Marketing thrives in the digital world. Business lives in the physical world. Things like customer traffic, sales and profits are all still physical things. No doubt that as a small business you have thought about creating a digital marketing plan for your business. Social media posts, branded content and customer engagement will be a part of this new great marketing strategy that will take the store to the next level. However, at the end of the day, many small businesses spend weeks creating a beautiful marketing campaign, but few spend any time finding a way to track the campaigns.
No Tracking? No Marketing.
The excitement of marketing will ALWAYS wear off. Sales will slow, it is inevitable. If there is no way to track you will associate lack of sales with the marketing not doing its job. Then marketing is cut and thrown out. That’s the worst mistake to make. Marketing works, the issue is that not every aspect of marketing is needed by businesses. What you need to anticipate is areas that are not showing enough return and cutting or increasing budget where necessary. For example, if you can’t safely attribute sales to social ads but your Google Ads are bringing in a larger return, then you obviously will increase Google Ads and will adjust social ads or cut. You can also focus more on social ads and making them more effective. Tracking gives you options to improve. Without it, you are playing a game of pass or fail.
Sometimes Tracking is A Little Harder, Like Social Media
There are some parts of digital marketing that can’t easily be monetized. For example, Facebook posts don’t translate perfectly into sales numbers. But the business needs to create some way to estimate their work. Hear your business needs to create its own method that it will use to track. With some of our clients we create deals exclusive to Facebook, that way every month we can assess if enough people are coming in because of the deals we’ve posted.
Any businesses get lost in creating an awesome digital marketing campaign that will revamp their business and its brand. The enthusiasm is always a welcome sight, but the excitement often hides an important part of marketing. The translation of digital efforts into reality or hard numbers.
What If I Don’t Have the Budget?
Many associate tracking with expensive software. For small businesses this is impractical and un-affordable. However, tracking doesn’t need to use so much money. All you need is some organization and diligence. After consulting for a number of businesses, I’ve seen so many businesses not even make the effort to keep track of their return. They will send out coupons, mailers or run internet promotions. Once they get the coupons they either throw them away or shove em back in a pile.
The point of running SEO campaigns is yes, to bring in customers. But for a small business, if you want to grow, they need to identify from where the customers and coupons are coming from. It is not enough to say “I think about 50”. The costs to run campaigns are exact, you need the revenue from the deals to be exact.
It is as simple as having a box that has separate sections for different coupons. Print out the receipt with the transaction and coupon. Place it in corresponding section. At the end of the month you will be able to see what kind of transactions the coupons brought, when they came in and how many.