Seventh “M”


What are the results of the marketing campaign, in terms of effectiveness and sales.

Effectiveness: “do people like it, do they remember it, understand it?”1

Sales: are more people calling, coming in, buying?

Below are some ideas that can be used to track effectiveness and/or sales. Try them out and see what works best for your business.


Internet billboardOne of the advantages of using digital marketing is that it’s fairly easy to track. With online ad metrics, Google analytics, trackable emails, immediate feedback from text marketing, etc. you can see how many clicks ads are getting, how many people are responding, traffic generated to websites, how many new ‘likes’ are acquired on Facebook, etc.

Options for digital marketing vary widely, and include everything from website landing pages, to Google and Facebook ads, to geo-fencing. The last of these examples, geo-fencing, uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to trigger a response when someone with a smart phone enters the “fenced” area. For example, if you want to market a sports bar, you may choose to geo-fence local stadiums or sporting goods stores. Or, other sports bars. When people with smart phones go to these venues, they’ll be sent a coupon, or will be served ads online in their browsers (the response will depend on what you choose) about the sports bar. Obviously there are benefits to being able to track how many people see your ad or coupon—and take action.

Family watching television/tv and using laptop and tabletDigital marketing is fairly inexpensive but highly competitive, and research shows that more traditional forms of media are still out-performing most digital in earning customers’ trust and action.2

Although branded websites and online consumer opinions come up highest on the list of types of advertising that people trust, Television is a strong contender in the trust category, and is third—behind recommendations and online consumer opinions—when it comes to taking action on an ad. So, how do you measure the effectiveness of traditional media?

Here are some possibilities:

  • Set up a phone number (800#) that’s unique to each media that you’re using. Then count the calls coming into that number, and document the results of the calls.
  • Use a unique landing page url for each media, and track how many people go to that page A landing page is a page that’s part of the company website but that most often is not part of the main navigation. The person coming to the site would type in the page’s website address, which is listed in the ad, whether it’s TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail, etc.
  • Every time someone new calls or comes in, ask them how they heard about you. Train employees to ask and have a tracking system set up that they can easily use, even something as simple as a notebook and a pen. Or, set up an excel sheet on a computer.
  • Use coupons that people can bring in for a special offer.
  • Use a code on TV and Radio that people can mention for a special offer.

There are many ways to track offline media advertising. Remember McDonald’s campaign for the Big Mac? “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun.”3 Why not develop your own slogan or jingle that customers can recite or sing to get a deal, or something free? Be creative, make it fun, and you’ll build excitement with your new tracking tool! [check out an original version of the Big Mac slogan from the ’70s, and a more current from 2013]

Hotline red telephone

And, measure sales. Track phone calls, contacts, inquiries and purchases before a campaign, during, and after. Many times, people don’t take action until late in a campaign or after it’s done. They need to hear or see it several times to become familiar with it, trust it, and remember it. These numbers will give you a good picture of whether it’s working.

One more thing: Advertising and marketing take resources. It can take money, time, know-how, or a combination of all three. Look at what your budget will allow. It can be a tough decision to make, and you may wonder, can we afford it? Put down the numbers. Compare what’s happening now in sales to where you want to be. Then ask, can we afford not to advertise?