Category Archives: Success Metrics

“F” Does Not Stand for Fabulous

Did you make the grade?

Go back and look at your strategic marketing plan for this year.  How have you been doing?  Are you on target or did you miss the mark?  What grade would you give yourself and/or your team?

October is a perfect time to review your current plan.  Why October? Because it is time to start writing your 2012 plan! Don’t wait until December or worse, next year – start now.

Take a realistic, objective look at marketing campaigns and tactics that have produced the desired results this year (I hope you have been reviewing and revising campaigns/ tactics throughout the year). Successful strategies should be incorporated into your new plan.

It is equally important to take a look at the marketing campaigns and tactics that have not performed well. Don’t keep doing the same thing over again if it is not producing results.

This will go a long way in helping you create a plan for 2012 that is achievable and effective. If you start planning now you will be much more prepared for the New Year.  It is almost here!

More tips on strategic planning coming up soon…

-KK

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Obstacles to Your Success

What is holding you back?

Each of us has at least one thing that holds us back from reaching the “next level”.  The next level is different for each of us personally and professionally.

In working with and talking to many small business owners and entrepreneurs I see some of these obstacles repeatedly.  This is a great exercise for me to look at my own business and think critically about what is holding me back from my next level.

Recurring obstacles

  • Complacency – complacency is a killer.  If you are complacent you are moving backward.
  • Fear – fear can immobilize you and keep you stuck.
  • Hesitation – hesitation can be good until you can make an informed decision. Many hesitate out of fear and we know where that gets you.
  • Snap decisions – while hesitation can immobilize you, making snap decisions bring your company down in the blink of an eye.
  • Lack of balance – having a balance between work and your personal life is a key element to success.  It seems that lack of balance catches some people early in life and for others it takes years. I find myself in the middle years – I pray I choose to continue striving for balance.
  • Lack of planning – business plans, marketing plans and operational plans are critical for business success. Plans no longer have to be 50 page tomes that no one will read much less follow, but plans are still necessary.
  • Lack of flexibility – plans are important. SO is flexibility. Plans are not chiseled in stone (they should not be). Whatever plans you make will change.  If you expect this up front and can “go with the flow” you are less likely to hit other obstacles such as fear, hesitation or snap decisions.

I could go on and on. There are so many obstacles.  What obstacles are you facing and, more importantly, how are you overcoming them? I’d love to hear your success stories and your struggles.

Removing Obstacles…

-KK


Web Analytics: Carpe Data

Are you seizing the data?

Many small business owners have implemented a tool, such as Google Analytics, to monitor their web traffic. If you are one of those who have a tool in place I am so glad. 

The important question is…are you using it to make critical marketing decisions?  If you are not using it to review your performance and make revisions to improve your website and traffic flow then you might as well uninstall it.

If you don’t understand how to analyze and apply the information then educate yourself. Here are a few ways to educate yourself on how to review web analytics.

  • Look for the help feature within your package
  • Educate yourself on key terms related to web analytics
  • Read blog posts from marketing professionals (click here to read my posts on the subject)
  • Google it! – there are many tutorials, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. that can help you understand analytics data
  • Consult with a marketing professional who understands web analytics

Using a web analytics tool to measure the performance of your web site is a key element to its success. As always, review your metric and revise as necessary.

Always analyzing…

-KK

p.s. Google Analytics is not the only quality web analytics tool. However, it is one I recommend for small business owners.


Bounce Rate – Aim Low

Are your web site visitors bouncing like Tigger?

As a small business owner it can be overwhelming trying to figure out the alphabet soup that goes along with web analytics. Understand key terms and their implications can dramatically improve the performance and value of your web site and web site traffic.

A critical measurement when looking at your website analytics is the bounce rate.

Bounce Rate: A visitor comes to your site, does not see what he or she is looking for and immediately leaves your site to go somewhere else. 

The good news:  Every web site has bounces.  Many times people stumble upon a site they did not intend to visit.

The bad news:  The higher the bounce rate the more likely there is a problem. Unfortunately a high bounce rate could represent any number of problems.

