Retail magnate John Wanamaker once famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

unnamed-2Fortunately, more than 100 years later, advanced technologies now exist that can tell you exactly which marketing efforts are paying off and which ones aren’t. Marketing automation technologies like Signpost gather dozens of data points to provide businesses with actionable charts, stats, and insights that can maximize revenue and minimize costs.

But with all of these data points, how do you know if your online marketing strategy is working for your small business? First, establish your business’s goals so that you know what signs of success to look for. Sure, ultimately you want to increase sales, but breaking up your goals makes it easier to understand where in the sales funnel your marketing strategy is working and where it’s not.

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As a local business owner, you should be able to answer “yes” to the following four important marketing strategy questions:

1. Are you driving feedback?

The best way to know how customers feel about your business is to ask them. Sounds simple enough, but most small businesses don’t ask their users for feedback—even though doing so would help businesses understand their customers better. Gathering feedback and insights from customers can help you build better products and services and market your offerings in a more relevant way. This will help you continuously improve and stay on top of your industry. To help get a handle on how your customers feel about your business, consider using a marketing solution, like Signpost, which prompts customers for unbiased feedback, notifies you when people respond, and stores all the information for easy access.

2. Are you driving reviews?

In today’s digital world, where an estimated 81% of customers conduct online research before making a purchasing decision, having a positive online presence means everything to your business’s success. And the more positive reviews you have on your site, the better your conversions. Signpost reminds customers to refer their network and encourages them to share their positive reviews of your business online. If 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends, family, and the online community more than they do any kind of advertisement, then it should be every business’s priority to get customers to spread the good word.

3. Are you driving referrals?

Like the aforementioned, recommendations from friends, family, and the online community is everything to consumers today. If you’re able to encourage customers to refer their own networks to your business, then you have found the secret sauce to marketing. This kind of word-of-mouth marketing is the lifeline of any local business, and it’s the result of effective online marketing. When a business is able to communicate effectively, it builds a strong connection and a good relationship with its customers, who are then more likely to recommend that business to a connection.

4. Are you driving loyal customers back in the door?

Signpost believes that “the only thing better than a new customer is a repeat customer.” The longer a customer has been purchasing from your business, the more they’ll spend with your company. A study by Bain & Company found that apparel shoppers spend 67% more per order after shopping with a company for 30 months compared to how much they spent during the initial purchase. In short, a loyal customer is much more profitable than the average customer and a repeat customer is always more cost effective than a new one. Signpost’s tools identify your most active customers and use automated, custom messages and activity-based offers to build loyalty. To know whether your online marketing is working, you need to ask yourself if your strategy is helping you understand your customers better. Do you know what they want from your product or service? Are you providing the product or service they want? And if so, have you encouraged them to spread the good word for you? That’s what good marketing is supposed to do. Signpost can help you track your success and automate campaigns that make the most out of your budget.