How To Define Your Target Market

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To build a solid foundation for your business, you must first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.

Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone. Small businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.

Many businesses say they target “anyone interested in my services.” Some say they target small-business owners, homeowners, or stay-at-home moms. All of these targets are too general.

Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business.

For example, an interior design company could choose to market to homeowners between the ages of 35 and 65 with incomes of $150,000-plus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To define the market even further, the company could choose to target only those interested in kitchen and bath remodeling and traditional styles. This market could be broken down into two niches: parents on the go and retiring baby boomers.

With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company. Here are some tips to help you define your target market.

Look at your current customer base.

Who are your current customers, and why do they buy from you? Look for common characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business? It is very likely that other people like them could also benefit from your product/service.

Check out your competition.

Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Don’t go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they are overlooking.

Analyze your product/service.

Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Next to each feature, list the benefits it provides (and the benefits of those benefits). For example, a graphic designer offers high-quality design services. The benefit is a professional company image. A professional image will attract more customers because they see the company as professional and trustworthy. So ultimately, the benefit of high-quality design is gaining more customers and making more money.

Once you have your benefits listed, make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfills. For example, a graphic designer could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While this is still too general, you now have a base to start from.

Choose specific demographics to target.

Figure out not only who has a need for your product or service, but also who is most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

•   Age
•   Location
•   Gender
•   Income level
•   Education level
•   Marital or family status
•   Occupation
•   Ethnic background

Consider the psychographics of your target.

Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a person, including:

•   Personality
•   Attitudes
•   Values
•   Interests/Hobbies
•   Lifestyles
•   Behavior

Determine how your product or service will fit into your target’s lifestyle. How and when will your target use the product? What features are most appealing to your target? What media does your target turn to for information? Does your target read the newspaper, search online, or attend particular events?

Evaluate your decision.

Once you’ve decided on a target market, be sure to consider these questions:

•   Are there enough people who fit my criteria?
•   Will my target really benefit from my product/service? Will they see a need for it?
•   Do I understand what drives my target to make decisions?
•   Can they afford my product/service?
•   Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?

Don’t break down your target too far! Remember, you can have more than one niche market. Consider if your marketing message should be different for each niche. If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, then maybe you have broken down your market too far. Also, if you find there are only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, maybe you should reevaluate your target. The trick is to find that perfect balance.

You may be asking, “How do I find all this information?” Try searching online for research others have done on your target. Search for magazine articles and blogs that talk about or to your target market. Search for blogs and forums where people in your target market communicate their opinions. Look for survey results, or consider conducting a survey of your own. Ask your current customers for feedback.

Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out which media you can use to reach them and what marketing messages will resonate with them. Instead of sending direct mail to everyone in your ZIP code, you can send it only to those who fit your criteria. Save money and get a better return on investment by defining your target audience.

Source: Mandy Porta

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Defining Marketing Objectives & Strategies

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Marketing Objectives are defined as the group of goals set by a business when promoting its products or services to potential consumers that should be achieved within a given time frame. A company’s marketing objectives for a particular product might include increasing product awareness among targeted consumers and providing information about product features. Specifically, common marketing objectives include:

  • Introducing new products or services
  • Cross-selling more products or services to existing customers
  • Expanding into a new geographic market
  • Seeking out and securing new customers
  • Improving customer services
  • Increasing the average size of an order

Once the Marketing Objectives have been defined, you can create a focused Marketing Strategy for each one. Marketing Strategies have many potential tactics that can be utilized. Below are examples of Strategies with their corresponding tactics:

  • Market Share & Expansion Strategy: Develop aggressive sales & marketing tactics to expand your market. Examples of tactics include:
    • Consumer and/or trade promotions (e.g. coupons, BOGO’s, contests, special offers, etc…)
    • Direct mailing to include incentive
    • Secure additional distributors and/or sales force
  • Positioning Strategy: Designed to affect how people think and feel (perceive) about your product or service. Examples of tactics include:
    • Advertising and public relations campaigns
    • Attending, exhibiting or presenting at trade shows
    • Enhancing and/or developing corporate communication and marketing materials (e.g. brochures, website, flyers, social media profiles, etc…)
  • Reminder Strategy: Reminds customers to make a purchase. Tactics include:
    • Postcards via direct mail with coupons
    • Free premium items with company’s information
    • Disseminate monthly newsletters
    • Communicate newsworthy information via social media

Determining which Marketing Strategies are necessary and important based on your business goals is critical to the success of growing your company. If done incorrectly, you will only end up wasting a lot of time and money on implementing the wrong strategies. Needless to say, my advice is to seek out a qualified Marketing Consultant who can assist you through this process.

