“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This quote by marketing pioneer John Wanamaker used to be a mainstay in sales and marketing training. Back in the day, there was little way of knowing which of your marketing tactics resulted in sales. Was it the magazine ad, the billboard, radio blast, or press release? In the absence of useful analytics, the idea was that you just needed to push out your materials in multiple directions and hope for the best.
The internet has changed that to a great degree. Now, with online and digital promotions, you can see instantly which of your marketing strategies directly generate more revenue. You also no longer need to consider all of those tactics in silos, today’s analytics mean that cross-channel campaign management providers can help you to use multiple connected marketing channels to reach customers and also to provide a more in-depth view of customer behaviours.
Of course, generating a bit of additional noise, alongside targeted marketing, through some of the old-style offline tactics can also still be very useful. But you still won’t know just how much revenue it generates.
Here are some of the main approaches you can take to track your marketing strategy directly to revenue. While we list these individually, remember they are even more effective when connected together in a cross-channel campaign.
1) Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most powerful methods of digital marketing. The advantage of this method is that you can link analytics about the level of engagement and sales directly to demographic information about your customers. It provides tremendous intelligence and insight that can then circle back to your business strategy and create a cycle of continuous improvement in the business. Any of the top email marketing software packages on the market have in-depth analytics built-in as standard.
Email marketing also allows you to deepen your relationship with customers and build loyalty. You can encourage customers to join the list by offering discounts and early information on new products or services. All of that makes customers feel special and more likely to buy.
2) Social media
Social media remains key for building strong brand-based relationships with customers. But there are so many potential social media channels to choose from these days, that if you try to spread yourself too widely you can end up watering your message down so much that it becomes meaningless. The key is to focus on one or two channels that are most important to your main customer groups.
Put together ideal customer profiles, based on your current top clients, and then use those personas to develop a personality for your social media presence. The top social media channels incorporate powerful analytics, and you can also use your website analytics to identify the originating source of incoming traffic to spot which social media channels and specific posts are most likely to result in increased revenue.
3) Search marketing
This is a marketing strategy that focuses on attracting more traffic to your website through search engines. There are two types of search marketing.
The first is through paid advertising. Those are the adverts that come at the top of the search engine page. In the UK this would be primarily through Google search, which commands over 90% of the search market. These pay-per-click adverts can also be placed on websites through Google Ads or similar. The advertising platform, along with your website analytics, will provide a fine-grain analysis of which adverts result in website visitors and sales.
The other type of search marketing is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO aims to promote your business closer to the top of the organic or unpaid search results for keywords or phrases. Key SEO tactics include maintaining your website with fresh and relevant content, gaining ‘votes of approval’ from other credible and related websites by them linking to your content and also a high level of visitors from organic search, email lists and social media.
4) Link your marketing strategies together
Marketing in silos can only go so far. To get the most out of your marketing tactics you will need to join up those different approaches into an overall marketing plan.
Silo-based marketing can be exhausting. You can find yourself chasing your tail to update social media and pay-per-click with different messaging and imagery. Much better to have a coherent posting plan and timetable, which is thought-through and put together in advance.
A good example of a linked-up marketing strategy is customer reviews. You can create a customer review section for each of your products and ask customers to write their honest opinion about that product. You can then share all these reviews on different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and encourage other people who are looking to buy the same product to go through them as well. This will both drive more sales and also spread positive word-of-mouth for your brand.
The bad old days where you just had to through your marketing budget against the wall and hope that some of it would stick are long gone. These days there is no excuse for not knowing which part of your marketing budget directly links to the most revenue. But even then, new technology is continually pushing the level of analysis to finer and better detail. As every good marketer will tell you, getting up-to-date is not a one time deal.