There’s the old saying, I know 50% of my marketing is working, but I don’t know which 50%.

No doubt about it, you need to market your business! However so many business owners remain uncertain as to where to direct their marketing budget, and more so how to track if it’s working.

Here are some simple tips to reviewing your marketing spend and ensuring that medium is delivering results.

  • Divide your marketing budget up. Setting up buckets of money for marketing can be a really useful tool to capture your actual ROI. Depending on your marketing activities have a look at the following examples on how to do this.
  • % towards Business Development (lunches, networking events, gifts to referrers)
  • % towards Advertising (above the line mediums – radio, print, TV, billboards etc.)
  • % towards Online (spend on your SEO, SEM, SMM etc. campaigns – not your website development costs)
  • % towards discretionary marketing (collateral, signage, graphic design, printing, website development)
  • % for sponsorships (local community sponsorships, charitable donations etc)
  • % for brand – you may choose to have a brand spend where you know your activity is simply a branding exercise and you won’t so much receive ‘call to action’ results.
  • Ask the question. It is actually surprising how many businesses don’t ask every enquirer/new customer ‘how did you hear about our company’. If you don’t ask you don’t know, and if you don’t know then how can you say if its working?
  • Record this information centrally. Whether its a CRM, or if you are not big enough to need one yet, then work with an excel spreadsheet that is stored centrally for your entire team to access. Either way, no-one has time to pull together multiple sheets and records to report on the customers answers. Use ‘pick lists’ to take away any human data entry errors.
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page. You might know that ‘Referral’ means it’s been sent to you by a referrer. However someone else might class that as ‘Word of Mouth’. Ensure your team is on the same page with what your calling your data.
  • Ask your online provider to provide you with examples of their reports prior to engaging with them. If you don’t understand the reports make sure you ask that they explain them to you, and someone else you work with. Two people deciphering these reports can be a great way to ensure you are all understanding what they mean. Check out industry data too, see what your industry is doing online and review how you compare.
  • Use codes. Where the opportunity exists – use promo codes. Whether that’s on a checkout purchase, e-newsletter, brochure, print advertisement – where ever you can use a promo code. So simple and so effective
  • Report monthly! Spend by your categories (above) divided by your results per category = cost per enquiry. If you have the volume of enquiries follow this by then doing a spend by medium under your advertising category with results achieved by each medium. Following this, group your results quarterly so you can see it as a more collective group. Also graph it monthly with trend lines so you can very easily see where a gap may exist or a medium is outperforming another one.

There are many metrics and ways to measure your marketing, but with these simple steps I hope you are able to start a great discipline with reporting and start to quantify the results of your spend.

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