Ten measurements to tell if your marketing is working 


Are you sick of never knowing if your marketing is actually working or not? And it if is working, how is it plugging into your business to help you achieve your overall business goals?

When it comes to marketing, the last thing you want to do is waste your hard-earned time and money on marketing that does not work. You want to know if you are going to invest in your marketing, that it’s going to provide a return, right?

And the best way to get this certainty is to measure your marketing. I have been doing this for years on behalf of my small business clients and know exactly which measurements can tell you if your marketing is working or not.

So, in this episode, I share my list of ten of the most common small business marketing measurements that you can track in order to tell if your marketing is working or not.

If you’d like to work with me directly to find out how you can implement my small business marketing framework to drive successful results for your business, check out our How to do Marketing Academy Mastermind.


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Episode Transcript

Jane Hillsdon:

Hello. And welcome back to a, another episode in season three which we share everything under the kimono. And we talk about how we do this. And today we're actually going to tackle measurement. Now I’ve tackled the topic of measurement in previous episodes. And if anyone consumes much of my content, you you'll know that I do love me a bit of measurement. And this is because I really want to understand if any of the marketing that, that I'm investing in or my clients are investing in is actually working. And as a small business owner, I'm pretty sure that you'd want the confidence that every dollar that you spend provides you with some level of a return on investment, because you don't have the time or the money to waste on ineffective marketing, that doesn't help you to move closer towards your business goal.

Marketing for your small business should absolutely be an investment, not a cost. Now ill-considered marketing that is not led by a sound strategy, may be a cost, however well-directed and carefully executed marketing is an investment into the growth and sustainability of your business and your brand. And when marketing is driven by business objectives and goals, which are set out in a simple marketing strategy, well, then you can actually really, really easily place a measurement framework into place. So to, to tell if your achieving those outcomes. Okay. So there's many, many measurements that we can that we can actually measure depending on your business, depending on your objectives, depending on your customer and the channels and all that sort of stuff. That's the stuff that we would, we would set out in the strategy that will depend on, on what we measure. Now. One thing to, to know, for sure, regardless of what you're measuring regular marketing measurement is a must.

If you want to know if your marketing is working or not. Now, it's also really important how to understand how to optimize your marketing. And, and if you want to understand the return that you're gaining from your marketing measurement, but the marketing measurement needs to be simple because you guys are busy, everybody's busy, so we don't need to create another long to-do list or a complicated job to add into our days. We just want something really simple and easy. And we need to be able to, to ensure that we can kind of grab that quickly, but we also need to make sure that it's revealing enough to make, to help you make better decisions about your marketing efforts and it's, and it's really important to make sure that we're measuring the effectiveness of your marketing for each stage of the marketing ecosystem.

So, marketing ecosystem again, is we want to drive awareness. Initially, people can't buy from you. They can't do anything with you unless they know about you. So first and foremost, we're setting goals around awareness and how are we going to make sure enough people know about you? And so we're going to measure that, then we're looking at how we actually going to measure if we're getting people interested. And if people are actually considering us as an option, how are we going to measure the leads and the sales that we make? And then how are we going to measure the repeat sales that we gain and how are we actually going to measure brand advocacy? Because whilst we're on the topic of measurement and whilst a lot of digital marketing attribution software, and digital marketing measurements, full-stop, they're generally measure short-term or immediate results, but we know that if you, if you want to actually build a sustainable brand and the sustainable business branding and building a really solid brand is a big part of that.

So, so we don't just want to focus on driving short-term results. We want to focus on building a brand and some of the longer term effects as well, because if we bring it down to numbers if you build a really solid, reputable brand, you can actually decrease the cost of acquisition of customers. So if people know about your brand and your brand has a reputation, when you show up with short-term campaigns or, or campaigns that are, that are, you know, have the objective of driving sales or short-term kind of results, your brand's done a lot of the hard work for you. If you've actually made sure that you've built that, that brand and that reputation. So we need to make sure that we're measuring that along the way as well. Now I've put together a list of 10 really common measurements that we use for the majority of our clients.