Source: Danielle Foley

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Client Success Story: Safety Solutions

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Safety Solutions of Sioux Falls offers professional on-site and off-site training, regulatory compliance, site inspections, and written safety program management. Owner Tony Drovdal is a former Captain with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue with over twenty years’ experience in public and private occupational safety management. In 2016, he partnered with Complete Media, Inc. seeking marketing solutions.

“One of the things I stress in my classes is to know your own limitations,” Safety Solutions owner, Tony Drovdal, said. “I took my own advice and looked for help marketing and branding my business. The team at Complete Media is proactive and looks for new avenues to get that done, and for a smaller investment than I anticipated. I couldn’t be more satisfied.”

Complete Media developed from the ground up Tony’s entire branding strategy including company logo, new website, collateral materials, and public relations. His new business is gaining traction and visibility, thanks, in part, to the online strategies executed by the Complete Media team, including everything from SEO and keyword management to social media. We even facilitated some client-to-client connections resulting in new business; before he officially opened his training facility, Tony was already busy making workplaces safer.

To find out more about Safety Solutions, call 605.610.2169 or visit their website.

How To Write A Vision Statement

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A carefully crafted vision statement is at the heart of every successful business. This statement clearly and concisely communicates your business’s overall goals, and can serve as a tool for strategic decision-making across the company.

A vision statement can be as simple as a single sentence or can span a short paragraph. Regardless of the individual details and nuances, all effective vision statements define the core ideals that give a business shape and direction. These statements also provide a powerful way to motivate and guide employees, said Addam Marcotte, vice president of operations and organization development with executive coaching and organizational change firm FMG Leading.

Why does this matter? Research shows that employees who find their company’s vision meaningful have engagement levels of 68 percent, which is 19 points above average. More-engaged employees are often more productive, and can be more effective corporate ambassadors in the larger community.

Given the impact that a vision statement can have on a company’s long-term success and even its bottom line, it’s worth taking the time to craft a statement that synthesizes your ambition and mobilizes your staff.

Vision Statement Versus Mission Statement

Before determining what your vision statement is going to be, you need to understand what it is not. It should not be confused with a mission statement. Those statements are present-based and designed to convey a sense of why the company exists, to both members of the company and the external community. Vision statements are future-based and are meant to inspire and give direction to the employees of the company, rather than to customers. A mission statement answers the question, “Why does my business exist?” while a vision statement answers the question, “Where do I see my business going?” Jamie Falkowski, vice president of creative and experience at the marketing communications firm Day One Agency, said, “a vision is aspiration. A mission is actionable.”

Who will shape your vision, and how will it be used?

The first step in writing a vision statement is determining who will play a role in crafting it. Brandon Shockley of consumer insights agency Plannerzone, Inc. recommends developing a vision statement through a series of workshops with key stakeholders who represent a cross section of your organization. Teams of people can craft alternate versions of the statement and receive feedback from the rest of the group.

“Think of it as ‘Shark Tank’ for your vision statement,” Shockley said

Falkowski added that individual stakeholder interviews offer another effective way to get real and honest feedback in which people won’t hold back on how they feel.

Additionally, a business should determine early in the process where its vision statement will appear and what role it will serve in the organization. This will prevent the process from becoming merely an intellectual exercise, said Shockley.
“The vision business statement should be thought of as part of your strategic plan,” he said. “It is an internal communications tool that helps align and inspire your team to reach the company’s goals.”
As such, vision statements should be viewed as living documents that will be revisited and revised.

How To Write A Vision Statement

Writing your vision statement is a time for creativity, ambition and fun, but the task should be approached seriously.

“There is a process to this, and it’s not usually quick or simple,” said Linsi Brownson, founder and creative director of business strategy group Spark Collaborative. “The best way to begin is to reflect on some of the most significant events or ideas that have impacted the company.”

