SAN FRANCISCO — Without tracking a marketing promotion’s results, a business has no way of knowing what is working — and what isn’t working. In part 1, I discussed what to look for in discounting campaigns, and I’ll follow up by looking at other types of promotions that might connect well with your customer base and how best to judge their effectiveness. 

REGULAR-PRICE PRODUCT PROMOTIONS

The results can be obtained through your point of sale (POS) system by measuring:

  1. Sales on the promoted item
  2. The total sales increase over the comparable period
  3. The number of customer touch points
  4. Customer actions and feedback

The results may be more subtle and require a more nuanced analysis.

BRAND IMAGE CAMPAIGNS

Again, your POS system will provide the primary measurement relying on:

  1. The total sales increase over the comparable period
  2. Future period sales trends
  3. The number of customer touch points
  4. Customer actions and feedback
  5. Formalized surveys
  6. Customer engagement

In all types of promotions, there are internet tools that can be utilized to aid in results measurement and effectiveness impact. Most media sites provide their own analysis tools. There are measurement tools that compare the results from various sites and campaigns via a set of master reports. SproutSocial.com and Hootsuite.com are examples of sites that provide this service.

REFINE THE MESSAGE(S) AND TIMING

The test is a chance to learn about responses but also to get feedback about tweaks that can improve the campaign. The results may show that the message was good but could have been better.

Don’t abandon it if all that is needed is a clarifying refinement such as:

  • a timing shift
  • a copy tweak
  • an added entertainment component
  • an attention-grabbing graphic

For example, if you tested “run of station” (a broadcast formula that spreads your announcements into all parts of the day, including late-night and overnight), isolate results as much as possible by the times and shows when the ads ran and then duplicate only the successful time and show spots. They will be more expensive, but fewer will be needed to reach your target audience. You might find that midway through the nightly news works well for one customer segment or that the intro to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert works best for another.

A successful playful approach on one product can translate to another product that uses a more sober approach.

Tone and timing that worked well on Facebook may need to shift for LinkedIn.

Both broadcast and social media analytics tools can help with refinements.

ROLL OUT FULL MARKET CAMPAIGN

Once any enhancing refinements have been made as a result of the test marketing, place the campaign for the full rollout in the formats and channels that proved to be most effective.

You may find that your budget needs reallocation or adjustment (up or down) based on the impact of various media channels on the results.

REVIEW, REFINE, DOCUMENT AND REPEAT

Promotional efforts should be reviewed during and at the end of the effort and rated for success, no matter what initiative is tried. Hard data about results should be recorded as well as relevant observations, recommended refinements, and historical and anecdotal notes for use in future planning.

Remember: Marketing is an art that can always be enhanced with scientific analysis, tracking and refinement. It is serious business and should not be left to chance. Make it a planning and budgeting priority and your business will reap significant rewards by rising above your competition.

To read Part 1, go HERE