Do you measure your marketing?
Small business marketing isn’t easy. You need to understand what is working and what isn’t. These are some of the most important numbers to measure your marketing with, and where to find them. Let’s work backwards from the most important one.
Sales and profits
There are few small businesses that don’t directly relate sales with their marketing and you should too. Your marketing is there to do many things, but ultimately it is about generating sales. Your accounts will give you these numbers.
When you look at your sales values for each client, remember that each client has to be profitable, or you are wasting money.
Whether you call them leads, opportunities, prospects, it doesn’t matter. You need a constant supply of leads, the right leads, to keep your business healthy.
Within the total number, how do you divide them down as they progress through your pipeline? Personally, I use Suspect, Prospect, Qualified and Sale. We close 57% of all leads we describe as qualified and we lose 17% of those to competitors. You need to know these numbers for the following reasons:
- If you are generating lots of leads, but few become classed as qualified, your marketing is attracting the wrong leads. If you aren’t closing your qualified leads, you need help in your sales process.
- If you know why you are not winning sales opportunities, you can take action to improve.
Nobody buys from you without checking out your website. Whether you are an e-commerce company, selling directly through your website, or a services business whose website is predominantly a brochure site, your website stats can tell you a great deal. Google Analytics is free and can tell you a great deal.
- where is your traffic coming from? For example: If you are spending time and money on social media that isn’t generating traffic to your website, you may need to re-consider part of your marketing plan.
- How long are people staying on your site?
- What devices are being used to view your website? Just how important is it for your site to be perfect on a mobile device?
- What pages are they landing on?
- What pages have a high exit %age, suggesting they aren’t effective?
- How do they move through your website?
If your website is a key tool in getting people to enquire, you need to know what is happening.
Search Engine Optimisation
Do you know what keywords are generating traffic for you? Google Analytics is a great tool but Google deliberately hides almost all information about the search terms driving traffic.
Search Console, formerly known as Webmaster Tools, gives you a great deal more information.
Over time you can see how your SEO efforts are working.
Even when the GDPR deadline passes, email will continue to be a popular marketing channel. Do you know how well your email marketing is performing?
MailChimp, and all other email marketing tools will tell you:
- How many people are opening your emails
- How many are clicking on the links
- How many email addresses are bouncing
Who are the people most interested in you? There are a number of ways to find out how engaged your audience is:
- Member rating: MailChimp gives you a star-based member rating based on how often they open and click on your emails
- Returning visitors: Another Google Analytics function that is only a numerical indicator, it will tell you what percentage of your website traffic is people returning
- Twitter Engagement levels: Twitter Analytics will tell you what tweets are working and what aren’t. Their choice of measure, in my opinion, is flawed as it uses impressions rather than engagement percentage. All social media channels provide a similar tools.
Adwords Clickthrough rates
If you are using Google Adwords, the clickthrough rate is one of the key numbers you need to understand. Shown as a percentage of the number of impressions (the number of times your ad is shown), it will tell you whether your ads are grabbing the attention of the people searching. One more number to add when considering the effectiveness of your Adwords marketing is the bounce rate on your website, from Google Analytics. If you are generating traffic but it is bouncing off your website, you need to look at the website’s contents as they aren’t working.
If you want your marketing to be effective and deliver the leads you need to grow your business, you need to measure your marketing. These numbers will give you a good steer on what is and isn’t working.