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3 ways to measure your marketing results

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3 ways to measure your marketing results

{Read length: <4.9 mins} There’s an old adage: “Only 20% of marketing works. 80% is a waste. We just don’t know which 80%!” Even worse, the 80% is a changing set: What worked yesterday, may not work tomorrow, and so forth. Unfortunately, much of marketing is trial & error, and A/B testing. Still, I find clients who have “tried nothing and are all out of ideas” (a Simpsons quote; email me for the episode).

 

How can we improve the odds if we don’t measure what we’re doing? A leading indicator of positive results are our automated, systematic, and repeated actions. These include our marketing technologies (e.g., Constant Contact, and its autoresponder, and a new entrant automating testimonial marketing, Raviate, which is looking for private testers - email me). Our own repeated actions turn into habits. Inconsistent actions lead to inconsistent results.

 

ResultsAs we improve our marketing habits & systems, we can better measure our results in these 3 ways:

  1. Reports,
  2. Anecdotal, and
  3. Direct evidence.

 

We all know about reports: Do you actually read them diligently? How do you interpret them? How do you improve your marketing systems with this data? Sometimes it’s just ‘good to know’. Often it’s distracting us from staying true to long-term habits. Spreadsheets, graphs and charts showing “hits and clicks” can only take you so far. Here are 3 common ones:

 

Social media and related management software (like Hootsuite, Gremln, Buffer) can provide a sleugh of metrics. Google Analytics can show us keyword reports, referring websites, how much time spent on specific pages, and geographic data. But unless someone fills out a form (e.g., a newsletter signup) or follows your social media, visitors remain anonymous. There are exceptions which avoid (evade?) action on the visitor’s part: Certain list-based remarketing/retargeting campaigns, and Constant Contact’s reports can show us WHO came to our website and WHEN (by way of link tracking).

 

Still, I prefer my clients focus on what I call Anecdotal evidence. This is more cumbersome to measure, but way more insightful and interactive than simple reports. Anecdotes include comments on your blog, on your Facebook pages, and in your LinkedIn groups. They can also be comments made to you over the phone, in person in private meetings and at events. Testimonials are great codified evidence.

 

How are you encouraging such remarks on your social media and blog website? How are you distinguishing yourself to be remarkable? How are you asking for, approving, and publicizing testimonials and case studies?

 

Related to this is Direct evidence: Most of my clients are lawyers. They usually have a formal intake process, including forms for new clients to fill out. A common question is “How did you hear about us?” Asking is a great way to directly track marketing results. You should also ask the simple question, “Have you read anything on our website?” This need not be a long ‘market research’ conversation. After all, they’re in your office for you to solve their issues, not the other way around.

 

The answer is barely important; most won’t answer with specifics. Perhaps they’ll mention reading the About Us or bio pages, maybe a blog article or two, or they remember watching a video. It’s surprising how few actually visit a website before a meeting. However, now you’ve reminded them to do so. You can certainly insist, “Oh, you should definitely take a look. There’s some great info on there, like our blog articles / video / etc. Sign up for our newsletter.” They are now much more likely to do so. In this way, your marketing materials - e.g., your website - isn’t only a lead generator - but a business closer.

 

There are many ways to measure results. It begins with staying consistent. Then you can mix all 3 ways to improve your results. The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. How do you use reports, anecdotes, and direct evidence to reinforce each other? How else do you measure results?