Systems for analyzing small business marketing

One of the great challenges for a small business is attracting customers. Indeed, marketing is a frequent topic of discussion among small business owners.

Many small business owners are looking for a “magic pill”–some method of marketing that will drive eager buyers to their business. While it would certainly make life easier to find such a solution, marketing is seldom so simple. Markets are dynamic, undergoing continual change, and often what worked yesterday won’t work today.

But how do we know what works? How do we determine if we should continue our yellow page ad, or distribute more door hangers, or invest more in Google Adwords?

Far too frequently small business owners simply guess. They go on their “gut”. They make decisions based on what they believe to be true, rather than the actual facts. Far too often, small business owners do not track and analyze their marketing.

While the specifics can vary between industries, a business owner must track his leads if he is to make intelligent, informed decisions regarding his marketing. He must know what marketing is drawing customers, if those customers are buying, and how much they are buying. A particular ad may fill the store, but if those customers are not buying, the ad is providing little benefit. Conversely, another ad may attract few customers, but these are eager buyers.

We must be able to make these identifications and distinctions. We must be able to compare our various advertising. And we must use more than a hunch to do so. We must have a system in place for identifying the source of our customers.

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