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How do you know that your marketing strategy works the way you want?

Ouch, that question hurt, didn't it?

But rest assured - you'll get some quick tools to help you evaluate your marketing strategies so you won't throw your money down the drain.

How to find out if your marketing works:

1. Are your networking relationships creating opportunities for you? Networking is all about giving rather than selling - or rather (don't get mad now) – it must look as if you are helping others while you spread information about your own business. Forgive the cynicism, but I'm right, don't you agree? To measure your networking activities, you must find ways to track and measure the requests that you receive as a result of your networking (otherwise it's just waste of time).

2. Look at your sales. It should be rising in general, but be a bit wary of what you are measuring. Some companies have longer sales cycles than others. To measure correctly, you must also include the number of new leads or the number of more meetings that you have scheduled or billable hours.

3. Do you ask your new customers where they heard about your business? Most companies never ask this vital question and miss important knowledge about how and where new customers are making their choices. Stop taking chances - start asking. Once you know your current customers' common denominator, that knowledge will point out the direction to where you should continue digging.

4. Get your calculator out. Do your advertising or other activities have any form of direct response, ie. is it built-in in your ads so that you can see where customers are coming from, what they answered, etc? If not - try to update the material so you can see what works and what doesn't.

5. Will your marketing impact make it easier to sell what you sell? For If so, your activities/your material need to do this:

* Attract the right customers.
* Anticipate and remove any objections that your potential customers may have.
* Be easy to use when you meet a potential customer (Easy, understandable, interesting and presented so that the potential customer wants to keep it.)
* Being totally focused on the customer, not on yourself and how good you are.

6. Is your plan giving you a positive result? Are your activities making enough money to justify the investment? Here you have to evaluate ALL activities separately, not only what works in general. Your advertising and your direct mail may bring in money, but you might also find out that direct mail is a really good and measurable advertisement but it doesn't make you the money that you had expected. Then it's obviously better to spend all that money on direct mail instead.

How many things did you get right?

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.