Make sure you’re getting the most of your marketing dollars online – Part 4 – Tracking

This is the fourth part of a multi-part look at making sure you’re getting the most of your online marketing presence – with as little effort as possible.

Read the first part here, the second part here, and the third part here.

Now that we’ve setup our online presence and made sure we’re putting our best foot forward in those key areas we need to keep track of it all. If you don’t track the fruits of your marketing efforts you wont know what’s working and what isn’t.


If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.– Peter Drucker

Marketing, like most parts of your business, isn’t something you setup once and expect to keep working at peak efficiency forever. You need to give it some feed and care to get the most value out of it.

We’ve all visited a restaurant’s website and seen their ‘current menu’ prominently displayed – only to see that it’s a menu from 5 years ago. That’s an example of a one-and-done marketing attempt. It’s damaging to how your customers view your brand & your business if you aren’t showing that you’re putting effort in to putting your best foot forward.

But you have a business to run, you can’t do marketing all the time! So you need to be careful with how much time you spend on marketing.

You can’t know how to do that if you don’t measure & track where your customers are coming from.

Get that information!

Where did your last 5 customers come from? Do you know? Do you have a gut feeling? What about where all of your new customers from last month? or last year?

There are an innumerable amount of tools for tracking customer information, where they came from, how much revenue they generate for you and everything else you’d ever want to know about a customer.

Those are expensive & time involving – I don’t think that’s where you get the best return on your time.

Figure out what works best for you to track where your customers found you from – every customer if you can. Word of mouth, Yelp, Google Search, the phone book, etc. It doesn’t matter where they found you! You just need to know how – whether it’s part of setting up an appointment, a simple, ‘Can I ask how you heard about us?’ or something that comes up in conversation when you’re meeting with them. Do it as much as you can and keep track of it – how you do that doesn’t really matter. Checkmarks on a piece of paper, an excel spreadsheet or a field in quickbooks or somewhere else. You just need to start having that information available!

Informed Decisions

You’ve collected your information for a month, dusted off your books and found last years, whatever it is you now have information and information means you can make a data-driven decision.

What are you going to do with this information?

It’s a great gut check – I swore most of my customers were referrals but it turns out most were from the phone book – I should ask my customers for more referrals.

It can drive marketing spend – My last phone book ad only generated 5% of my customers and they weren’t great; I’m not going to spend 50% of my marketing budget on that next year.

It can show you opportunities – I want to expand where I find new customers. Word-of-mouth & Google Local are doing great-maybe I’ll try a Yelp Deal to see if I can attract new customers.

Depending on your goals you can collect additional information as you go along – total customer value (the revenue that customer has brought to your business) is a great runner-up to where you got your customer. Say 5% of your customers are coming from one source and the other 95% elsewhere – if those 5% have 5-10x total customer value those are far more important than most of your other customers.

Let the data help you tell a story and guide your decisions.

That wraps up our look at marketing – next week we’ll be back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Make sure you’re getting the most of your marketing dollars online – Part 4 – Tracking

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