A vision statement should also be concise, no longer than a sentence or a few paragraphs. You want your entire team and organization to be able to quickly repeat it back and more importantly understand it, said Falkowski. But a vision statement should be more than a catchy tagline, he said.

“[It] can be smart and memorable, but this is for your team and culture, not for selling a specific product,” Falkowski said.

To begin, Brownson advised first identifying core values of the organization when drafting your vision statement. Then, ask yourself, “What do we do right now that aligns with these values? Where are we not aligned with these values? How can we stay aligned with these values as we grow over the next five years, 10 years?” Those questions address your current situation and help identify the bigger-picture vision, Brownson said.

Next, ask yourself what problems your company hopes to solve in the next few years. What does your company hope to achieve? Who is your target customer base, and what do you want to do for them?

“Based on your responses to these questions, ask yourself what success will look like if you accomplish those things,” said Jené Kapela, owner and founder of Jené Kapela Leadership Solutions. “This answer should shape your vision statement.”

When you’re crafting your vision statement, dream big. Don’t worry about practicality for now — what initially looks impossible could be achieved down the road with the right team and technologies. Work on shaping a vision statement that reflects the specific nature of your business.

Shockley noted that there is nothing wrong with a vision statement being a little daring, distinct or even disagreeable.

“If a vision statement sets out a generic goal that anyone can agree with, it is likely to produce mediocre results,” he said. “A goal like ‘delivering an exceptional experience’ applies equally to a hospital, a bank or a fitness club.”

Tips For Crafting Your Vision Statement

Vision statements should stretch the imagination while providing direction and clarity. A good vision statement will help inform direction and set priorities while challenging employees to grow. The vision statement should be compelling not just to the high-level execs of your company, but also to all employees.

Based on our expert sources’ advice, here are some tips to keep in mind:
•   Project five to 10 years in the future.
•   Dream big, and focus on success.
•   Use the present tense.
•   Use clear, concise language.
•   Infuse your vision statement with passion and emotion.
•   Paint a graphic mental picture of the business you want.
•   Have a plan to communicate your vision statement to your employees.
•   Be prepared to commit time and resources to the vision you establish.

Your completed vision statement will give your employees a clear idea of your company’s path forward. Then, it’s up to you to nurture and support that vision and to inspire your employees to do the same.

Source: Paula Fernandes

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Client Success Story: Climate Systems, Inc.

Climate Systems is a regional leader in HVAC design and installation. In addition to HVAC sales and installation, Climate Systems services Schneider Electric Automatic Temperature Controls. Technological changes have revolutionized remote monitoring and energy management control in today’s buildings. Climate Systems’ job has been to stay up to date on these new developments. With a vast array of knowledge and years of practical experience, they’ve been responsible for the building automation systems of hospitals, educational buildings and campuses, recreational facilities, churches, government buildings, office buildings, laboratories and manufacturing facilities.

Climate Systems partnered with Complete Media Inc. several years ago to enhance their brand and name recognition. We have helped them go through a complete rebranding, including logo updates, all-new marketing materials, signage, vehicle graphics, website, and much more. Through our marketing planning and placement, we have helped Climate Systems keep in touch with key clients and prospects using online strategies, e-marketing, social media, and print campaigns. Working with Climate Systems has been a great experience, and we truly value their partnership.

To find out more about Climate Systems, Inc., call 605.334.2164 or visit their website.

Marketing Strategy: Making A Smart Investment

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A marketer can easily fill up their day with a plethora of so-called “marketing tasks.” Post to Facebook, retweet a twitter mention, send out emails to prospects and clients – these tasks can be very valuable for a company, but too often they are used merely as hopeful shots in the dark instead of part of a distinct marketing strategy. Just like a financial investment, marketers need to start paying more attention to the specific financial goals of their business and investing in their strategy accordingly.

A Change Of Mindset

First and foremost, marketing is an investment. You only get out of it, what you put into it. Therefore CMOs need to begin looking at marketing as the financial investment that it is towards meeting the goals of the business. When you make a financial investment you investigate the risk potential, growth expectations, and your portfolio as a whole. When looking at your marketing spend and strategy, you can start with the same discussions.