A high bounce rate could mean one or more of the following:

  1. The page your visitors first see (landing page) is poorly designed
  2. The landing page has too much copy
  3. The website has confusing navigation
  4. Technical issues with the landing page
  5. Poor keyword selection
  6. Poor quality traffic (there are several reasons this could occur)
  7. A handful of technical issues

As with any other metric bounce rate cannot be analyzed in a vacuum – it must be measured taking many other factors into account. The important thing to remember is that using a web analytics tool to measure the performance of your web site is a key element to its success. As always, review your metric and revise as necessary.

If you need help – please consult your marketing coach. They can help you navigate the terms and their implications so you can focus on your business.

Always working to bounce low…

-KK


LinkedIn Direct Ads – Test 2

Testing 1-2-3 – Again…

In November I began a test run of LinkedIn Direct Ads and wrote about it in this blog post. In the post I committed to posting an update. Here  it is…

The success of the campaign was not as desirable as I had hoped.  I was pleased with the number of impressions but the CTR was extremely low. On many levels I expected this because my audience size was very small (started with about 1000).  

If you read my blog you know that I believe in the Review and Revise philosophy.  You will not get the results you want unless you continually review campaign performance and make revisions to improve results.  I turned my LinkedIn campaign off for a month or so and recently turned it back on with the following significant changes.

  • Deactivated 2 out of 4 ad variations that did not get any results
  • Changed headline on one of the remaining ad variations
  • Created a new ad variation with a new headline and slightly revised copy
  • Increased my audience size from 1000 to 3300
  • Increased my bid (still deciding if I think leads from LinkedIn are worth the CPC rate)

I’ll post another update in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I will continue to review and revise the campaign to achieve optimal results. I would love to hear your experience with LinkedIn Direct Ads. Post your comments.

Looking for results…

~KK


So, where is it?

Missed Opportunities 

It’s December 3, 2010. Have you written your marketing plan for 2011? Did you review and revise your 2010 plan to make it more effective at some point throughout the year?

There are many different places I could go with an opening paragraph like this. Today I am going to focus on the opportunities small business owners miss if they do not have a marketing strategy.

Many small business owners tend to think they don’t need a marketing strategy.  Many more believe that to have one it must be a massive effort that takes a great deal of time and money.

Without a marketing plan or strategy here is what you could be missing:

  • New clients
  • Additional revenue from existing clients
  • Additional web site traffic
  • Opportunities to hear from, and learn from, your clients
  • Opportunities to build your brand
  • _____________ 

Is a marketing strategy a key element missing from your organization?

Food for thought..

KK


LinkedIn Direct Ads

Testing 1-2-3

I am a PPC veteran.  This and a buck fifty might get me a cup of coffee.  The online marketing and social media landscape changes so rapidly that you can be an expert in something in six months and a dinosaur in 10 seconds.

In an effort to promote my business as a marketing coach I am running a small test campaign LinkedIn Direct Ads geo-targeted to small business owners in my local area.  This pool is very small (about 1000 LinkedIn members). 

Clearly defining your goal before begin any marketing campaign is critical.  I have two:

  • Gain more readers for this blog
  • Find additional clients for my coaching and consulting business

Four ad variations, four headlines and two images are being tested in this campaign.  It has been up for about 24 hours and three of the four ad variations have about 250 impressions each- so far no clicks. I just added the fourth variation based on my results to date.  At some point I will review my campaign and revise where needed.  The method of review and revise for all types of marketing campaigns is a key element for success. 

As I mentioned my CTR (click through rate) is currently zero.  Here are some potential reasons why this is the case. Part of my review and revise methodology is to look at this list and determine what fits given all the factors involved.

Some possible reasons could be:

  • My ads are not compelling enough to illicit the desired response
  • My audience pool is too small
  • LinkedIn is not the right advertising venue for my services
  • The campaign has not had enough time for my audience to feel compelled to click through
  • A combination of any of these reasons
  • A multitude of other reasons

As a PPC veteran I am very aware that there are many reasons why a campaign might succeed or fail.  Sometimes it is about trial and error.  It helps when you have an experienced marketing professional who can coach you along the way.  If you are the coach you had better take your own advice.

