Is Your Marketing Producing the Results You Expected

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The poll question above is a bit loaded and, not that I want to skew the results, the answer for most lies in the fact that they don’t really know what results they expected or what result they are actually getting. Mostly they know the results aren’t what they had hoped for, but that’s another issue.

Setting expectations

One of the simplest, yet most effective, things you can do is set expectations or goals for your marketing. You can create overall revenue goals, campaign goals or more product or service specific goals, but either way, simply defining a target number will prove to be one of the best first steps.

Goals are like magnets in a way. If we define them and measure our results towards achieving them, they can produce some pretty dramatic pull.

I know this is an obvious bit of advice, but experience tells me that few businesses actually set real, tangible and meaningful targets. How many widgets do you need to sell this month? How many press mentions do you want to add this quarter? How many newsletter subscribers, webinar attendees or trial evaluations must you complete this week?

Measuring results

Once you define your marketing expectations you must define and track the most important indicators that will tell you if you are on track.

You can make this is a simple as a weekly sales total or as complex as the results of multivariate ad element testing, but the key is start measuring something and sharing the numbers.

If you’re not measuring anything, break a few key numbers down and figure out a way to produce a weekly spreadsheet that you use as a guide and also use to share with team members. Then start looking for ways to add key indicators to the list so in addition to simply measuring results you can start measuring individual effectiveness.

Add Google Analytics to your web site and pick up a copy of Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity
by Avinash Kaushik.

If you’ve been measuring key indicators and you’re comfortable with a tool like Google Analytics, consider looking at a more advanced form of measurement from the use of a tool like KissMetrics. This tool can measure so many things that it can also overwhelm, so don’t start here unless you’ve mastered the basics.


Avinash Kaushik

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  1. Great blog! I think it is also crucial for entrepreneurs to set a marketing schedule and actually stick to it. A virtual assistant or intern can do some of the more time-consuming tasks such as uploading articles to directories, but the key is getting them done on time and consistently.

  2. Good advice.  The first thing I do every morning is check my dashboard to see how things went the day before.  I even run separate Analytics for each of my markets.  For example, I have separate analytics for employers who signup through our website, employers who come in through an app store, and jobseekers (who are a different market for me) who come in through our client websites, job boards, etc.  I keep separate analytics for each so it’s easy to get an idea of how our progress looks with each specific segment.

    1. Rudy – that sounds like a great system – dashboards can be a little tough to set up but it sure makes life more enjoyable when you do.

  3. John, you nailed it on the importance of measurement right after goal setting. I see too many businesses go from goals to execution. That may seem like a good sequence of events, but it sets one up for the inevitable “is this worth my time and money” question.

    I usually suggest that a business write down 3-4 key metrics associated with each goal – BEFORE it thinks about marketing tactics. Then identify what reasonable data looks like for each metric and where you would get it.

    Taking the time to understand what constitutes success and how you’ll measure it can do wonders to hone a marketing plan. As we all know, narrow focus can often lead to greater success. That’s what every business wants.


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