A lot of businesses spend a lot of money on certain marketing methods / channels ‘assuming’ that its working for them.
For e.g. : They ‘assume’ that the new customers which they just got came either from their yellow pages ad or the flyers they distributed last week. These assumptions cost these businesses quite a bit of money because most of the time the spending is not proportional to the effectiveness of the channel.
One easy way to know if the new customers who have started using your products or services is to ask them how and where they heard about you. If you figure out that a greater percentage of your customers came through flyers, there is a higher probability that spending more money on flyers (in a different geographical area) can bring you more new customers
Automate your asking process – Run a Poll
What has happened in the last 10 years is that even though prospects see your ad or flyer, they usually run a ‘background check’ on you on the internet and try finding more information about you before they buy your service or product. If your internet presence is prominent, they would land on your website. This is where you could really ask the questions - “Where did you FIRST hear about us?” or “Where did you hear about us RECENTLY?”
The possible answers for the question should be based on your currently running marketing channels. For e.g. Summer Flyer, Radio Ad, Word of Mouth, Community Discount Ad e.t.c
Periodically review your poll and check the results of the poll. If you figure that your Radio Ad is not effective even after running for a period of 3 months, maybe introducing a new channel like “Back of the Bus Ad” might be worthwhile trying.
The most important thing to note here is to fine tune your channel based on it’s effectiveness and to change your poll based on your recently running marketing campaigns. The poll, if run properly, would be your feedback mechanism to know the pulse of your offline marketing efforts and know if the money spent on your offline channels is justified. Here is a sample poll for your reference.
About the author: Anup Surendran is the product manager for Micropoll. He has consulted for various technology startups in his career servicing Fortune 50 companies. He works out of Toronto, Canada and blogs frequently on his personal blog.