But again, I'll just add the caveat that, that, depending on, on your business and your customer and your situation and your priorities, these might, these might differ, or we might add additional ones in, or some might not be relevant, but these are the general ones that we basically include on most of our small business measurement reports. So 10 measurements that will help you to decipher whether your marketing is working or not get ready, get a pen, because I'm going to tell you the measurement. Then I'm actually going to tell you the goal that it's measuring. I've got to tell you why we measure that. And then I'm going to tell you where we find that measurement. So grab a pen, because this will be really, really useful for you. If you are a small business owner who wants to know if your marketing's working, okay, measurement, number one, we're going to look at reach or impressions.

So, it's reported differently. And, and both of those metrics are reported in some social media channels. They're, they're very similar. So just grab whatever you can or whatever your digital channel is offering. But what this is effect, what if this measurement is actually measuring is awareness. So, as I said before, people, if people don't know about your business, they sure as heck can't buy from your business. So if your business priority is to get more new customers to increase revenue, then one of your marketing goals will be to increase the awareness of your business and your brand. Now where do you find this? Well, depending on what digital channels you're using, but it will often be in your social media insights. It's generally social media that we're taking this measurement from, but also if you're publishing digital ads online the they'll also provide you with that.

They'll generally provide you with that metric in impressions. So it's the amount of eyeballs that have seen your, your brand or your ad pop up in their news feed or on their, you know, on their work, on Google or on the website that they're actually reading. And, you know, one of the digital banner ads is displayed. So it's counting how many people have seen your brand and how often measurement, number two, we're going to look at Google, my business views. And again, this is measuring awareness. So Google places, a lot of importance on the Google, my business page on this little piece of search engine real estate so much so that if someone's actually searching for something that you sell via Google on their mobile, your Google, my business listing will likely be the first and possibly the only listing that they see.

So, you do Google my business page. It's separate to your website. It's a separate piece of real estate to your website. You would access it through your Google account. So the same account that you would use to access your Google analytics where you would use to, to, to access your Google my business page. And you can go to the insights tab on your Google, my business page to see all sorts of activities. But in this case, we're looking at views. And can I tell you, we, we monitor Google, my business views and website hits for so many businesses. And can I tell you the amount of Google, my business page views that businesses get compared to their website in a month is astronomical. Like it can be 10 times, you know, 20 times sometimes. So don't underestimate the importance of that piece of real estate on Google.

Measurement number three is we're going to look at social media engagement. Now, again, depending on what channel that you are on, this is where, so this is engagement. So we're not measuring how many people saw your content. We're measuring how many people liked clicked, hollered over or commented or shared on your, your content. So once people have actually seen enough of your marketing to actually know who you are and what you do, the next step they will want to take is to find out a little bit more about you. So they're not quite ready to buy. However, they would like to find out more about you. So, and just see how you might be able to solve a problem of theirs. So this is when they start, you know, reading your posts in a little bit more detail, clicking through to your website, to read, you know, the blog posts that you've posted or a page on your website, or if you're selling a product to go and check out the product, check out more photos, see how much it is or whatever the case is.

So, we're measuring engagement with clicks, likes comments, and shares, and shares. And that's generally measured as engagement on most social media channels. And you'll also find this in your social media insights measurement. Number four is your email software reports. Now I've snuck a couple of different measurements under this one measurement. And again, what we're measuring here is interest and consideration. So if they're on your email list, chances are they've ever purchased. They've either purchased with you for before or they've signed up for something. So that's like serious engagement. If they've signed up to you, they're showing a pretty strong tendency to, towards being relevant for your business. So your email measurements can tell if people are interested in what you have to offer and you can do this by measuring how many people open your email unsubscribe from your email or click on the contextual links that you've included in your email copy.