To think of it in another way, look around your business at the way investment fundamentals are applied all around you. Why is this not the case in marketing as well? Forget the way that marketing is typically done. Forget what your company has focused marketing dollars on in the past. Then open yourself up to the possibilities that a creative marketing investment can have.

Goal Alignment

Now you’re ready to start getting your goals and your marketing investment in line. But first, make sure that you have the right goals. Of course, this depends on your business. A new business will need to focus more of their investment on brand awareness. You’ll need to make a splash in the market and get your name out there. your marketing spend in that area will be high because your primary goals is brand awareness.

But for most established businesses, awareness is only a portion of the marketing spend. Too often, businesses are focused on the wrong marketing metrics. You see that you’ve gained a bunch of Facebook likes, or you’re getting a lot of return visits to your website. These are positive things, but do they align to your goals? Marketers tend to focus their investment of marketing dollars on the channel itself – whether boosting search rankings or building an email list. But was your goal to create a higher search ranking? Or was your goal to use search rankings as a way to build leads and conversions?

Your marketing strategy needs to be relative meeting the financial goals of your company. If your company is looking for slow and steady growth, you can invest your marketing budget accordingly. But if you really want to get your business off the ground quickly, you’ll have to ramp up your spending for your maximum return.

Execution And Adjustment

Now that you have your focus for your investment from the goals of your business, you’re ready to get started ramping up your marketing strategy. Don’t limit yourself. Your mix of marketing strategy is dependent upon your business, of course, but consider every channel and it’s effectiveness for you.

Make sure you have the right tools in place to measure the return on the investment you’ve made. When you make a financial investment, you will always have these tools in place, so why wouldn’t you have these in place for marketing investment? Again, be focused on the right metrics and making sure you have a system in place to see the results of your hard work. Then you can make the adjustments needed in your strategy. You can identify where the issues are in your marketing funnel and change your marketing investment based on that information.

Conclusion

Thinking of your marketing as an investment, makes you shift your thinking for your marketing strategy and budget. You are only going to get out of it what you put into it – so invest wisely.

A marketer can easily fill up their day with a plethora of so-called “marketing tasks.” Post to Facebook, retweet a twitter mention, send out emails to prospects and clients – these tasks can be very valuable for a company, but too often they are used merely as hopeful shots in the dark instead of part of a distinct marketing strategy. Just like a financial investment, marketers need to start paying more attention to the specific financial goals of their business and investing in their strategy accordingly.

Source: Mike McDermott

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.

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How To Write A Mission Statement In 5 Easy Steps

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I’ve had a 30-year love-hate relationship with mission statements. I’ve read thousands. I love it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy—and that does happen—and I hate it when a mission statement is generic, stale, and completely useless.

Your company’s mission statement is your opportunity to define the company’s goals, ethics, culture, and norms for decision-making. The best mission statements define a company’s goals in at least three dimensions: what the company does for its customers, what it does for its employees, and what it does for its owners. Some of the best mission statements also extend themselves to include fourth and fifth dimensions: what the company does for its community, and for the world.

The vast majority of the mission statements are just meaningless hype that could be used to describe any business in the category. People write them because some checklist or expert said they had to.

A well-developed mission statement is a great tool for understanding, developing, and communicating fundamental business objectives, and should be expressed in just a paragraph or two. If you read it out loud, it should take about 30 seconds. And it should answer questions people have about your business, like:

•   Who is your company?
•   What do you do? What do you stand for? And why do you do it?
•   Do you want to make a profit, or is it enough to just make a living?
•   What markets are you serving, and what benefits do you offer them?
•   Do you solve a problem for your customers?
•   What kind of internal work environment do you want for your employees?

Unfortunately, few mission statements actually do that.

So how do you make sure yours isn’t one of the bad ones? Over the decades I’ve spent reading, writing, and evaluating business plans, I’ve come up with a process for developing a useful mission statement, and it boils down to five steps:

1. Start With A Market-Defining Story

You don’t have to actually write the story—it’s definitely not included in the mission statement—but do think it through:

Imagine a real person making the actual decision to buy what you sell. Use your imagination to see why she wants it, how she finds you, and what buying from you does for her. The more concrete the story, the better. (And keep that in mind for the actual mission statement wording: “The more concrete, the better.”)

