Volume 11, Issue 6 - November/December 2009

Driving Technology
understanding today’s business practices

Getting Real Results
by Mike Jones

Online marketing is getting more confusing by the minute. New tools, tricks and techniques are tossed around like confetti.

Owners of many companies think they should try any new online marketing technique that comes down the pipe, believing they’ll get left behind in the dust otherwise.

Yet no matter how many new, popular tools you try, none of them seem to be getting you more customers. How do you figure out which tools really work for your glass services shop?

“Your customer base responds to
only certain kinds of online marketing—and you may not know
what those techniques are.”

The Problem
Online marketing is only as effective as its return on investment (ROI). If you’re putting hours every day into a new online marketing technique and only getting two new customers out of that effort, that tool is not effective for you, no matter how popular it is or how effective it may be for other companies.

You want a series of online marketing techniques that get you the maximum amount of new customers for the minimum amount of effort. Three ways to figure out which marketing tools give you the best ROI are: web marketing experts, web analytics tools and good old-fashioned trial and error.

Web Marketing Experts

Most web marketing professionals with the right work experience can eliminate the online marketing tools that simply will not work for a glass services company right off the bat, saving you the tons of time and effort it would have taken to figure them out individually.

Be sure to select a web marketing professional who is focused on delivering quantifiable ROI. He or she should start by understanding your business objectives and then directing you to online marketing tools that are clearly measurable and aligned with your strategy and ROI goals.

Once you’ve begun using an online marketing tool with a high chance of success, a web marketing professional often can help you figure out which ones are working best for your company and where to put your energy. Additionally, there are web analytics tools that can help you do exactly that as well.

Web Analytics Tools
Web analytics tools quickly will become your best friends when it comes to analyzing which online marketing techniques are getting you the best ROI.

There are many different kinds of web analytics tools, and you can find ones that will help you:

• See how many clients visited your website after each online marketing launch;

• See how many sales resulted from each marketing technique;

• Get demographic information on customers (for example, which marketing techniques got you more clients from a particular niche group?);

• Keep track of the success of a new tool in real time; and

• Compare and contrast different marketing tools against one another.

With those tools, you can see instantly which techniques are working for you. With comparison tools, you also compare your return on investment by calculating how much time you spend on each marketing tool and how many customers that effort nets you— and in what timeframe.

Trial and Error

If you find a particular online tool is working very well for improving sales and catching customer interest, don’t rest on your laurels. Any web strategy can be improved, and it’s worth testing slight variations on

the same strategy to see if you can eke out a few more sales or visits to your website.
Some strategic changes to a web tool include using different keywords, trying out a new message, or making an improved offer. If your customers responded very well to an e-mail advertising a 10 percent discount, then try offering a 15 percent discount in the next e-mail to see if that improves sales even more without cutting into your profit margins.

You’ll never know which strategy is most effective unless you keep trying different approaches and methods.

Mike Jones is the president of GTS Services in Portland, Ore. Mr. Jones’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.


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