What a great discussion at the PWGMC Networking at Noon today. The topic for discussion was – “How Do You Track Your Marketing Dollars?”

This question of course has been asked over the years, but has recently been back in the forefront of many small business owners’ minds with the current economic times – it is only smart business to determine and track what works and invest into what is working.

There were six business reps who were eager to learn some methods of tracking – Chris Perricone of BuzzCart, Jim Aram of Advantage Physical Therapy, Joe D’Andrea of D’Andrea Business Solution, Kerry Brooks of Matthew’s Center, Jamie Gorman of Sigma College and me – Scot Small of RevBuilders Marketing. And of course Andrea Short of the PW Greater Chamber.

Much to my amazement it seems that many are struggling with this topic of how to track their marketing. There was a lot of great input and we did stray from the topic to other related marketing issues, but concerning the topic at hand here are some of the highlights as I recall them.

Any comments are encouraged – give us your ideas or if you were there and I missed something make a comment – also be sure to check out Jamie Gorman’s Blog on this same topic as he saw it. 

Use tracking phone numbers
Easy to do, low – medium cost, accurate. These numbers can be used on both offline and online marketing. The basic idea is you can track your phone leads by the media by assigning them each a tracking number. You can make it as high level or specific as you have budget.

Let’s say you are running an Adwords campaign, a direct mails campaign and a Email Campaign. Each would be assigned a different phone number that would forward to your company number.

  1. On the direct mail you would simple use your tracking number instead of your company number. The reports will document exactly how many calls the campaign generated – and you would also be able to link to revenue so you could generate an ROI for the campaign – pretty cool.
  2. On both the Adwords and Email, all you need to do is insert some code on your site and the link and the number would automatically change to the tracking number if they come to your site via the email or the Adwords.
  3. There are endless ways to use tracking numbers. If you would like to talk more about implementing it for your company just give us a call and we can talk more about it.

Use Google Analytics
First if you do not have Google Analytic on your site stop everything you are doing and get it on your site now.

  1. This was only discussed in brief as it is a little more complex and requires more time on the business owner’s end. But used properly, you can track the effectiveness of many marketing campaigns over time. Creating a simple excel spread sheet and chart by date your marketing campaigns vs your web traffic and conversion rates can give you very valuable data to help you determine what your future marketing budget should be.
  2. You can also measure the compounding effect if you are running integrated marketing campaigns; this will require several months of data, but can be very useful with big payoffs.

Ask your clients
This is the least effective way to measure results, but the most widely used by small business. Most agreed. In our world today people are so over marketed they very rarely remember how they found you, nor do they really care. Sorry. They do not care about your marketing budget. So many times they just say the first thing that comes to mind.

Much more was talked about – and it was decided that the next topic is going to be “Old Fashion Marketing that still works in a new world.”

Should be very interesting so come on out. I would be willing to say that some of you would learn the one thing that will turn your whole business around and put you on track to your best year ever.

Any thoughts? Any additional ideas on tracking – join the conversation.
Additional Tracking your Marketing Information.