A really good market-defining story explains the need, or the want, or—if you like jargon—the so-called “why to buy.” It defines the target customer, or “buyer persona.” And it defines how your business is different from most others, or even unique. It simplifies thinking about what a business isn’t, what it doesn’t do.

This isn’t literally part of the mission statement. Rather, it’s an important thing to have in your head while you write the mission statement. It’s in the background, between the words.

2. Define How Your Customer’s Life Is Better Because Your Business Exists

Start your mission statement with the good you do. Use your market-defining story to suss out whatever it is that makes your business special for your target customer.

Don’t undervalue your business: You don’t have to cure cancer or stop global climate change to be doing good. Offering trustworthy auto repair, for example, narrowed down to your specialty in your neighborhood with your unique policies, is doing something good. So is offering excellent slow food in your neighborhood, with emphasis on organic and local, at a price premium.

This is a part of your mission statement, and a pretty crucial part at that—write it down.

If your business is good for the world, incorporate that here too. But claims about being good for the world need to be meaningful, and distinguishable from all the other businesses. Add the words “clean” or “green” if that’s really true and you keep to it rigorously. Don’t just say it, especially if it isn’t important or always true.

3. Consider What Your Business Does For Employees

These days, good businesses want to be good for their employees. If you’re “hard numbers”-oriented, keeping employees is better for the bottom line than turnover. And if you’re interested in culture and employee happiness, then defining what your business offers its employees is an obvious part of your strategy.

My recommendation is that you don’t assert how the business is good for employees—you define it here and then forever after make it true.

Qualities like fairness, diversity, respect for ideas and creativity, training, tools, empowerment, and the like, actually really matter. However, since every business in existence at least says that it prioritizes those things, strive for a differentiator and a way to make the general goals feel more concrete and specific.

While I consulted for Apple Computer, for example, that business differentiated its goals of training and empowering employees by making a point of bringing in very high-quality educators and presenters to help employees’ business expertise grow. That’s the kind of specificity you should include in your mission statement.

With this part of the mission statement, there’s a built-in dilemma. On the one hand, it’s good for everybody involved to use the mission statement to establish what you want for employees in your business. On the other hand, it’s hard to do that without falling into the trap of saying what every other business says.

Stating that you value fair compensation, room to grow, training, a healthy, creative work environment, and respect for diversity is probably a good idea, even if that part of your mission statement isn’t unique. That’s because the mission statement can serve as a reminder—for owners, supervisors, and workers—and as a lever for self-enforcement.

If you have a special view on your relationship with employees, write it into the mission statement. If your business is friendly to families, or to remote virtual workplaces, put that into your mission.

4. Add What The Business Does For Its Owners

In business school they taught us that the mission of management is to enhance the value of the stock. And shares of stock are ownership. Some would say that it goes without saying that a business exists to enhance the financial position of its owners, and maybe it does. However, only a small subset of all businesses are about the business buzzwords of “share value” and “return on investment.”

In the early years of my business I wanted peace of mind about cash flow more than I wanted growth, and I wanted growth more than I wanted profits. So I wrote that into my mission statement. And at one point I realized I was also building a business that was a place where I was happy to be working, with people I wanted to work with; so I wrote that into my mission statement, too.

5. Discuss, Digest, Cut, Polish, Review, Revise

Whatever you wrote for points two through four above, go back and cut down the wordiness.

Good mission statements serve multiple functions, define objectives, and live for a long time. So, edit. This step is worth it.

I’ve been writing professionally all of my adult life. I was a foreign correspondent for a decade, and then I billed more than $2 million in business plan consulting, and then I wrote books published by Entrepreneur Press, McGraw-Hill, Dow Jones-Irwin and others, and thousands of blog posts for this site and a number of high-profile sites; I’ve never written anything that wasn’t better with editing. And most of what I’ve written was better after I cut it to half its original length.

As you edit, keep a sharp eye out for the buzzwords and hype that everybody claims. Cut as much as you can that isn’t unique to your business, except for those special elements that—unique or not—can serve as long-term rules and reminders.

Read other companies’ mission statements, but write a statement that is about you and not some other company. Make sure you actually believe in what you’re writing—your customers and your employees will soon spot a lie.

Then, listen. Show drafts to others, ask their opinions, and really listen. Don’t argue, don’t convince them, just listen. And then edit again.

