When it comes to trying new marketing initiatives, are you the type to just throw things against the wall to see what sticks, or do you lay out plan with goals to test against?
Given the time and resource crunch most small businesses are under, one might think the seeing-what-sticks approach would be most effective since a nimble operation like yours can fly by the seat of its pants, but I argue that planning and testing with a purpose are much more likely to have a greater positive impact on your bottom line. As you contemplate the new marketing initiatives you’d like to tackle in the coming months, come up with a plan for how you’ll test your ideas and measure their success.
The latter part can be a bit tricky, particularly if what you’re trying to do is build brand awareness, but it can be done. If you’re starting a Facebook Page, set a realistic goal for the number of fans you’d like to have. If you’re trying some new types of content in your email campaigns, include strong calls to action and links for each one, then measure the of click-through rate. You’re not going hit 100%, but if your click-throughs are over 20%, you’re doing well.
No matter what the plan, the key is to know what you’re trying to achieve and have solid ways of testing and measuring the initiative’s results.