An old lathe sitting around your shop, not producing any parts and not contributing to your operation — it's a no-brainer that you'll soon get rid of it. It's more than likely "earned its keep" in production, but it's not helping anyone by gathering dust.
How can you know that you did get your money's worth out of that lathe? You may keep meticulous records of part runs for each machine you own, or you may have purchased it expecting a certain number of years or hours of operation. Either way, you have some idea of its value — the return on your investment. With marketing metrics, it's not as intuitive to gauge that ROI (return on investment), but an abundance of tracking tools, analytics, and data make the information more readily available — and digestible — than ever. Metrics tell you how effective your marketing has been — and a bit of "reverse engineering" will help you keep the numbers climbing.
Your Website: Tools like Google Analytics and Web Traxs not only measure how many visitors come to your site – they show how people use it, and in turn, what the most effective areas are. You can also see how people arrive at your page – whether directly, through a Google search, through social media, or elsewhere. You can use these stats to fine-tune your website and SEO strategies moving forward.
Your Email Marketing: Open rates, clicks, and other conversion action metrics allow to you see what works and what doesn't, and play to your strengths in future campaigns. Remember: it's important with any measurement to know the industry benchmarks. Depending on the size of your list, 30% might be an average open rate, but sometimes even just 10% can be called successful.
Your Social Media: Social media has a reputation as a difficult marketing tactic to measure – but it's not impossible. Think of it as one piece in your overall marketing puzzle. Car dealerships don't really know how many customers they gain from those giant interstate billboards, but that doesn't stop them from putting them up – they contribute to overall awareness.
With social media, you do know how many people you're directly connected to. You can also use other data to tailor your messaging. Much like that old lathe where you had an expectation of, say, 80,000 hours of operation, with Twitter you know you have access to an audience of over 100 million active users, and LinkedIn is proven to be most effective for lead generation. Learning the ideal usage and expectations of each channel will help you maximize your results.
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