Podcast - Measuring your marketing performance

  • By Josh Hall
  • 14 January 2011

In this episode of our marketing podcast, we consider how best to measure the performance of your marketing activities.

Welcome back to the Simply Business podcast. In this episode we will be looking at measuring the success of your marketing activities.

Measuring the performance of your marketing activities is absolutely vital if you want to make sure that you are spending your money wisely. Budgeting is important for small businesses, and you need to make sure that every penny is pulling its weight. In order to do this efficiently, you need to be able to measure the success of your activities.

You are, broadly speaking, interested in your return on investment, or ROI. So, what did the pound you just spent on marketing actually buy you? The purpose of measuring your marketing performance is to identify ways to increase your ROI – either through fine-tuning your existing activities or by completely reimagining the way you connect with potential customers.

So what do you actually need to be measuring?

Well, this will depend on the nature of your marketing activities – and the nature of your business itself. Many marketing activities are designed to provoke an action. For example, you might want a potential customer to pick up the phone and call you, or you might want them to cut out a voucher and use it in your shop.

So, measuring response should be a central part of your marketing activities. You should keep detailed records of the number of responses you receive to different campaigns. This will help you to judge what works for your business and what doesn’t.

Remember, though, that direct responses aren’t everything. You cannot get an accurate view of the impact of your marketing activities on your bottom line unless you also consider the less tangible outcomes.

As well as trying to directly increase the number of sales you achieve, your marketing activities should also be geared towards building your brand, increasing awareness of your business, and improving its perception amongst current and potential customers. Needless to say, these factors are significantly more difficult to measure.

The way in which you measure, for example, brand awareness will depend on the nature of the industry in which you operate. Some methods are simple – for example, if you see an increase in the number of unsolicited enquiries you receive, you can be pretty sure that more people are becoming aware of your business. But you might also consider more adventurous measurement activities like customer surveys. By contacting potential customers and asking them directly about their perception of your business you can help to determine not just whether they have heard of you, but also what they think of your business.

An efficient measurement strategy will combine the more direct responses you hope to generate from your marketing activities with a more general picture of brand awareness and perception.

You should remember, too, that these measurements should take place over an extended period of time. There is little use in simply taking a snapshot of information; on its own this is useless. The data only comes into its own when trends can be identified over time – and this means that you need to keep capturing information.

The benefit of this is that you should be able to match peaks or troughs in the data to changes in your marketing efforts. This will help you to identify what is working and what is not – and adjust your future activities accordingly.

But what are those activities? Unless you are actually doing some marketing, you will have nothing to measure. So, in the next episode of the Simply Business podcast, we will be looking at some of the most important marketing techniques for your business.

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