If You’re Not Measuring, You’re Not Marketing

Measuring MarketingIf you ask most businesses where the majority of their sales come from, the answer is almost always “word of mouth.” Why is that? Are they just so popular that everyone who bought from them happened to talk to someone else who bought from them? Really?! I think, Not!

What most don’t realize is that if they had measurements in place, most of their business may actually come from other sources. Word of mouth has become the answer when we don’t measure our efforts.

As an author, word of mouth (measure that too) may sell a few books, maybe even a few hundred, but ongoing book sales is going to come from actual marketing not “spraying and praying.”

Marketing is about getting a physical and measurable response. It begins with setting goals. After all, if you don’t set goals, how do you know it’s working for you? First start with general goals: increase visitors to my blog, sell more books, book more speaking engagements. Then develop more specific measurable objectives around those goals: 100 more visitors to my blog by next week, 50 books sold on Small Business Saturday, three speaking engagements per month in first quarter 2016.

Now armed with your SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based) goals, you are ready to determine which marketing methods you want to use to reach your target audience. The options are limitless, direct mail (yes, it still works), TV, radio, magazines, billboards, email, events, Facebook and Twitter Ads, AdWords, blogging, podcasting, video, webinars, workshops, contests, and the list goes on. With so many options from which to choose, where do you start? I will answer that question with this question, “Where is your target audience?” Do they use social media sites? If so, which ones? Do they read blogs, prefer videos, attend live seminars or webinars, etc.? We’ll reserve defining your target audience for another time but if you have not yet done so, I suggest that you pause right here and get very clear on that first. As I shared in a previous post, quality is more important than quantity. You want to make sure that you get the biggest bang for your bucks and to do that, you should not waste your efforts getting in front of the wrong audience.

Only implement one or two marketing initiatives at a time so that you can focus your efforts and obtain great data. Just like corporations, small businesses and authors have big data at our fingertips as well. Ok, maybe not as big, but big enough to help reach your immediate goals. All of the major social media tools provide insights, your email marketing system should report the number of opens, clicks, bounces, etc., Google Analytics can be added to websites, mobile apps, and more. Unfortunately, none of this information is worth it if you never look at it. Continually keep your goals in mind and analyze your results. Make adjustments if a particular effort is not working well, or increase your efforts in an area that is working well. The bottom line: If you want more business, you must market; and if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.

Originally written for and published at Write Your Life’s Book Your Success Blog.

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