How to Avoid Wasting Marketing Dollars

Every successful business person is a marketer and a salesperson first. If you want to be successful, you should consider that as your primary organizing principle. If you want to thrive, rather than just survive, then your primary focus needs to be on generating business and leads—and then opening those relationships.

  • Are your marketing dollars working for you? How do you know?

One of the biggest mistakes a small businessperson can make is not being able to track their marketing dollars. That ad you placed—did it get any response or not? How do you know? That yellow page placement-is it increasing your business traffic? How do you know? Are your dollars well placed with the print advertising, TV spots, radio, or other form? How can you know? Did it even pay for itself? The key words you purchased on google or yahoo search—are they effective? Are they garnering traffic?

That person you are paying 10$ an hour to stand on a street corner and pass out fliers—are they even asking any questions, or just silently trying to thrust the paper into people’s hands to get rid of the fliers--bacause, you know, you pay them for how many they pass out, not how many leads you get from it.

What are you paying per lead generated with these methods? How do you track the efficacy of your advertisement and marketing and therefore make informed choices as to whether or not your dollars are well placed?

There are several ways:

  • Place a landing page.
    • In the age of the internet, you simply MUST have a “landing page”. A landing page is a web page accessible to only those who would have seen a specific marketing piece. An example would be: http://YOURDOMAIN.com/magazine-name-where-the-ad-is-placed.html and the like. In this way, you can look at the referral logs of your web traffic counter and see just how many hits and clicks you are getting as a result of a specific ad placement or marketing prong.
      • Site Meter is a good one, as is Google Analytics, and if you are running google adwords campaigns, you may want to have all of those resources in one place
    • You can also set up a specific toll-free number to take messages specific to that marketing piece
  • Test your ad copy. Just because you did not get as much response as you would have liked does not mean the venue in which you placed the ad is ineffective. It may be your ad copy, or often more importantly—the headline of the ad—that could be more effective.
  • Use a tracking code. If you have someone handing out fliers, put some sort of tracking code on the flier so you can use that number, or landing page, or phone number to track your dollars to leads ratio.

The worst example I have recently seen of wasted marketing dollars was for a chiropractic clinic. They had people handing out fliers—but you would never have known what it was for. The flier distributor was standing on a busy financial district street corner—a location where there were probably plenty of prospects who could use an adjustment. However the person hired to hand the fliers out was simply attempting to thrust them into people’s hands. No engagement. No rapport. No questions or offers. No return on invested marketing dollars.

How much were they being paid by the clinic? How much more effective could those marketing dollars have been if they simply asked: “would you like to relieve your stress more effectively?” or some variant, and ONLY hand the fliers to those who said yes. How many people who needed the service walked on by because they simply did not want an unknown piece of pink paper in their hands?

We will never know—and neither will the clinic that hired them. What we do know is that there were plenty of wasted marketing dollars in that marketing endeavor.

Be sure to avoid their mistakes. Stop flushing your marketing dollars down the toilet. Begin now by following the simple steps above to make the most of your marketing dollars.

Another huge mistake people make is marketing to themselves. What would motivate them is often not what would motivate their target market or their ideal clientele. Buut that is another article for another time.

In Service,

Jason

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