Measuring marketing campaigns is key to determining if you should continue a campaign and necessary when showing upper management the value of marketing. The first step is setting measurable objectives and ensuring each marketing strategy has measurement metrics in place.
Following are six simple ways to help measure the success of your campaigns.
1. Develop dedicated landing pages for each ad, blogger campaign, QR code and email marketing campaign to better assess which strategies are driving results. Take this a step further and test messaging and design by developing more than one unique landing page for the same campaign to better understand what creative and content are most effective.
2. Install Google Analytics on your website. Visit http://www.google.com/analytics/ to sign up for a free account. Google Analytics will provide a simple code you can include on every page of your website, which will allow you to track which sources are driving the most web traffic (i.e. which search terms are most influential and which sites refer the most traffic). Google Analytics will help you track dedicated landing pages activity.
If you sell product online be sure your ecommerce is linked to analytics. This will help you determine what is driving sales.
3. Use dedicated phone numbers for different marketing/advertising campaigns. Track the number of calls and time spent on each call for each number to determine what is most effective.
4. Provide special offers linked to discount or promotional codes. Create a unique code for each campaign. When customers purchase product online (or even in stores) and use the code, you will be able to measure which strategies are most effective at driving sales. This works well for blogger relations campaigns, social media promotions, print and broadcast advertising.
5. Measuring intangible campaign results like brand awareness and changes in perceptions/beliefs is a bit more difficult. If you can, administer a survey to your target audience to assess awareness and opinions prior to the campaign, and use the research results to establish benchmarks. When your campaign is complete, redistribute the survey to determine if the campaign has impacted awareness levels and succeeded in changing existing perceptions.
6. A similar approach can be successful for measuring the impact of publicity and media relations. Conduct a media audit with target outlets before and after your PR campaign to measure media’s familiarity with your company. Of course do not forget to track media coverage and keep track of how many people each story has the potential to reach. For online media stories that include your URL, check your website analytics to see how much traffic the media stories are driving to your website.
However, at this year’s CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) trade show, new and future technologies forecasted to be in our kitchens soon does seem like something more out of the Jetsons.
Here’s a glimpse into what the kitchen of the future is forecasted to look like.
• Talking refrigerators: Samsung’s new refrigerator launched in early 2011 features a touch screen and access to apps – you can check the weather, update friends on your social networks and leave notes for the family – while you decide what to make for dinner tonight. However, that is far from how technology can enhance your refrigerator. CEDIA predicts in five short years, your refrigerator will complete a shopping list for you based on what has been used in your refrigerator.
• No more cords: Wireless inductive power is not expected to hit the market for another 6-12 months, but this technology can eliminate cords in your kitchen. Cordless blenders, cordless toasters, cordless electric knives… you can even charge your smart phone and tablet by just laying it on the countertop.
• Smart appliances: Your dishwasher, washer and dryer will soon be talking to your local energy company to run at “off peak” hours and help you achieve savings on your electric bill.
• No more window treatments: Dimmable windows have already been introduced in airplanes and luxury car sunroofs. Windows can be programmed to dim in the summer to reduce AC costs.
• Induction cook tops: Your countertop will become your cook top. With induction cooking, a high frequency magnetic field moves molecules back and forth rapidly creating friction. This causes the pan to become hot (the pan must have some steel in it to be a conductor). The benefit of induction cooking is 90% of the heat goes into the pan, saving energy.
The common thread for most of these new technologies is reducing energy use. While this benefits the consumer, it is more of governmental push. It will be interesting to see how consumers respond to when they should run their washer compared to when they need clean cloths.
In fairness to the other side, I would like to offer some pointed and useful advice on how to not succeed in business and life. In the words of Dwight Schrute: “To me, success is simply the opposite of failure.” Indeed.
I call them the Pyrite Rules.
Rule #1: Say whatever comes to mind at all times and at any cost. Don’t like the boss? Tell her. Think you are the smartest person in the office? Speak up. Holding your tongue is only going to hold you back.
Rule #2: Dress for excess. Funny hats, silly ties, colorful socks, goofy shoes and low-cut blouses are the way to get attention and get ahead. Old soldiers should fade away, not young executives.
Rule #3: Never waste valuable work time washing dishes, cleaning the microwave or making copies. You can’t make it to the top if you are concerned about the bottom. Leave the monkey work for the monkeys.
Rule #4: Regular hours are for regular people. The day starts when you get there and ends when you leave. Remember, 9-to-5 is a bad movie, not a good day’s work.
Rule #5: There is no “I” in team, so why would you want to be part of one? Teams are for baseball, not business. Colleagues are like excess baggage; unless you are flying Southwest, you’ll pay a penalty for having them.
