Is Your Marketing Really Working? 5 Simple Steps To Find Out

Many entrepreneurs aren’t sure how to gauge which marketing tactics actually deliver results or how to get the most out of their marketing investments. Here’s a simple five-step...

Photo: Michelle Evans, Business and Marketing Strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Michelle Evans, Business and Marketing Strategist; Source: Courtesy Photo

Creating a marketing strategy that connects with your audience and drives bottom-line results is critical to business success. Focused marketing can build an audience, demonstrate your credibility and drive an increase in sales conversions.

According to SiriusDecisions, Inc. “70% of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales.”

If people are deciding before they even talk to you, how can you make sure your marketing campaign does the heavy lifting?

Many entrepreneurs aren’t sure how to gauge which marketing tactics actually deliver results or how to get the most out of their marketing investments. To help you figure if your marketing strategy is actually working, here’s a simple five-step process to find out:


  1. Establish goals and strategies.

    Begin by establishing a goal (or objective) for what you want to achieve by marketing your product or service. This informs your marketing strategy – the tools you use to meet your goal. Your strategies can include a simple forecast of anticipated performance for each marketing tactic included in your strategy.

    For example, with every $1,000 you spend on a specific tactic (e.g., online advertising, trade shows, sponsorships, social media ads, content marketing, etc.) how many prospects do you expect to gain? How many of those prospects do you anticipate will turn into sales? What is the forecast revenue from those sales? Does the investment give you at least a 5x return in sales?

    Establishing goals, and dependent strategies, will allow you to monitor your marketing efforts in real-time and optimize a tactic that isn’t delivering results.

  2. Build an inventory of marketing tactics.

    Marketing tactics include activities that build connections, awareness, credibility and trust with your ideal clients. Examples include; email, ads, blogging, videos, social media, seminars, webinars, tradeshows or anything else that gets you in front of potential clients.

    Make a list of each marketing tactic that is currently included in your marketing strategy. Take the time to really break down everything you’re doing and you may find that you do way more marketing than you think you do.

  3. Track your marketing investment.

    Now that you have a list of all the marketing tactics your business currently uses, estimate the investments you’ve made in each (e.g., money, time and outside resources). If you aren’t sure, estimate each one so you have a spending baseline.

  4. Monitor new client or customer acquisition.

    Next, it’s time to determine which marketing tactics are generating revenue. Determining where your new clients come from can seem really challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to track acquisition.

    One of the easiest ways is to simply ask clients and customers how they heard about you. This could be done through inbound lead generation forms, the sales process or with a new client survey. Of course, there are sophisticated tracking systems as well, but to start, simply asking is one of the easiest ways to track results.

  5. Track return on activity.

    Now you have all the inputs you need to track ROI and determine if you are meeting your strategic marketing goals. Next, you can create a simple spreadsheet with current marketing tactics (Step 2), investments into each tactic (Step 3), new clients generated by tactic (Step 4) and revenue gained by tactic (Step 4).

    These inputs should help you determine which marketing tactics are actually delivering paying customers to your door. Knowing what marketing tactics are working and which aren’t will allow you to make better investments and create a stronger sales pipeline to fuel business growth.

This article has been edited and condensed.

Michelle Evans is a Business and Marketing Strategist specializing in creating simple, effective marketing and business growth strategies that free-up time, bring in clients and deliver results. Grab her FREE Simple Marketing Metrics Guide to get even more insights into how marketing will grow your business. Connect with @michellelevans on Twitter.


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