“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

That’s the famous line by John Wanamaker well over 100 years ago. 100 years and most business owners are still no clearer to knowing which half is working for them and which half is wasted.

100 years ago you had an excuse. There was no such thing as conversion tracking, there were no tracking phone numbers or QR codes or any of the modern tools marketers can use now to track the success (or lack thereof) of a campaign.

It’s still not a perfect science – there’s no accounting for human behaviour and people always find a way to circumvent the sophisticated tracking tools but it’s a lot easier than ever to monitor your spending and get a clearer picture on what’s working and what isn’t.

What are the ways you can track your advertising?

These days we’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to tracking advertising spend and what you choose depends on where you’re advertising. Below I’ve outlined a few of the most common ways you can monitor your spend.

Once you start tracking how do you evaluate your advertising?

So hopefully you’re now using one or more tracking methods with your advertising but you still need to use that information to work out which half of your spend is working and which isn’t (and then drop the half that isn’t).

What about all those other marketing efforts you’re using to promote your business – networking, word of mouth, customer referrals…? How are you tracking those?

As a business owner I’m sure you have a general idea of how well each of your other advertising/marketing efforts is working for you which is why I put together the following tool – a simple way to evaluate all your advertising and prioritise the efforts that are working and which need improvement.

The tool is very simple in its methodology. You simply score each type of advertising/marketing you’re actively using in four ways out of 10 – Is this marketing working?, Is there room for improvement?, If improved, would it generate more sales? and How affordable is the marketing?

I’ve used the phrase “How AFFORDABLE is the marketing” deliberately. This is because even the most expensive forms of advertising can be affordable if they’re generating a return on investment so it’s a call you have to make when answering that questions – differentiate between affordable and expensive and it will differ from business to business. What’s affordable for one business won’t be affordable for another.

For example, if you’re using a radio advert, tracking the success of these type of ads can be tricky and they can be fairly expensive ads to run so your scores may be like this:-

Radio Ads
Is this marketing working? 5/10
Is there room for improvement? 7/10
If improved, would it generate more sales? 3/10 (it’s hard to know for sure)
How affordable is this advertising? 2/10
Total score – 17/40

Do this for all the marketing you’re doing and soon you’ll start to see which ones are scoring better than others. Then the question is, do you persevere with low scoring advertising or drop it in favour of the marketing that is working and can be easily improved to generate more sales.

I’ve put together a handy worksheet for this in my Marketing Plan Workbook that you can download using the form here.

[et_bloom_inline optin_id=optin_3]

When you download the full Marketing Plan Workbook you can work through each section to design your own marketing plan for your business, or just pick out the Marketing Review and see how well your marketing is currently performing and where you can make improvements.