Today I’m kicking off “Marketing Mondays Q&A!” It’s basically a weekly “column” we’ll run on this blog to allow readers to ask marketing related questions and get answers. To get things rolling, I’ve snagged a question from Riley Snow on Facebook. The question and my answer are below. If you have a question for next week, please ask it in the comments below. I’ll answer all questions by email (or in the comments) and one each week will be chosen for the Marketing Mondays post.
“What’s the best/most effective way to solicit client feedback? I want to better target my marketing, but have a hard time getting client feedback to know what is working and what isn’t. I only seem to hear things when the client (or potential client) isn’t happy, not when they are. Thanks for any insight!”
Riley, this is a great question and one that haunts many business owners. It’s what leads to famous quotes like, “Half my advertising is wasted… I just don’t know which half.”
I’d like to dissect your question a bit. First, you asked “What’s the most effective way to solicit client feedback?” I’m going to assume that you want feedback about what is working and what isn’t working in your marketing. If that’s the case, then soliciting client feedback is not the place I would start. It’s a valid place to get interesting info, but in today’s world, you can track marketing effectiveness in much better ways. Let’s break those down into online & offline groups:
Online Marketing Tracking
On the internet, everything is easily trackable. Here are a few ways to track your marketing effectiveness.
- Google Analytics – The standard in measuring website performance, Google Analytics, is a free website tracking tool. It will give you great insight into where you traffic is coming from, what they’re searching on to get to you, what pages they’re entering your site on, and from which pages they’re leaving. Included is a tool called Google Website Optimizer that allows you to automatically split test marketing messages on your website. This will give you quick information on the effectiveness of different messaging, different images, different calls to action, etc.
- Ad Tracking – If you’re advertising on the web, most advertising platforms (Facebook, Google Adwords, etc) give you the ability to track impressions, clicks, and conversions. This is another easy way to test different messages against each other to know what works. You can easily and quickly determine which ads grab the most attention (click through rate) and which ads are the most effective (conversion rate).
- CRM – If you’re working with more than a handful of prospects & customers, you’ll want to keep track of those customers in a CRM (customer relationship management) system – that’s just a fancy term for a customer database. In your database you should keep track of how each lead go to you and which campaign messages they were exposed to. That way you can compare and contrast your lead sources and your campaign messages. A system like Infusionsoft will do this for you.
Offline Marketing Tracking
- Campaign Specific Phone Numbers – Offline marketing campaigns tend to be a bit more difficult to track, but new technologies have evolved in most areas to provide good tracking capabilities. There are services that allow you to give a different toll-free number with each ad campaign. Then the services provide reports on which number was called the most. You can also tell which number each lead called in on so you can track in your CRM solution.
- Promo Codes – Promo codes are another way to track campaigns. Use a different promo code for each campaign and be sure to ask for the promo code when you get responses to the ads. Be sure to record the promo code in your CRM system so you can run reports on each campaign.
- Direct Mail – With direct mail campaigns, you can employ either of the above suggestions or drive people to specific landing pages on your website where you can record the responses to your campaigns and track them against each other. Today, domains can be had for about the price of a car wash that you can point to different landing pages for tracking purposes.
There is much more you can do to track your marketing effectiveness. The key is to start with the one or two things that are easiest to implement and will provide you with the most relevant data. Once you have that you can continue to ad-tracking features and get more sophisticated in what you’re measuring.
Lastly, you can garner great additional feedback by polling customers or calling them and interviewing them. That data should be viewed through the lens of the data that you’ve already collected.
Riley, thanks for a great question to kick this off.
If you have a question for next week, please ask it in the comments below or post it on our Facebook Wall!