And, for the rest of your business’s life, review and revise it as needed. As with everything in a business plan, your mission statement should never get written in stone, and, much less, stashed in a drawer. Use it or lose it. Review and revise as necessary, because change is constant.

Final note: Should I apologize for putting the word “easy” into the title of this piece? Sometimes I confuse interesting, useful, and important with easy. I always underestimate tasks I like doing.

Source: Tim Berry

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Marketing Decision Making

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Marketing personnel must make decisions whenever they perform any of the marketing functions. Marketers must continuously decide what is to be done, who is to do it, how it is to be done, and when and where are the best time and place to do it.

How To Make Decisions

Step 1: Define idea or problem to be acted upon. Before seeking answers, you need to identify the real problem. The first step in decision making is to find out what the problem really is; only then should you work toward a solution or answer. Defining the problem is not an easy task in most cases. What appears to be the problem might at best be merely a symptom that shows on the surface.

Step 2: Collect, interpret and evaluate relevant information about the problem.

Usually there are many sources from which to gather information affecting a decision. Sometimes standing orders, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations provide relevant information. Other sources of information include your own experience, company records and reports, discussion with individuals and personal observations.

Step 3: Develop possible alternative solutions. The next step is to develop alternative ways of solving the problem or taking advantage of the opportunity. Alternatives are possible courses of action that can satisfy a need or solve a problem. Usually several choices are available to the decision maker if he or she is able to identify or develop them.

Step 4: Select the preferred or “best” alternative. You have reached a point where you must make a decision. You should logically and rationally pick the alternative you think is most desirable for all concerned from an objective, ethical, and practical point of view. Sometimes the preferred alternative involves cost/benefit analysis and risk analysis.

Cost/Benefit Analysis:

You estimate what each alternative will cost in terms of human, physical and financial resources. Then you estimate the expected benefits. Finally, you compare the two estimates and select the one with the greatest “payoff” where the ratio of benefits to cost is more favorable.

Risk Analysis:

Risk, which is the possibility of defeat, disadvantage, injury, or loss is inherent in decision

making. You should try to minimize the risks involved by effectively forecasting outcomes and considering all variables involved.

Step 5: Implement the decision. Effective decision making doesn’t stop when you choose from among alternative solutions. The decision must be put into operation.

Step 6: Follow-up, evaluate, and make changes if needed. Follow-up and the evaluation of the outcome of a decision is part of the process of decision making. Follow-up and evaluation of a decision can take many forms depending on the nature of the decision, timing, costs, standards expected, personnel, and other factors. If the follow-up and evaluation indicate that something has gone wrong or that the results have not been as anticipated, then the decision-making process must begin all over again. This may even mean going back over each of the various steps of the decision-making process in detail.

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12 Ways To Measure Your Marketing Impact

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With the proliferation of tools for both measuring and automating your marketing efforts, startups aren’t exactly wanting for real-time marketing data. But while spreadsheets and dashboards are nice, actually being able to prove your marketing works is far more useful.

Interested in how other startups are measuring their marketing efforts, I asked a group of entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council to share how they currently track their successes (and failures). Their best responses are below:

1. Tracking

“Now that high-quality content has so many benefits in the marketing world, it’s important to track all its different uses. For example, when you share specific pieces of content, use Buffer to track it. Or, when you send someone an email that includes a specific type of content, use HubSpot or Infusionsoft to track the results. It can be as simple as tracking the clicks on your recent post that’s in your signature line.”

John Hall

2. Acquisition Channels

“We track every single acquisition channel through which our users register. This includes blog posts, press, organic search, paid ads, partnerships, etc. We do weekly meetings to review the data. It shows which channels convert the highest, generate the most loyal users and more. This data signals which channels to “double down” our efforts on and which to let die.”

Danny Boice

3. Google Analytics

“We place heavy focus on margins to optimize ROI on Adwords marketing campaigns. We want to constantly optimize our spending and make sure we get the most conversions possible on targeted customer acquisition cost. We use Google Analytics to do this mostly.”

Pablo Palatnik

4. Iterative Testing And Strategizing

“We end planning sessions with different hypotheses to test and measure. Lean, agile marketing is baked into our process, and we’re always thinking about the goals of each action and variations of actions to be tested. Right now, analyzing data like open rates, click-throughs and social performance from content and formatting is shaping our email marketing strategy iteratively without slowing us down.”

