If you don’t have a system in place to measure your success, you won’t have any idea if what you’re doing is worth doing again next year. Tracking the effectiveness of your marketing will help you to know what pieces of your plan are working and which ones can be eliminated in the following year.
Tracking your leads is one of the most important parts of any marketing campaign or plan. When a prospect calls your company, you need to know how they heard about you. When your salesperson sets up an appointment, he needs to find out how they heard about your company. When a customer signs a contract, do you know how that customer found you? Gather as much information about them as the prospect will willingly give you. The basic information to collect is: their name, address, phone number(s) – home, business and cell – email address, AND HOW THEY HEARD ABOUT YOUR COMPANY. If a prospect came to you from a customer, find out who that customer is and follow up with the referring customer with a thank you card and little gift.
Keeping a database of prospects and customers is a good way to keep track of the different contacts that you’ve had with each and the originating source of the customer or lead. There are software programs that will let you record all pertinent information on your prospects and customers. ACT! was specifically designed for client tracking and follow-up, or Excel can be used for a simple database from which you can email, track contacts, etc. Record as much information about each prospect as possible. The more you know about your prospects and customers, the better you’ll be able to design your marketing program to attract more of the really great ones.
Tracking the effectiveness of each marketing campaign as well as your overall marketing plan will help you identify those marketing tools and campaigns that were effective so that you can repeat them. At the same time you’ll be able to identify and eliminate any marketing activities that produced very few results.
Remember that the rule of thumb (or 80/20 rule) is that 20% of your marketing techniques will bring in 80% of the results. By tracking the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you’ll be able to target those 20% that are your “big guns” and spend more time and effort on them in future years, therefore getting more “bang for your buck.” Tracking your effectiveness will also help you to target specific marketing activities that for your company and your market turn out to be the “goose that lays the golden egg.”
Generating a huge number of leads doesn’t mean much if very few if any of the leads turn into jobs. The purpose of a good marketing plan is to help you find the specific marketing endeavors that produce the largest number of jobs sold. Once you identify those marketing tactics, you will be able to put more marketing dollars and effort into those areas so that you can increase both the quality and the quantity of your results. Year to year tracking allows progress charting and accurate goal setting, so it’s important to track the changes in profit and loss as well as the number of prospects that come to your company and the number of new customers that you service.