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
Before going on a trip to a place I haven’t visited before, I type the address into Google Maps. I start the trip knowing where I want to go, what time I want to arrive and the exact steps I must take to get there.
When developing your marketing plan, the principles are the same as planning a drive. You start by deciding what the goal will be. Are you aiming for greater brand awareness, hoping to re-engage return customers or trying to drive visitors to your website? The goal will determine how your plan is created and help you to recognize the successes or errors. You can learn from both.
COUNT THE COST
To determine whether you earned more than you spent, you must know the cost. Track the cost of graphic creation, personnel fees and paid media associated with the marketing campaign. As customers engage the campaign and make purchases, you can examine whether the cost to attain them is more or less than the amount of their purchases.
EMBRACE THE DATA
The metrics will help you know whether your efforts were beneficial for your business. Data can be tracked in various ways. On social media, it is displayed in the number of shares, reactions, clicks and, if the content is a video, the length of time watched. When using email marketing, data is tracked through the number of emails opened, the increase or decrease of subscribers, what buttons or links are clicked and the items purchased. Website data reveals the location of your visitors, pages they visit, clicks and the source of the web traffic. If your marketing campaigns are connected to any of these avenues, you can compare the metrics before, during and after your efforts.
Marketing is an important component of business development and should be included in the budget. Customers cannot support businesses they don’t know about.