How do you know if your web marketing is successful? Easy: If you get more sales this month than last month then it works!
In truth, that’s a pretty broad target. Are you okay with increasing sales even if it means losing money? Probably not. So then profits are the measure. If you’re improving your profits each month, you know it’s working.
What if I could make your profit margins double overnight? Sounds great, until you find out that to accomplish this you have to reduce sales by 90%. So instead of profiting $100 on $1000 worth of sales, you’re profiting $20 on $100 worth of sales. Your profit margin went from 10 to 20%t, but at what cost? $900 worth of sales, and $80 worth of profit!
I’m being a bit exaggeratory here, but only to illustrate the point that if you don’t have clearly defined goals, you’re never really going to know if your web marketing efforts are truly paying off.
Know Your Marketing Avenues
Without clearly defined goals, you probably can’t even determine what type of web marketing you should be doing. For example:
- If you want to increase ecommerce revenue, you might want to focus on a Google shopping campaign.
- If you want to increase your leads, you might want to invest in marketing on LinkedIn .
- If you want to improve your brand recognition, social media and content marketing is in your future.
- If you want to bring more customersin to your store, local and mobile marketing should be your primary focus.
There are a lot of other areas you can invest in with each of those web marketing goals as well, but this is just to illustrate the point that specific goals require specific marketing tactics.
But you also have to have some specific measures to benchmark against. If you’re a seasonal business, you can’t look at month-to-month numbers. Instead, you have to compare each month to the same month in previous years.
If you are brand building, you have to lay down some specific goals in which to measure whether those efforts are achieving success. One such measure might be Google searches for your brand name. Another might be mentions on Facebook or Twitter, or wherever your audience is most active.
It’s easy to believe you’re successful as long as there is money coming in. You may be bringing in millions of dollars through web marketing, but unless you know how and why, you have no way of finding ways to improve your business–or your bottom line. As we saw in my example above, what can look like a success by one analysis can actually be a failure by another. It all depends on what you want.
Know Your Success Metrics
Your web marketing team should be asking you the right questions to help you better understand what your success metrics are. And if not, you need to make sure you present that to them. Otherwise, they’ll be going with a metric that looks good for them, not necessarily the metrics that work for your business.
Here are some specific questions that will help you determine your success metrics:
- What is a new customer worth to you? Figure out how much a new customer spends on average. Not just on the first purchase but for the lifetime of being a customer. This means you need to know how long a customer stays a customer and understand a lot about their purchasing patterns.
- What does it cost to keep a customer? Usually, this is less than bringing in a new customer, so it’s typically in your best interest to 1) keep marketing to your customers and 2) extend the average time someone stays a customer. Doing this can add huge margins to your bottom line.
- What does it cost you to get a new customer? Obviously, this number will change depending on the type of web marketing you will do, but you have to make sure the cost of a new customer is less than their lifetime value.
- Based on the budget you have to invest in web marketing, how many new customers do you think you can realistically bring in each month? This is the kicker. Because if your budget doesn’t match your expectations, or what is realistic, then no matter what you do, it will be a failure. Make sure your expectations match your web marketing investment.
Just about any goal is achievable with the right budget, but most of us don’t have the kinds of budgets that produce the results we want or think. Work with your web marketing team to get expectations in line with both your budget and your web marketing goals. If your budget is firm, then you have to adjust our expectations accordingly. If the budget is enough to see the goals achieved, then it’s just a matter of setting proper time frames to see those goals realized.
There is so much more that goes into having a successful web marketing campaign, but this will get you moving in the right direction. If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time and still be disappointed. Getting your goals, budget and expectations in line ensures that all things are working together to produce a campaign that not only gets results but the results you want and expect.