Lauren Perkins

5. Inbound Leads

“The biggest thing we use data for is tracking inbound leads. We experiment all the time. We change up our welcome email, give a phone call instead, attach explainer docs and then see which ones convert. If you don’t use data, you’ll have to guess without any evidence.”

John Meyer

6. A Marketing “Stack”

“Our marketing stack includes Segment.io, Marketo and Salesforce.com. We use Geckoboard to make the data available to anyone in our company and display it on screens around the office. My philosophy is that any number important enough to report to our board of directors should be available to employees all the time, and we have biweekly meetings to discuss trends in our key marketing metrics.”

Ryan Buckley

7. Salesforce

“We’re using Salesforce.com to track the productivity of our marketing efforts, which are segmented into a variety of categories like campaigns, lead types, company types and more. Marketing really is the top of the sales funnel, and with Salesforce.com, we can create and share several dashboards and reports to use across the team. We can then follow the sales process from beginning to end and use the quantitative data to make improvements to our processes.”

Doreen Bloch

8. Cost Per Acquisition

“Marketing dashboards can bog you down with extraneous data. CPM, CTR, impressions and impression share — it’s enough to bury you in numbers. The way that we stay afloat is the discipline of only looking at the king of marketing metrics: CPA, or the cost per acquisition. Ultimately, marketing exists to move the needle on acquisition. If you don’t know how much each new customer costs, you’re just throwing your money out the window.”

Emerson Spartz

9. Customer Engagement

“Data informs almost every decision we make, and it allows us to communicate with our users in a way that is thoughtful and impactful. We recently launched engagement campaigns based on behavioral data, and we’re analyzing the successes and failures of those campaigns to create content that improves user experience while helping achieve our marketing goals!”

Erica Bell

10. Customer Lifetime Value

“Customer lifetime value (LTV) is a great way to reveal the quality of customer segments. We segment our customers by referral source (ad campaign, social network, etc.) and look at their LTV. Just because an ad is converting doesn’t mean it will bring in high-LTV customers. Word of mouth and social network referrals lead to customer LTVs that are worth several times more than the ones that come from some of our ad campaigns, which is apparent when you look at the churn rate for each customer segment. Conversion rate can easily become a vanity metric, but focusing on LTV and churn are how you build a long-term business.”

Jared Brown

11. Audience Opinion

“It’s important to track your marketing efforts so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Our team collects information and suggestions directly from our customers. We want to go straight to the source to get quality feedback, and the customer using your product will have the best insight. Social media is also an indicator that can identify which topics seem to be sparking a conversation in your customer community.”

Michael Patak

12. Data Collection

“In marketing, data is crucial — it’s how we find out if our creativity is actually delivering. We use what’s called dollar productive activity (DPA) metrics, such as how many calls/emails/meetings occurred and how many of those activities converted into a closed deal. There’s a very distinct difference between being busy and being effective. From these metrics, we can see if our activity is actually effective. If we notice that calls are working better than emails, we adjust. Also, if we know that it takes three calls to get one closed deal and our goal is 10 deals per week, then we can work that math into our goals and ensure that our sales team is making 30 calls per week.”

Jason Jannati

Source: Scott Gerber

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.
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Tanner Chambers – Production Strategist

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Tanner is a Minnesota-born graphic designer with a background in television journalism, broadcast technology and marketing. He landed his first TV job while in college, working first as a part-time assistant webmaster and then as an associate producer for Valley News Live in Fargo, North Dakota. He graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science studying graphic design and mass communications.

A marketing internship brought him to Sioux Falls in the summer of 2014, where he continued to add to his experiences, working as an advertising copywriter, KELOLAND reporter, non-profit administrative assistant, business-to-business broadcast technology marketer and digital freelance artist specializing in graphic design, videography and motion graphics.

Tanner joined the Complete Media team in October 2016 and has thrown himself into his work, developing built-to-last business brands while expanding his web skill set with HTML coding, email and web builders, WordPress, Google AdWords, Facebook ads and more.

He and his wife live with their three small dogs near downtown Sioux Falls.