How Do Companies Know if Marketing Is Working?

finance

E-Marketing, SEO, SEM, Pay Per Click, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, PR and telemarketing all have their pros and all have their cons, but which works best?

Are the areas of marketing that the company are focusing on bringing the biggest return for the money and time spent? How do they track what is and isn’t working? Are there other areas of the marketing that could be utilised more?

To make sure companies are getting a real return on investment, now more than ever, it is important to track what is and isn’t working. Make sure that the company can see what comes in and from where. Is it point of sale marketing or advertising, website or telemarketing, PR or network marketing?

Don’t Waste Money

Without seriously monitoring and tracking marketing spend and what it is bringing in, companies may as well be pouring money down the drain. Creative thinking and design are all very nice but are wasted if they are not tracking the actual effect it is having on the business.

If a company has paid serious money for a visual design or creative agency to change adverts, have they been monitoring, since that change, to see what effect that change has had on the business? Ideally if the company sell has been made more attractive, if the adverts stand out more and if the hook is more likely to catch customers then this would be worth knowing and maybe getting the agency to look at other areas of the business.

In much the same way knowing which avenues are making money, such as web and telesales, and which aren’t will mean that the company can make strategic changes to the marketing plan so that the budget brings in more of a return. Companies can then put more money and time into the areas that are working and make changes to the areas that aren’t.

How to Track Marketing Results

The beauty of an eBusiness is the ability to monitor and track results of marketing. Never before has the results of marketing been so easy to track. Companies can see which is bringing the company the most web visits for their money. But which is bringing the best return for your investment? These are not the same, after all a web visit is pointless unless the visitor makes a purchase or generates some income for the business.

This is where making sure adverts, search rankings and other marketing all appear in front of the right searches namely the targeted audience comes into its own. It is also about making sure the message, the call to action and the landing page are relevant to the search made. If a person is searching for “new laptops” and the website deliver them a page on “refurbished PCs”, then that result has not facilitated the searchers need and they will leave as quickly as they arrived which means the marketing budget to get that visitor has been wasted.

Companies need to be able to track what internet marketing is bringing hits that convert to sales. Companies need to analyse web analytics for this information. This is all fine and good for eBusiness but what about traditional businesses? Well there are a few well-documented tips that can help to monitor the success of individual adverts, press releases or special promotions. These are to add a promotional code, use a marketing telephone number and make sure to ask the question.

A promotional code for individual ads or press releases will aid in simply being able to see how many times that code was being used and therefore how many times that ad was seen, and it resulted in a sale. With a marketing number, a different one for each promotion, companies can easily track how many people called on the basis of the phone bill for that telephone number. The downside to this is the fact that a company can end up having lots of phone numbers and these need to be maintained.

Simply asking new customers how they heard about the company is the simplest way of tracking results. The key here is getting all staff that answer the phones to not only ask this question but to record the answer properly allowing the company to track more easily.

In Conclusion – Analyse the Data

It is all well and good tracking what is and isn’t working for a company, but the data is needed for educated decisions on marketing and not just knee-jerk reactions. If something isn’t working that used to and company needs to ask itself why? What has changed?

If one area is more successful than others how much has it cost the company to actually get each sale, it may be bringing in more customers but is it costing a lot more to get them there in the first place and therefore may not be worth the investment. If so, are the margins are not enough, it may consider looking at the pricing, or putting more money in other marketing where the cost of gaining the customer is less.

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Loft Conversions and Planning Permission

Generally planning permission is not needed for internal works, such as a basic loft conversion or a standard kitchen or dining room home extension. However, there are exceptions to this, so it might be a good idea to check with the townhall or a local builder who has experience with this.

Although planning permission may not be an issue, you still need to make sure your plans have been checked and approved by your local council to ensure they comply with the building regulations. These are in place to make sure that work done is safe and completed to an acceptable standard.

When making your plans check with your local council what the current regulations area and what costs are involved, they may vary slightly between areas. Building regulations are made up of ‘approved documents’ each one detailing the legal requirements relating to one aspect of building. The areas covered are:

  • Structural stability
  • Fire safety
  • Fire resistance
  • Resistance to moisture
  • Ventilation
  • Noise insulation
  • Stairways
  • Thermal insulation

You are required to submit a Building Regulation application to your local council. You have the choice to submit either full plans giving full details of your project, or a Building notice giving a brief outline of the work proposed

If you are paying a professional to carry out your conversation, they will normally submit all relevant planning permission on your behalf.

Quality and Insulation

A basic loft conversion will require fitting a chipboard floor, a window and a stairway. Other items can be added according to what is required from the design.

The type of Conversion that is chosen to have a big impact on the scale of the project;

  • “Velux”(skylights) conversions only use the space already available.
  • “Dormer” conversions use the available height but extend the side of the roof.
  • “Mansard” and “double mansard” create a lot more space and involve carrying out structural changes to the roof.

A Loft conversion need to be a minimum of 2.4 any lower or it may not reach legal requirements.

Extra supports may be required on the first floor to support the extra weight.

Fire rules apply to conversions within houses of over 50sq meters or two habitable rooms. Different rules apply to bungalows.

Every loft conversion needs a proper staircase, for smaller properties space saver staircases are a good option.

Heating and Ventilations

It is important to make sure loft conversions are fitted with correct ventilation and insulation to maintain even temperature, reduce the chance of dampness and to prevent draughts. When planning a loft conversion make sure you have allowed for adequate windows and air vents, if unsure consult a professional tradesman for advice

When installing insulation, you are required to meet the legal minimum thickness. If planning a loft conversion remember that the depth of your insulation affects the overall height of your conversion so allow for the extra space that will be used.

If planning to convert your loft yourself, it is seriously recommended that you contract professional to undertake the more difficult aspects of the project. All electrical work should be undertaken by a qualified electrician.