Sometimes spending on marketing can seem like a bit of a gamble. What works? What's worth the money? And what's just throwing away cash?
Will what worked last year give us the same (or better) return on investment this time around?
The way to take the risk out of marketing, the way to make it feel less like a roulette wheel is to test and track.
You need to test and track everything.
For example if you have a Google Adwords campaign, write two ads. See which one gets better results. Then change the one that didn't do so well and see if you can make it better.
Then create two landing pages. Don't just send you prospects to your home page. If you are advertising Halloween Parties, then create a couple of web pages that talk about your new Zombie Technology and when your Halloween events are on.
Google Adwords will automatically send your prospects to either the A page or the B page. You can then track what's working (and what's not).
This is called, not surprisingly, A/B testing.
Google calls its tool to do A/B test "AdWords Campaign Experiments" or ACE for short.You can find out more about it here http://goo.gl/J9mu .
The other thing is essential is to track what you are doing.
You can do this both online and offline.
If you are using old school newspaper or magazine advertising then for every ad you spend your money on, e.g. print ads put a unique redemption code on it. For example we advertise in a magazine called "Brisbane's Child" it is a parenting publication. At the bottom of the ad we have a code "BNE12" if the customer mentions that they get something such as free camo hire or 10% off, or whatever. That way you can know how many leads you got from that ad.
You might have noticed an explosion of web portals, these are web sites that advertise a lot of businesses web sites and charge you a fee to list on them. Or take a percentage if someone books via them, a well-known example of this type of web site is Red Letter Days in the UK.
We advertise on a web site http://goo.gl/KQOKP which gets 1.6million unique visitors per month. We have a page on their directory see http://goo.gl/wwSBh . This links to our dedicated landing page and offers the prospects an incentive to let us know where they came from