GS Logo
The Green Sheet, Inc

Please Log in

A Thing

Marketing 101: Measuring Your Marketing Efforts

By Nancy Drexler

How successful are your marketing efforts? And how do you know? Is it because you get a lot of phone calls? Did your revenues grow while a certain campaign was running? Are these accurate measures of success?

I would tell you that the success of a marketing campaign is measured by its ability to help you reach pre-defined goals. And that these goals must be set according to a well thought-out plan. And that the best way to prepare a plan is to include the following components:


What's going on in your company and in the marketplace? Can you identify a need for a product or service that is not being met? Can you offer something that meets these needs or something that meets them in a way that is new or different?

Don't skip this step and get caught in a trap like many companies. Don't assume that it's unnecessary because you already know what the background is. Clearly defining the state of the market is always helpful in providing a new look at the industry and where your company fits in exactly.


Once you've found a hole in the marketplace or determined how your product or service can be made to appear superior to others', you can begin to decide what you want to do with that information. First, however, you need to set your objectives.

Do you expect this marketing effort to increase awareness of your company, product or service? Are you attempting to slow down attrition? Boost sales? Be clear about anything and everything you want your marketing investment to accomplish, and be realistic about how much of a difference it can make.

Target Audience

Now that you know what you want or need to do, you have to get as clear as you can about the people who can make that happen for you.

To make marketing viable, your goal is to find common denominators among this audience. For example, are they located in one geographic area? Are they the same height, sex or age? Do they enjoy the same things? What do they have in common?


Your concept is then targeted to the specific needs of your audience. Understanding the needs of your target market is the first and most important step in getting any product or service successfully off the ground.


Once you know whom you want your marketing message to reach, you can easily determine how to reach them. Vehicles such as trade magazines, radio, direct mail and the Internet all offer opportunities to get your word out. (In my next column, I will discuss the different communications channels and the pros and cons of each.)


Once is not enough. Successfully getting your message noticed, attended to and remembered requires repetition. This doesn't mean you have to run the same ad in the same publication for a certain length of time. Sometimes time, money and human resources require you to combine various channels at various times.

Sometimes you need to repeat the same message through a variety of channels at the same time; other times, you will want to spread the initial effort over a longer period of time.

Determining which way to go requires that you put yourself in the headset of your target audience and the way your audience responds to information. It also requires you to be clear about how much you have to invest and what kind of return you need on your investment.


This is self-explanatory. And while this may seem obvious, base your budget on your expected ROI. If the program you are marketing does not yield tremendous financial gain-either in the short- or long-term-then the program does not warrant a tremendous marketing investment.

By the same token, if a new product or service is expected to generate considerable income, then it is wise to invest considerably in making it a success.

How Successful Was Your Marketing Campaign?

You won't know unless you measure it. Which brings us back to where we started. I won't say that it is fruitless to run a marketing campaign you aren't measuring.

But I will say that if you don't measure it, then you aren't really getting your money's worth, and your next campaign will not be as successful as it could and should be. Measurement is easiest when there is a clear response vehicle incorporated into your marketing. Direct mail pieces can have a business return card; ads can have a telephone number or Web site; e-mails can link to a Web site or landing page. When these response vehicles are used, they should be counted.

In other words, everyone who calls in response to a marketing piece should be logged, and this log should indicate what triggered the call.

This record of information can be used in two ways: it can measure which marketing vehicle most effectively reached your audience (print vs. e-mail vs. ads, etc.), and it can measure which products, programs or services generated the greatest response.

It is important to remember that marketing does not end when your ad is placed or your promotion piece is mailed. That is really just the beginning. Interest generated from marketing must be converted to sales. Marketing generates the leads; the rest of the office closes the deal.

So bring everyone on board when you launch a new marketing campaign. Let every employee know what message is going out, what channels are being used to communicate it and what the response vehicle is attached to the message. Prepare a list of anticipated questions and the most appropriate answers, and make sure everyone has a copy.

Plan ahead, measure and follow through on your promises. It's the best way to get the deal done, and the only way to make your marketing investments profitable.

Nancy Drexler is the Marketing Director of Cynergy Data, a merchant acquirer that provides a wide array of electronic payment processing services while continually striving to develop new solutions that meet the needs of its agents and merchants.
In addition to offering credit, debit, EBT and gift card processing, along with check conversion and guarantee programs, the company offers its ISOs the ability to borrow money against its residuals, to have Web sites designed and developed, to provide merchants with free terminals and to benefit from state-of-the-art marketing, technology and business support.
Founded in 1995 by Marcelo Paladini and John Martillo, Cynergy Data strives to be a new kind of acquirer with a unique mission: to constantly explore, understand and develop the products that ISOs and merchants need to be successful and to back it up with honest, reliable, supportive service.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.
Back Next Index © 2004, The Green Sheet, Inc.