So, you might've included links through to product pages on your websites or blog pages on your websites or about us page on your, or perhaps other channels or, or other things that you publish. So, you can track a lot of that at the moment with, with email now the iOS 14 updates are rolled out by apple is a separate episode altogether. And that's going to, to affect the way that we read data from these sorts of situations, both, both on social media, as well as, as email. But for now you can check all of that information. You do need to have emails, software reports that generate this. So, so I'm not talking about sending these emails out from your outlook or your Gmail account or whatever you use for your business. You've actually got to use something like MailChimp, and that's what we use a lot of the time to send these marketing emails and they provide these marketing reports seriously at the click of a button.

It's amazing the detail that they can provide for measurement. Number five, we're going to go over to the website now, and we're going to look at how many clicks you've had on your website. How many users have come and visited your website? And we generally, well, we measure all of this on a monthly basis, including this. So this is measuring your consideration and even your leads. So if someone's clicked onto your website, there's, that's a pretty strong indication that they're interested in what you have to sell. If one of our marketing objectives is to increase the number of customers and the number of people visiting your website will be a key indicator if we're actually heading in that direction. So how many people are visiting your website month on month is actually reported as users. And they kind of changed this term quite a bit, but it's, it's on the main dashboard in your Google analytics.

Now, if you haven't got Google analytics set up with your website, please make that the next action that you do after listening to this podcast, it's free. Your website developer can set this up for you, or if you're particularly tech savvy, you might be able to set it up yourself. It takes a couple of seconds. And the, the insight that you'll get from this is invaluable. Just seeing how many people visit your website each month is like just the tip of a very big iceberg. So, so but that's, yeah, we, we definitely want to track that on a monthly basis, measurement, number six, we're going to measure how many phone calls or emails or website inquiries that we get and, or it could even be if you're an e-commerce product, how many people are clicking on your product pages, you know, almost ready to purchase.

So, we're measuring leads here. So these are people who are really like hot in terms of getting, getting organized and getting ready to, to purchase it. You know, they're picking up the phone, they're sending an email to find out more, who knows, depending on how much marketing and information and how, how well your website communicates what you sell and takes them on the journey. They might even be like super ready to buy. And all they just want to do is, is make, you know, actually make the sale happen. So this is a really key metric to track in your marketing measurement. And it's, as I said, it's someone who's gained enough interest in your business by your awareness and consideration tactics to actually get in contact with you, to find out more or come and click on the product page. So we're going to measure this by inquiries.

So, so sometimes we can lose this when we're not like we're, we're not offering end to end digital solutions where we can track the whole thing. Sometimes we might have all the marketing out there and then the website's kind of the last point that they'll get to, and then they'll, you know, pick up the phone or, or they might just send an email or inquiry, but then it's up to one of our team to make the sale. So that's particularly the case with professional services. So it's really important to put some sort of measurement in place to be able to track these because this, like, this is like one of the biggest indicators as to whether your marketing is working now, most, most small business owners, I work with a happy just to know that, you know, if there's that consistent flow of leads, like they're getting phone calls every week.

There, you know, I had one financial planner, client who used to just say my you know, when, when we'd started marketing with them, I know what's working because my meeting rooms are always booked. Like I cannot get a meeting room at the moment. So sometimes it might just be a gut-feel if it's, if it's a little bit hard to actually measure those in a, in a systematic way, but best practices to measure them in a systematic way, if you can, because then we can really understand how to optimize that. You know, so how many leads are we getting? How many leads are we getting in this period of a year of this season of a year versus other seasons of a year, you know, it actually gives us data to go back and reflect upon to plan for, and it also helps us with the next measurement to put the next measurement in context.

So, measurement number seven is sales, but this is what we're in business for most of us now, unless we're kind of not-for-profit or, or a government organization that's, that's sharing information or whatever, but most of the small businesses that we work with want to make sales. So we've got to measure that doorway, and we've got to measure that in the context of, of the marketing. So there's, there's really not a lot of explanation needed as to why we measure this. But the key consideration here is to measure how many leads that you're getting compared to how many people are then converting to a sale. So the measurement here really is leads versus sale. Now this is going to differ depending on how much, how long the purchase cycle, et cetera, is in your soul, in your organization. So the nuances of that will need to be considered.

