There's an old saying: "I know half of my advertising works, I just don't know which half." It is a constant struggle to try to determine what works and what doesn't in order to focus the marketing efforts of a small business on successful strategies.
For small businesses, marketing campaigns
usually run on a shoestring budget, so figuring out which half of your marketing is working for you will greatly help your bottom line. Optimizing your marketing efforts can both allow you to cut unnecessary costs and drum up new business.
Businesses have some old and new tools available to help figure out what's working. In addition to paying attention to what your customers are saying, there are some more scientific ways to measure success.
Whether you send email newsletters
or prefer direct mail campaigns, one strategy is to send different offers to your customers and measure which ones generate the most sales. You may also want to experiment with the language and appearance of your communication, and see which combinations tend to elicit the most responses.
Search engine marketing
has also introduced a whole new world of analytics to small-business owners. Not only can business owners target specific types of audiences they want to reach with their marketing, but can use tools to see what type of ads are working and who is responding.
Social media also offers a share of analytical tools, from measuring how many people "like" your page on Facebook, to tools that measure response of your followers on Twitter. Facebook also presents the opportunity to learn more about the types of people who are interested in your business. These types of sites also offer an easy way and free way to get the word out about promotions. By offering a promotion exclusively through a social media site, you can evaluate how effective it is by how many people take advantage of the offer.
Not all business owners have the ability to track the success of their marketing efforts themselves. For those who don't, companies such as Deluxe.com offer comprehensive marketing and analytical assistance that can help you when you don't have the time or expertise to do it yourself.
However you choose to do it, intelligently monitoring and optimizing your marketing efforts can lead to savings and expanded sales by getting your message out more effectively.