“Measure twice, and cut once.” This rule of thumb was developed long ago by carpenters who observed that you can only cut a piece of wood one time. With internet marketing, the process of seeking new customers is similar to the carpenter who cuts a lot of wood, we want to measure, measure, measure. Our efforts to grow our business should not be a “shot in the dark,” rather it should be a series of processes that have measured and proven results.
A super benefit of moving a business’s marketing efforts to the internet is the host of free tools and processes which you can utilize to get a better understanding of the early interactions with prospective customers. Imagine knowing that for every dollar spent running a specific marketing action you would yield ten dollars of company profit.
In the past, it was just too difficult to accurately judge the results of a specific marketing plan. The process of acquiring a customer moved through so many immeasurable actions that marketing managers only had a general “feel” for what was effective. By moving these processes to the internet though, everything can be measured. Lead source analysis has never been so easily monitored and recorded, and the world of marketing management is undergoing a great new change.
A great way to start your company’s metamorphosis is install and monitor a system such as Google Analytics. Tools like this help you determine the effectiveness of an internet marketing plan by providing feedback about the visitors and visits to your company website. A technical consultant might be required when it comes to the implementation stage, but it would be unwise to “outsource” the understanding of how this tool shows a cause and effect relationship between your visitors and your sales statistics.
Real Marketing Metrics
Sales and marketing managers have always sought to get simple, accurate reports delivered to them so that the results could be used to guide future actions. It is imperative to start your internet marketing plan with this end in mind, so that you first build the reporting structures that you want, then you build the web sites and tools that will deliver these management dreams come true.
Imagine this scenario, and you will understand the importance of starting with metrics in mind:
You know that every time you spend $100 in your internet advertising campaign, you will receive 300 visitors to your site, of which 13 will ultimately buy your products which result in $800 of gross profit. If this were true, would you ramp-up your advertising until you hit the law of diminishing returns? Could you utilize a trial and error methodology to develop multiple campaigns that allowed you to grow your organization with maximum efficiency?
This scenario is very realistic and is being executed by the top internet marketers today. Fortunately for most people reading The Internet Squeeze, those top internet marketers have yet to bridge the gap between their base of operations and the traditional brick and mortar businesses. This means that they are not competing with you (YET), because they are selling their own products on the internet, but what would happen if they started competing with you today?