But I guess the point I'm trying to make here is if you all have the same, say for example, you've got a product page on your website and you sell a product online and you're getting 10,000 people click on that product page a month and you're making one sale like that to me is like, okay, so we're generating the leads, but we're not generating the sale. I know exactly where we need to go and optimize there. So we need to start having a look at, well, what's the product, what's the price, because something on this product page is turning them off. Maybe it's the page itself. Maybe the page is not optimized to convert a sale. Similarly, if you're like a professional service business or, or like, I don't know, a restaurant or a cafe, and you're getting a whole bunch of people ringing up it's probably more relevant to the professional services, but you're getting a whole bunch of people kind of ringing up and inquiring, but no one actually buying or people kind of making that first initial consultant.

But then they're not at like making that first initial appointment, but not actually then doing business with you. You've got to start looking at why. So why, why is our marketing working to get them to the door? But for some reason we're not converting them, like, do we actually need to implement some sales training for our staff? Is there, yeah, is there something that's not right with the product or the price? Is there something that's not right with the process? You know, are they experiencing a really unfriendly customer service person when they, when they pick up the phone, you know, they've, they've had this great experience with the marketing. And then when it actually gets to speaking to someone, they speak to someone who's really rude or intimidating or whatever the case may be. So we can start to go, oh, okay. How do we optimize this?

And make sure that that doesn't become a bottleneck or real deterrent for customers to come and buy from us measurement. Number eight is looking at a big measurement, and this is the customer lifetime value of our clients. So this we're measuring repeat sales and we measure repeat transactions to gauge how much a customer is actually worth to your business, because generally it's more than the initial transaction. So, if you are going to do marketing right, once your customer purchases once, well, hopefully they'll keep coming back for more. And it's much cheaper to acquire a repeat sale than it is a new one. So again, depending on what your business is, this might be by, you know, your sales data or a customer relationship management system that tracks that data measurement number nine is reviews, and this is measuring brand advocacy. So your online reviews are huge, a hugely important touch point for your business and abundance of positive reviews can help to convert interested, leads to sales by providing confidence and assurance to your prospective customer, no reviews or a bunch of negative reviews might actually have the opposite effect.

So, measure these, keep an eye on these. Don't, don't be ignorant to what's being said about your business online because your customers are looking at that. So look at your Google, my business page. What, what kind of reviews and how often, and how many reviews are being added to your Google, my business page. What about your Facebook page? If you're in the hospitality industry, you'll be looking at your TripAdvisor profile to look and monitor these reviews. And then some businesses will actually have online review plugins that you can actually plug into your website. And hopefully if you've gone to the effort of doing that, you're actually going to be measuring those as, as well, because that's what people on your website will be looking at measurement. Number 10 is your net promoter score. And this is measuring brand advocacy as well. So a net promoter score is a score that is used to gauge your business's current customer loyalty and customer satisfaction.

And it's a terrific way to gauge if you're creating raving fans or brand advocates of your business. So an NPS score is calculated by asking a sample of customers, how likely they would be to recommend your business to others. It's a standard question. It's an internationally recognized score. Google it, if you want to find out more information about how you can measure that way. We put that in customer surveys when we do our customer research for our marketing planning, we'll often include that question as well. Some people will actually have that question that we'll shoot off to their customers every time they buy from them. You know, you might've answered that yourself. You know, how on a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague that's a company tracking your tracking, their net promoter score? So yeah, there's 10 marketing measurements that we will include for the majority of our clients. And as I said, there's certainly a lot more that we measure as well, depending on the objectives and the goals of each client. But those are certainly 10 that that are going to be likely to be highly relevant to you.