When thinking ahead to the future, you’ll want to provision for your past. Later designers or marketing groups you bring in will want to know what promotions you’ve done so far. Alternatively, you might have written some amazing copy back for a mailer in 2010, but can’t find the original document anywhere.
This is where having a binder full of one or two copies of every marketing material you make will be very helpful. Let’s face it, we’re tactile people. Sometimes just flipping through old marketing material will inspire a new idea. Plus there’s no need to file name anything, everything will be visual and easy to find.
If you’re super organized put each one in a sheet protector sleeve for easy removal, and write in sharpie the name and location of the files you made them from. Alternatively you could burn a CD of the year’s marketing stuff and store it in the back of the binder as an archive.
You can take this archiving to the next level by also recording how many leads and customers you got from each promotion. Over time you’ll be able to document if certain types of promotions work better or worse, what’s a great ROI and what is a waste of money. This will be priceless after a few years.
Digital marketing materials such as websites, e-newsletters and videos have lots of free analytics you can tap into. Google Analytics (google.com/analytics) is a fantastic tool for website tracking. It’s free and easy to install into any website. It is very quickly becoming the number one analytics tool out there. With this system installed into your website you can track users, where they’re from, how they found you, how long they stay, which pages they visit the most, what files they download most and so on. Sure, there are other options out there, but I’ve yet to see one with so much ease of use and popularity.
Most e-newsletter companies include analytics as part of their service. Both MailChimp.com and ConstantContact.com are excellent no or low-cost e-newsletter services. They can track how many people you send to, how many open, how many click links in your e-newsletter and so on.
Most video hosting services such as the powerhouse YouTube have built in analytics. You can see how many people viewed your video and even how many people liked or disliked it.
While all these digital recording tools are fantastic and worthy of note, please keep in mind they cannot document the most important two fields of interest: How many leads did you get and how many customers were made from those leads? So keep those recorded as well somewhere, ideally in your binder so everything is in one place.
Marketing is a difficult thing to measure, since it may take several exposures to your marketing before someone buys, however even knowing the tipping point marketing piece will be of help. Thinking along the lines of “What were our results” will sharpen your marketing faster. Plus, you’ll be thanking yourself later when you do your year-end review and plan for next year’s marketing efforts.
You… are going to do an end-year review to set up next year’s marketing plan… right?