There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. The key is to build a tracking mechanism into each marketing tactic before it is deployed. In order to respond to your Call to Action (e.g., discount, coupon, brochure, white paper, consultation, etc.) the respondent must provide a valid campaign code which is entered into your response tracking system.

The same Call to Action can be promoted using multiple marketing tactics. By assigning a unique tracking mechanism to each marketing tactic, you can identify which marketing efforts deliver a positive Return on Investment (ROI) and which ones do not.

Here are 10 tracking mechanisms you can use to measure the effectiveness of your marketing:

1.  Campaign Codes

2.  Telephone Numbers

3.  SMS Keywords (text message responses)

4.  Email Addresses (unique email addresses)

5.  Website Landing Pages (unique URLs)

6.  Mail-in Response Cards

7.  Social Media Interactions (number of comments, likes, shares, connections, follows)

8.  Online Form Submissions (unique forms)

9.  Coupons/Certificates/Rebates (presented at point of purchase)

10. Market Insight Surveys (administered before and after brand building campaign)

You’ve measured the low-hanging fruit. Now what?

It’s clear that professional marketers are keen to prove that measurement itself is a worthy activity. It’s also clear that most have chosen to succeed at measuring the low-hanging-fruit, the tactical marketing activities like those cited above. This is entirely understandable.

Thanks mostly to those marketers who are “breaking measurement ground” for future marketers the next step will be to begin to measure more strategically robust marketing initiatives, such as the following:

  • How are we doing at defining and identifying the most strategically appropriate clients?
  • Beyond the simple measures of revenue generated, who are our most strategically important and loyal clients? How are we doing at retaining them?
  • How are we doing at increasing our revenues from these most strategically important and loyal clients?

Technology will indeed play a part in the heightened profile and sophistication of marketing measurement. For example, looking at the list above, it’s clear that a firm’s financial systems, when linked to its client relationship management platform, will help the firm define and identify the most strategically appropriate clients, and keep track of the firm’s “share of wallet” with those clients. In addition, data mining practices of client behaviors will help reveal those clients who are true evangelists.

For now, marketers should aim to incrementally push the envelope on their firms’ investment in measuring marketing’s ROI. Start tactically, gain some early measurement successes, and then urge your practitioners to invest in more strategically meaningful techniques.