A company I work with is clearly on track to achieve a 20% increase in sales and profits. This business sells physical products on line – a traditional eCommerce business model. I noticed a slowdown in the rate of improvement in sales and profits earlier this year and a plan was developed to stabilize and then increase the rate of sales improvement.
A pay per click promotion was being used the three major engines. The campaigns needed a tune-up to improve return on investment and help improve the sales and profits trend line. Pay per click was the immediate focus since the projection was that it would have the fastest and most measurable influence on sales and profits in the near term.
Over the subsequent 3-4 months, a significant improvement in sales and conversion from pay per click advertising was recorded. The return on investment on net profits (revenue less cost of goods divided by pay per click costs) was very impressive for each primary keyword and ultimately for every secondary keyword. After about 4 months of working the campaigns, the performance, while very good, seemed to be nearly optimal and we went into maintenance mode. The improved ROI was not sufficient to ensure the Company’s sales targets for the year would be achieved. We implemented the next step of our marketing plan.
Marketing is about using appropriate channels for developing and maintaining customers. Direct mail and email are the “hands down” best ways in most instances to develop relationships with customers and targeted buyers. When done right, the business benefits tremendously because the customers know they are valuable. They respond by buying what you are offering. With a meaningful email database, marketing with email campaigns was viewed as the fastest way to further improve sales and profits.
Let me short cut the story to tell you that the email campaign is enormously successful. In total, the results exceeded projections. Here are the key points:
Every promotion needs to be evaluated on its own. We had pay per click campaigns and email marketing promotions fall flat. None of those were mistakes. The only mistake companies make is not marketing, not measuring what they market and not learning from campaigns that didn’t meet the mark.
In order to evaluate any marketing initiative, it must be set up so you can measure results. If this is the first time you are reading about testing, tracking and measuring ROI, congratulations. You now know the fundamentals of successful marketing. If you have read this before and are not implementing your marketing strategy using these principles then guess what – look in the mirror when you say your business is not performing or your marketing program is not delivering.
BONUS: I learned the value of having a technical person who understands the marketing objectives on the team. Setting up the tracking codes that allowed us to measure ROI for each keyword and email campaign was invaluable and work I prefer to have done by a person with those skills. In this case the company has qualified in-house resources. This is not always the case. If you are not confident you have or have access to the skill set required to set up the tracking codes then find those skills. There are independent consultants who have these skills at reasonable rates.
The Only Mistake In Marketing:
The only mistake in marketing is not setting up measurable campaigns. Dan Kennedy pounds on the importance of direct response marketing. Dan is absolutely right. John Reese is the master of testing. John is absolutely right. Learning from the masters is useless unless you act upon the lessons you learn.
Be well and prosper,
Business Development Consulting
Steve Pohlit has more than 20 years experience running very large and medium sized companies. Steve now consults with clients to design and implement processes that will deliver improved business performance for the long term. Most projects are self-funding within 90 days. The client then experiences a very high return on investment. Learn more about the process of Increasing Profits by 30% or More In 90 Days or Less by visiting http://www.stevepohlit.com or you can call 727-587-7871 and speak with Steve directly. Have a question? Click Here To Visit Ask The Consultant