4 Top Tips on Monitoring Your Marketing Returns

Spending money on the right type of marketing is always a challenge for small business owners. As a National Account Manager here at Creare, I get to work directly with these business owners and here are some of the questions they often ask me…

‘How do I effectively monitor my return on investment?’

‘What forms of advertising are working the best for me?’

‘I am not marketing savvy and do not understand what I am being shown, where should I start?’

There are many options available in the marketplace that will help you understand what’s working for your business and what’s not. Using this information will help you make the right selection and provide you with the most cost effective marketing options.

Here are the top 4 ‘must haves’ that are currently available to help you understand the quantity and value of enquiries that your marketing investment is bringing you.


 1. A Sales Plan

What is it?

This is not as complicated as it sounds! It will help you visualise what you need to sell and when. You can then plan what marketing activities you need to carry out during the year to help you achieve the targets you have set. It’s often said that ‘Failing to Plan, Is Planning to Fail!’

How Do I Get This?

Have an idea of what you are aiming for in sales and revenue and write it down. Split this up into bite-sized chunks and remember to apply any seasonal trends that are unique to your business. Then make a list of things that you can do to bring sales or increase business and apply these marketing activities to your plan.

Don’t make it hard for yourself; have a look at your competition, make the most of them. What do they do? Also, make use of the internet. Others have written plans that can help you, take a look at some good examples. One thing to remember is if you make a plan, stick to it – even if it is not successful you will learn what not to do in future.


2. Google Analytics

What is it?

This programme is attached to your website and is used to monitor the type, amount and behaviour of visitors to your site. Once you start using this, you will really begin to understand what services your customers are attracted to and you’ll have the ability to monitor the number of visitors to your site. Analytics also gives you a whole host of other useful information including what keywords they have used to find you and how long they stay on your site indicating its usefulness of what you have written about your business.

How Do I Get This?

Google analytics is a free programme. All you need to do is speak to your website provider/developer so they can install this onto your site. It’s easy and quick to do and will really help you understand how your website is working for and, more importantly, if you are spending money on digital marketing, it will reveal how well this is working.


3. In-House Monitoring

What Is It?

Speaking to your customers and asking them how they found you is often missed or not understood by many businesses. Sometimes we are all so busy with our day to day activities that we forget to ask the basics. The benefit of this information is invaluable and you can collect this from customers who are currently using your services.

How Do I Get This?

This can be easy to do. Set up a simple online or manual form to ask some keys questions…

  1. How did you find us? (Remember to ask for the detail of the customers journey)
  2. Why did you choose us rather than another company?
  3. What have you liked about our service?

Remember you don’t have to ask everyone. Often a small sample will provide you with enough information. You will then know how customers are finding you, what made you stand you out from the crowd and what part of your service or products they liked. Then use this information to change or do more of the same!


4. Coupons & Promotional Codes

What is it?

Everybody likes an offer and whilst many people think the offer is all aimed at the customer, they are greatly mistaken. Some of the largest retailers and restaurants such as Tesco’s, Waitrose and Pizza Express use coupons and promotional codes to find out what customers like and to encourage them to be loyal to the brand. On a smaller scale you can do the same. By creating offers, you open yourself up to some great sales opportunities and give yourself access to valuable information about the products and services your customers like.

How Do I Get This?

You can easily set this up yourself by placing a code or coupon in an advert that people can hand in or redeem at point of sale. Online, the opportunities are endless; you can send your own email campaigns with offers through companies such as Constant Contact or you can go to a large company like Groupon or Woucher. Whoever you use you can monitor the success of these campaigns easily as a sale will be a directly attributed to the offer. Always remember to check what percentage of the sale, the company you are using take so you still making the right margins.


Your return on your marketing investment is heavily influenced by how effective your current website is. Is your site working for you? Pop it through our Digital Health Check and see how it fairs…

Happy marketing and monitoring!