So you’ve seen an upsurge in business this week, but you wonder if it’s the new advertising or other factors ranging from economics and politics to weather and traffic patterns. Whether an ad works shouldn’t be a guessing game or even a matter of opinion. It is possible to track advertising and marketing initiatives scientifically, and if you want to fully understand the value of marketing and how it affects your business you should be employing some sort of tracking strategy.


Ask for feedback

Many companies find research a highly effective way to begin a marketing program and get into the minds of their target market. Such research can help marketing teams develop a strategy and craft messages that successfully reign in potential customers. Yet how many businesses follow up with a customer perception survey to see which elements of the marketing effort are truly most effective? Imagine you find out the majority of customers heard about your business through direct mail, while relatively few remember the radio advertisement? You would quickly adjust your future plans based on this valuable feedback. Over time, you’ll have a fine-tuned marketing effort that maximizes every effort to the fullest. Of course, this can be done informally by simply asking customers how they heard about you. Just be sure you train customer service and sales staff to ask these important questions, and to relay the answers to the marketing team.


Calls to action

Every advertisement should have a “call to action,” which directly tells the audience what to do. A simple example is “Call today to learn more about this special offer.” There are several ways to deliver a call to action and track an ad’s effectiveness at the same time. One is a coupon. A compelling offer with a call to action like “bring this coupon in for 20% off your first purchase” can do more than boost business. By tracking how many coupons are used, you have an indicator of how well the ad worked. This can also be accomplished by driving customers to a special phone number, e-mail address or URL. Only customers who responded to the ad are being received on these lines, so you can track exactly how well the ad is doing.


Analyzing the numbers

We’ve mentioned driving customers to a special URL, and you can use your company’s master Web site too. The important thing is to carefully analyze the traffic on a site with a tool like Google Analytics so you can glean a clear, detailed account of Web traffic. Did the customer click through from a banner ad? Did traffic surge on the Sunday morning your print newspaper ad ran? Are visitors spending a lot of time on the page describing your latest giveaway contest? The answers reveal a lot about how you should proceed from a marketing perspective.


As you can see all this begins with the development of your marketing program. You can begin these efforts at any time, but the process will require some adjustments to your marketing pieces. The most efficient way to track your marketing efforts is to make tracking a strategic part of your marketing plan from the beginning with the help of the experienced professionals at Priority Marketing.