marketing tactics

How Do I Know If My Marketing Is Working?


Gone are the old days of marketing when you implemented a kicking campaign and all you could gleam from it was that it was seen by “X” amount of people or that you had “X” amount of households who received the flyer, the direct mail piece, or the printed publication.

Today, marketing tactics bring with them a whole new world of high tech tools and analytics giving you the ability to track your return on investment (ROI) on almost every tactic you employ.  Specifically, online marketing tactics have been created with built-in metrics that help you, the business owner, better understand and track the results of your marketing activities.

Despite the fact that all of this information is at our marketing fingertips, many business owners simply do not know what is available, how to access it and, more importantly, have the time to learn all of the analytical software and analyze the results.  Unfortunately, there is no universal software that tracks all of your online marketing activities. You, your staff or your agency needs to track campaigns across various mediums using several software solutions and to do this, it requires time and a thorough understanding of what you are looking for and what that tool can do for you.

There are several marketing tactics including phone marketing, QR codes, and webkeys, but I have outlined below what have become the most popular and easily measurable tools of the online marketing field today.

  1. Website tracking: Google Analytics is by far the most powerful tool for measuring website traffic. In addition to tracking referral sites, viewed pages, and basic site stats, you can also see mobile usage and page flow, track landing page and Google Ad campaigns.
  2. Google Ads: These can be tracked directly from the dashboard of Google AdWords’s website. They will tell you what words are being indexed, how many impressions, which ads appear on the first page and how much it will cost for you to bid that keyword appear on the first page.
  3. Social Media: Finally, you can actually track your social media site stats. Though nowhere as comprehensive as Google Analytics, the main sites (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) will give you a good idea as to how often people visit your site, basic demographics, how often your posts are “liked” and what reach you are obtaining with your posts.  The information, though not rich, allows you to see trends that may lead to changing up your style or approach or any future campaigns.
  4. Word Press: Using Word Press for your site or blog is a great way to track analytics.  Much like the social media sites, Word Press can give you basic info on what posts people are reading on which day and the number of followers you are picking up. This information will help you to again, look at trends and change or modify your campaigns.
  5. E-blasts: No matter what external service or software you use for eblasts, they all have extensive analytics which help you determine how many of your emails were opened, rejected, clicked on and therefore how many resulted in a lead or conversion.

Bottom line, your marketing agency or department/person needs to be accountable to you for your marketing budget.  It is your business and you need to be in control of or aware of how your marketing dollars are being spent and what your return is for your marketing investments.

Are you tracking your marketing efforts?  Do you have the tools in place and the people who understand how to track and analyze your results? If not, why not? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.


If This Isn’t Marketing, Then What Is?

I often come across small business owners who have spent their hard-earned money on ad-hoc advertising tactics, off-shore website designers, local printers and, more recently, SEO specialists and YouTube-focused video production companies. However, they find that these efforts yield little to no return on their advertising investments. These failures have left many small business owners feeling discouraged about investing in further marketing, as they think that marketing as a whole simply “doesn’t work”.

As the owner of a marketing agency targeting small- and medium-sized businesses, I want to set the record straight: Marketing is not about how pretty it looks, or how cool it is – it’s about how effective it is. Marketing tools will have limited effects when developed without a clear purpose. However, when developed to support a marketing strategy, marketing tools can generate qualified leads, and thereby increase your results.


In this blog, I’d like to advise you of a number of marketing tool suppliers that are often confused with actual marketers. If you are able to identify what results you can expect to get from these types of suppliers, the outcomes of any efforts undertaken with these individuals/companies will be easier to comprehend.

1. Printers.

As their name states, printers only know how to print marketing materials. They do not develop marketing strategies.  Although some may offer web and logo design, or know how to layout your business cards and letterhead, this does not make them a marketer.  Printing is nothing more than an advertising tactic.

2. Web designers

Web designers are individuals who can design a website, and will advise you on what makes the most sense to feature on your site from a navigational or flow perspective. They might know what looks best, and might even share with you some best practices of site design, but, typically, they are not marketers. Like print, web design is a marketing tactic or tool.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists can help you to increase the chances of your site being located online, through search engines such as Google and Bing.  Although I believe that SEO is one of the most important marketing tools available today, it is nothing more than a tool that should be used to support marketing strategies.

4. Social media specialists

Social media specialists are amazing at getting your brand out there, and keeping you relevant to your customers through social media strategies and implementation. This does not necessarily mean that they are marketers.  Social media is a marketing tactic that should follow a strategy, and it should be aligned with your overarching marketing strategy.

5. Online marketing

Although the word “marketing” is in the name, online marketing is, again, a tactic that needs to be identified and aligned with your marketing strategy. Many companies offer a proprietary online marketing tool “guaranteed to increase your sales”. This needs to be considered as part of a marketing strategy.

6. Video marketing

Video marketing is undoubtedly a marketing tactic.  Frequently, video marketing is provided by video production companies – individuals who can shoot and edit video, who lack a marketing background. As well, some marketing companies with no background in video often claim to provide these services.  Professional video requires expertise in the field, and if used for marketing purposes, also requires alignment with your marketing strategy in order to be successful.

If you only take away one point from this blog, let it be that marketing requires a strategy. Every vendor that you hire should be asking to see how their marketing tool aligns with your overall marketing plan, increases ROI, and will be measured against your marketing strategy.

Do you have any questions about the difference between marketing tools and marketing strategies? Do you have any other marketing-related questions for me? Please share your questions and comments below.