Best Practices 300x225Marketing is a something we all need in business. As technology advances and our world becomes more globally aware, our marketing strategies must evolve as well.

One standard that remains the same is the fact that not everything works for everyone. Marketing experts have tried to create a perfect list of “best practices” but tests have shown that not ONE thing works for everyone across the board. In order to be truly successful and increase ROI, we as business owners need to create our own set of best practices based on our own personal success rate. Here’s how to get started.

Define Your Goals

Based on the marketing tactics you have chosen (email, advertisements, online, TV, ect.) define a set of goals for each. They don’t necessarily have to be monetary, focus on what will be most beneficial in moving your business forward. For example, a goal for email could be to increase engagement by 10%, which in return will bring in more clients.

Determine Your Measurables

Once goals are defined, a vital next step is to determine what aspects of each campaign can be measured that will bring you the data needed to represent each set goal. Be sure not to skip this step, if you are unable to measure the success rate of each campaign, then nothing beneficial will come from this process.

Test Test Test

Testing your campaigns will help you find out what is increasing your ROI, building your brand, ect. And what is draining your marketing dollars without creating value. Use the measurables that were previously determined and A/B test each campaign in order to establish what works best for your business. Depending on your goals, testing can be as detailed or as simple as you would like to make it.

Testing campaigns may take extra time initially, but it could potentially save money in the long run by eliminating campaigns that are not producing and allowing room to shift more of the marketing budget into areas that are proving to be more fruitful.

Document Results

Once tests are finalized be sure to document results, date, and save in a special folder for future use. This ensures that you do not repeat past failures and also outlines your businesses individualized “best practice” list. Results from each test will show what aspects of your campaigns are working, what is not working and what needs to be re-tested.

Going back to our previous example of testing email, here’s a breakdown of one marketing variable (real testing should be more detailed; this is just to offer a visual outline).

Goal = Higher engagement by 10%

Measurable= Open rate

Test- Subject lines: Email A: Short Email   B: Longer & Detailed

Results- Email A = 5% higher open rate than Email B

Best Practice: Emails subject lines should be short and to the point.

Rinse and Repeat

The things that are successful will not work forever. That is why it’s important to continue the process. The more testing a company does, the more opportunity there is for improvement.  If you do not have the time to test regularly, then set up a schedule that works best for your business (quarterly, every 6 months, ect). Successful marketing takes effort. Creating your own set of best practices will not only set you apart from competitors, but allow you to increase ROI while eliminating wasteful campaigns.