I’ll keep you posted…

-KK


Affiliate Marketing Programs Basics: Affiliate Marketing Defined (Post 1 of 5)

As a small business owner there are more online marketing options available than one can keep up with. Not every marketing channel is appropriate for every company.

An affiliate marketing program may provide an additional revenue stream for your business – if it is the right fit.

What is an affiliate marketing program?  

(Also called Affiliate Marketing, Advertising, Performance Marketing, Partner Marketing, CPA, or Associate Program) In an affiliate marketing program, a publisher receives a commission for generating a transaction, such as a lead or sale, for an advertiser that the publisher is promoting. The advertiser provides its ads to publishers and assigns a commission for each action it wants to accomplish. Publishers place the tracking code for these ads on their Web sites, in their email campaigns, or in search listings. Whenever a visitor uses these links to generate an action on the advertiser site, that transaction is tracked online. If a product or service is purchased, the customer pays the advertiser directly, and the publisher is paid a commission for that transaction.
Source: Commission Junction

Many affiliate program providers have a self-managed option or the program can be totally managed for you. If you have a marketing coach or a marketing person on staff I would recommend the self-managed option.  You will pay a premium for the managed version, however if you do not have the right person who can devote the necessary time to building your program then the managed version would be worthwhile.

Why would I want an affiliate program?

Properly planned and managed affiliate programs can become an additional revenue stream for your business. Success metrics for affiliate programs are easy to establish and measure. Since affiliate programs can directly generate revenue measuring ROI becomes easier.

Educate Yourself

If you think your company could benefit from an affiliate program it is important to fully educate yourself before making this decision.  Being educated about the good, the bad and the ugly sides of affiliate marketing is a key element to a successful program. As with many forms of online marketing and advertising set up can be a daunting task. Once the program is set-up strong, regular maintenance is required however; it will not be as intense as the initial set up process can be. Make sure you have done the necessary research and understand affiliate marketing before starting the actually process.  I learned from experience this will save you time. If you have someone in mind you can run your affiliate program for you, make sure they have experience or are going through the education process with you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

5-Part Blog Series on Affiliate Marketing Programs

To coach you along and help in your education process there will be four more posts related to Affiliate Marketing.  I hope you will read them all and then consult your marketing coach for more information.

Affiliate Marketing Program Basics
  • Post 1 – Affiliate Marketing Defined
  • Post 2 – Is affiliate marketing appropriate for my business?
  • Post 3 – Affiliate marketing terms
  • Post 4 – Choosing an Affiliate Program network
  • Post 5 – Self-managed vs. Managed program

Helping you get affiliated…

-KK


Money in the Trash

Marketing and advertising can be difficult to measure. Especially campaigns designed to increase awareness for a brand. However, there are success metrics that every company can put in place to help determine the ROI.  If you are not measuring your marketing efforts in at least come way then you might as well open the trash can and just throw the money you are spending directly into it.   

Marketing is part art and part science.  Both parts are necessary.  A key element to an effective marketing strategy is measurement.  Here is a brief overview of my process for measuring success of a campaign.

  1. Create the campaign plan (many steps in this process not being discussed here today)
    1. Include how you plan to measure the success of that campaign
  2. Review the campaign success during the campaign whenever possible
  3. Revise the campaign strategy if it is not meeting the success criteria
    1. Or revise the strategy for the next time

The point is the review and revise method can save countless dollars spent and time wasted on ineffective strategies that do not yield the desired results.

Mini Case Sudy: This morning I was talking to a business consultant who said he had a client that was spending $30k/year on a certain type of advertising.  He just assumed it was bringing him business. He began to really look at where his business was coming from and none of it was coming from the advertising investment.  This is an extreme example of what can happen if your organization does not have success metrics in place and a lesson we can all take to heart.

If you need help in figuring out ways to measure the success of your marketing efforts talk to a marketing professional who can coach you through the process.

Always revising…

-KK


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