Rule #6: The needs of the one always outweigh the needs of the many. Yeah, other people have problems and needs, but those are their problems, and who needs them? If you want to make something of yourself, you have to stay focused on what’s really important… you!
When considering advertising – whether it be print, broadcast, online or even through Facebook – run a test campaign before making a long term commitment. This is a good method for determining if advertising in general – and a specific outlet in particular – is an effective strategy for your brand. And while the definition of a test campaign implies a much smaller cost, you still need to ensure those dollars are well spent and ultimately provide useful information to shape your advertising strategy moving forward.
Below are our top five quick-tips for securing the most data from your ad test campaign.
1. Establish Accurate Metrics. In order to understand whether a test is effective – and ultimately make a decision on whether it will be part of your long-term strategy – you need to specifically correlate customer response to a particular ad or campaign. Using a distinct phone number, web page or sales code or phrase to pursue an offer are simple ways to track responses.
2. Test competitive outlets. Use the same creative to reach two different outlets at the same time. Be sure to establish measurable outcomes to track the results from each outlet separately. You may learn that advertising in the leading trade magazine is ineffective, but that its competitor delivers impactful results. If you simply had tested with the leader, you may have decided not to pursue advertising at all.
3. Test different messages with the same outlet. Similarly, once you understand your best medium, try testing different messaging with the same audience to determine what drives the best results.
4. Provide a very specific call to action. This goes hand-in-hand with the importance of establishing metrics for a test campaign. Use the test as an opportunity to drive a specific action among your prospects. A high level branding campaign takes time and frequency to deliver results, and therefore is not conducive to a test campaign. Instead of trying to change a perception or raise awareness in general, use a test campaign to drive a measurable behavior. This will enable you to know sooner whether the campaign has been effective.
5. Always ask for more. Ad sales reps use test campaigns as a way to secure long-tem advertising commitments, and they understand that the more effective a test is, the better chance you will become a regular customer. Always ask for multi-media support when running a test campaign (i.e. ask for no-cost banner ads to support your radio test, or ask for an e-blast sponsorship to support your magazine ad).
Each year the National Retail Federation conducts a survey with U.S. consumer about their anticipated holiday shopping behavior. This year, the three most important statistics consumer product companies and retailers should pay attention to are: consumers increasing spending on themselves, more consumers shopping online and increased use of smartphones and tablets to assist with holiday shopping.
1. Consumers Plan to Spend More on Themselves
This year the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey indicates consumers will spend less on holiday gifts, but plan to spend more on themselves. Holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal products, down slightly from last year’s $718.98.
However, the NRF is still forecasting an overall 2.8% growth in holiday sales. This increase is anticipated because shoppers are planning to spend an average of $130.43 during the holiday season to take advantage of discounts for themselves and other family members. This is up $112.20 from last year.
2. Almost 50% of Americans Expected to Shop Online
According to the survey, online retailers should be prepared for an increase in sales. Almost half of shoppers (46.7%) will buy online. That is up from 43.9% last year. Also, the average holiday shopper plans to conduct 36% of their shopping online, whether it is comparing prices, researching products or making a purchase.
Additionally, these online shoppers plan to spend 22% more than the average adult. Adults 25-34 are the most active age group of holiday online shoppers This group expects to conduct 43.7% of their holiday shopping online.
3. More Than 50% of Smartphone and Tablet Owners will Use Devises to Shop
This is the first year the NRF and BIGresearch have asked shoppers about their intended use of smartphones and tablets . The results are not surprising.
Half (52.6%) of those who own a smartphone said they will use their device to help with holiday shopping:
• 31.0% will research products and/or compare prices
• 14.1% will purchase products
• 17.3% will redeem coupons
• 15.6% will use apps to research or purchase items
• 25.1% will look up a retailer’s information such as store hours and location
Tablet owners are even more likely to use their device to aid in their holiday shopping:
• 70.5% will research and shop using their tablet
• 50.8% will research products and/or compare prices
• 34.8% will actually make a purchase with their device
• 21.5% will redeem coupons
• 33.8% will look up retailer information
• 21% will use apps to research items or purchase products
The NRF 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 8,585 consumers and was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch October 4-11, 2011. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.
My dad (Dennis B. Sweeney) always said: “All things in moderation… too much of anything is rarely a good thing.”
Interestingly he used that advice in two distinct ways, as a warning against getting carried away with things (“it’s actually possible to drink too much beer”) and as an encouragement to lighten up (“it is actually possible to study too much”).
