Successful marketing campaigns are nurtured, not born. Luckily, there are unprecedented resources and technology available for small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) like yours to make the most of your advertising and marketing investments.

Successful marketing campaigns are nurtured, not born. Luckily, there are unprecedented resources and technology available for small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) like yours to make the most of your advertising and marketing investments.

Because of this, today’s marketing mantra should be: “Test. Analyze. Optimize. Maximize. Repeat.” to make the most of your small business marketing strategy.

Step 1: Test

SMBs advertise and market their businesses to acquire new customers. The channels to do so are varied and range from minimal risk and cost, such as search engine marketing (SEM), to experimental and ultimately risky, like out-of-home (OOH) and radio advertising. It's important to test each channel thoroughly to see what works for your brand! Ultimately, a successful business will want to test a wide variety of advertising and marketing channels.

Step 2: Analyze

Fortunately for today’s SMBs, the ability to analyze your marketing investment is far easier than it used to be. There are a number of tools you can use to analyze your campaigns:

* Call tracking, designated email addresses and designated forms

* * Benefits: The ability to track and attribute direct response phone calls, emails, and form submissions from all channels including SEM, digital display, direct mail and more. These tools work by assigning unique contact info to each campaign, allowing you to analyze where your leads are coming from, and what's not working.

* * Designated landing pages and website analytics

* * Benefits: Use website analytics to see if your website traffic increases in conjunction with marketing efforts, and identify which channel produces the highest spike. Search traffic, social media, and content marketing will populate results directly into your analytics dashboard. Don’t forget to account for seasonality and year-over-year comparisons! Designated landing pages provide even further channel attribution because they are channel specific, i.e. www.propelmarketing.com/directmail vs.www.propelmarketing.com/radio.

* * Marketing dashboards

* * Marketing dashboards allow you to manage all of your marketing information across all channels in one location. This consolidated view helps significantly with Step 3.

* Step 3: Optimize and maximize

After analyzing which channels produce the most customer inquiries, you can optimize your campaigns and messaging to generate more leads. A/B testing is a common way to measure results and optimize effectively. Then maximize your budget by investing in the advertising and marketing channels that are fully optimized, eliminating advertising and marketing that underperforms so you get the most bang for your buck.

Step 4: Repeat

Advertising and marketing are dynamic and evolving strategies. You may have found something that works now, but the market - and your customers - are always changing. Once you have achieved advertising success, don’t forget to repeat the mantra as new solutions and channels arise, staying on top of your marketing strategy!

As you think about your marketing each month, don’t forget to repeat this mantra to stay focused on your goal of maximizing growth and profitability: “Test. Analyze. Optimize. Maximize. Repeat.”

Propel Marketing is an online marketing company providing digital solutions to local small- and medium-sized businesses: www.propelmarketing.com.