Why are You Throwing Your Marketing Dollars Away?

Written by  on Jan 28, 2014

Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “you have to spend money to make money.” There’s always some kind of investment involved before we can start raking in the dough, what’s important is keeping track of those numbers.

Imagine you own a company that sells four different products. After your first order, you realize bookkeeping is hard and decide not to record anything. At the end of the month, you know that you’ve sold some stock, but don’t have a per-product breakdown.

Instead of taking a peek in the warehouse to discover Product 3 isn’t selling at all, you just go ahead and reorder equal amounts of all four products. Month after month, you repeat the process.

Idiotic, isn’t it? An obvious waste of money, right? Then tell me: why do you do that with your marketing money?

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If you’re not tracking your campaigns, how do you know what’s working and what’s not? By keeping us in the loop on all of your efforts, we can help you capture the important information you’ll need to make informed marketing decisions.

Say you’ve invested in a billboard on a stretch of highway; the advertising sales company told you that your message would be seen by 10,000 cars per day. Sounds awesome, but are you going to ask every single customer–from now until the billboard is gone–if that’s how they heard of you? If you did ask, how do you know they are recalling the correct ad? Perhaps they’ve forgotten?

Maybe you’ve got some radio ads running on the local classic rock station. They have a huge listenership, but not everyone is listening all the time, right? How do you know if a Noon ad saw better returns than a 8pm ad? Come to think of it: do you even know when your ads are running?

There are some simple solutions to these questions that can give you a clearer picture of your marketing dollars at work, but many people just don’t put enough thought into it.

Create custom landing pages

We’ve discussed landing and squeeze pages at length before, but it’s important enough to reiterate. For any external campaign, be it a postcard or a TV spot, a custom landing page is a great way to track traffic and push conversions.

When your postcard directs users to “mail.yourwebsite.com” or “www.yourwebsite.com/post”, you can follow the Google Analytics for that particular page and see just how much traffic your print campaign generated. 

This custom page can also give you the availability to craft a special message with the postcard audience in mind. Tailoring the content to the audience and aligning the landing page message with the postcard message can help to improve conversions.

Alright, so landing pages are easy - we can make new pages all day. What happens when you’ve got people calling you on the phone?

Institute call tracking

Similar to custom landing page, we can determine the effectiveness of multiple marketing/advertising avenues by utilizing multiple phone numbers.

Every TV spot has #A, every magazine ad has #B, and even our paid search ads have a custom number, #C. By using a call tracking service that integrates with Google Analytics we can take an action that was once far removed from the web and view it in the same way we do page views or clicks.

By tracking conversions as well, you’ve got the full picture. Here’s an example: The campaign cost $5,000 and generated 340 calls (or drove 340 visitors to the site). 25 visitors actually bought the product/service, meaning each conversion cost you $200. 

As long as the lifetime value of each customer is more than $200, we can call it a success. Once the cost per lead or cost per acquisition exceeds the customer lifetime value, you’re losing money. If you haven’t been tracking, though, you’ll never know.

Make sure everyone is on the same page

We can only help you implement these tactics if we’re in the know. That doesn’t mean calling us on Friday to say “Hi BK, we’re running an ad in Monday’s paper so we need a landing page/call tracking!” To utilize landing pages and call tracking efficiently, the entire campaign needs to be built with these methods in mind. 

When that radio ad campaign finally gets underway, ask the station for a schedule of when your spot is running. By marking milestones in Google Analytics at those times, we can start to visualize listener behavior and determine which times are most valuable.

Maybe we could even get creative with that billboard and note Google Analytics every time there’s a traffic jam on our stretch of highway. Sure, we can’t control the traffic (or can we, Chris Christie?) but if we see a correlation we could move our billboard closer to downtown where backups tend to happen more!

We may just be your ‘web people,’ but keeping us informed on all your marketing efforts could make a real difference in how/where you allocate your budget.

It all comes down to ROI. How can you expect to know the value of your marketing efforts if you’re letting all the info slip through the cracks? Yes, a customer who heard your radio spot is just as good as a customer who saw your billboard, but if you can’t tell the difference between them you will never know when one of those markets has peaked and is no longer worth your hard-earned cash.

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