Small business owners, by and large, are a down-to-earth lot. We work hard for our money and want to make sure we are spending our marketing budget wisely.
So when we talk about investing in an integrated marketing campaign we want to know "How do I know if my campaign is working?" Good question, right? Here's what we say.
Expect fuzzy answers.
If you understand that when you ask a new client "how did you hear about us" and they respond "from your website" that's just the beginning. What they might just as likely mean is "Well, I saw your ad in the Westchester Business Journal so when I got your postcard in the mail I recognized the name then went to your website before I called you."
In this situation your website is getting credit for the customer's action: calling you. But the postcard and the ad aren't getting any of the glory, though they should.
Increase the clarity.
But what if the postcard had a special URL just for those recipients? These special URLs are called landing pages. The traffic patterns on your landing pages will provide you with a lot of useful information about which campaigns are working and which aren't. By comparing the results you can prune what doesn't work and do more of - and improve upon - what does work.
Content Is King, But Data is Queen
That's the beauty of the internet; you can capture data to see if your campaign IS working in a way that was not possible even a few years ago. By capturing this data and analyzing it you have actionable information and can adjust quickly.
And small businesses are especially well adapted to leverage this advance precisely because they are small. They don't have multiple levels of management and typically don't manage by committee which is often the death knell for doing anything meaningful in a timely fashion.