Regarding the latter, I believe Willy Wonka put it this way: “A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”
Over the past weekend I went on a fun walk with two of my nieces and one of their friends. It was a cool, crisp, blustery Autumn day in Cleveland, and we decided to enjoy it. I was amazed that the leaves had already turned marvelous shades of yellow and red and were now covering the sidewalks. The smell of fall was strong, and I found myself kicking up leaves and gathering pine cones along the way. I am a 55-year-old man who often behaves like a 12-year old. Balance.
From 9 to 5 (I wish), Monday through Friday (I wish), I give everything I have to my work and my clients. As my dad also said: “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” But when the day ends and/or the weekend arrives, I play. I run, I jump, I sing, I cook, I shop, I fish, I doodle, I have even been known to just lay in my Cape Hatteras hammock and do nothing. And sometimes in the middle of all this relaxation and outright silliness, I get a great idea for work. Balance.
When things are out of balance, they have a tendency to tip over, which is hardly ever a good thing. On the other hand, it is absolutely fine if your pendulum swings to the extremes… just so long as it eventually swings back in the other direction. Or as my dad often said, “Work hard, play hard.” Balance.
Consumer product companies are always trying to find the next big solution. Bissell seems to have succeeded with its new Stomp‘N Go stain lifting pads. Bissell claims its Stomp’N Go pads will permanently remove tough set-in stains and leave carpet smelling fresh.
What a great name for a product that allows you to tear open the package, place the wet pad on the carpet stain, stomp on it to release the solution and walk away. According to the website, Stomp’N Go will remove tough stains, including: blood, pet messes, mud, cola, coffee, wine and juice.
Bissell never communicates the pads will “eliminate odors”. Just that it will leave the carpet “smelling fresh”. However, this is definitely a product worth trying and perfect for the holiday season.
Want to try it for yourself? Visit http://www.bissell.com/trymefree/ for a $5.99 mail-in rebate.
More often than not the critical step of conducting market research is skipped when developing a marketing strategy. The oversight is typically because of lack of funding and time. However, the good news is market research does not have to be a costly and overwhelming undertaking. If budgets or time will not allow for full-blown research, reach out to customers, media and employees.
1. Document Current Perceptions
Before launching a market research project, start by documenting your target audience (demographically and psychographically), existing opportunities and challenges, brand perceptions, motivators and barriers to customer engagement and the best marketing strategies to achieve your goals based on what you believe to be true about your organization and audience.
2. Tap an Existing Audience
No need to purchase an expensive list or hire a staff of survey administrators – use the resources you already have available to gauge brand perceptions and market behavior. Existing customers provide valuable insight to help shape your strategy. After all, they are already invested in your brand, so why not find out exactly why that is? Use online survey software like Survey Monkey or Zoomerang to set up a short and simple questionnaire with the goal of confirming or refuting the perceptions you documented. Offer an incentive to help increase the response rate.
Also, survey your staff and key industry media to provide additional insight.
3. Update Marketing Strategy
Once you have collected responses and summarized findings, analyze how the data you collected impacts on your original perceptions. Use what you learn to:
Market research can be simple or complex depending on the resources available. At the very least, it is essential to collect and analyze feedback readily available from existing customers, staff and brand constituents to shape a more effective and measurable marketing plan.
Satchel Paige, the over-aged, overachiever is famously credited for once saying this about his passion for playing baseball: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”
Steve Jobs had a similar idea. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
On the surface they may sound like different ideas, but they are the same. I believe Stephen King summed it up best in Shawshank Redemption. “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
But Jobs, as he so often did in his life, took it further. His advice about work and life was to find what you are passionate about and do it… and trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future. Certainly a young Steve Jobs could have been crushed under the
pressure of dropping out of college in his first year, just as a 30-year-old Jobs could have been devastated over being fired by the billion dollar company he created, just as an older and wiser Jobs could have accepted fate and given up upon learning he had cancer.
Instead, Jobs looked around to find his passion, pursued it and participated in it – taking a leap of faith as it were. And trusting that the dots would somehow connect in the future.
Of passion he said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
Satchel Paige played baseball for as long as the game would allow him. Often times he made only enough money for room and board on the “colored” side of town. But by the early 1940s, Paige’s estimated annual earnings were $40,000, which was four times the pay of the average player on the major league New York Yankees and nearly matched the pay of their top star, Joe DiMaggio. And although time took its toll, Paige, at the age of 61 (in 1967) appeared with the Globetrotters in Chicago and accepted the opportunity to play with the Indianapolis Clowns for only a $1,000 a month. Passion.
As for Steve Jobs, I think he summed it up best: “I was worth over a million dollars when I was twenty-three and over ten million dollars when I was twenty-four, and over a hundred million dollars when I was twenty-five,” he said “and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.” Passion.