Too many businesses either do not know how or simply fail to track their on-line and off-line marketing. That means instead of building on what works, they are often guessing and unable to see any results. However, that does not have to be the case. Your child care business, for example, can track both and then use that information to drive future marketing campaigns with the goal of seeing improved results.
Your child care business needs to use data to drive marketing decisions. Otherwise these shots in the dark will net a lot of frustration and misses instead of improved results. However, systematically conducting performance tracking will have different results. First, start with a baseline and clearly defined goals. For example, what is the current enrollment? How many calls per week are received? Once this information has been obtained it will be easier to determine the impact of each marketing strategy.
If your child care business truly wants to see improved results, they have to track both offline and online performance on a consistent basis. Of course, it is best to do performance tracking in the first few weeks of any new strategy. This will provide clear results for the various marketing campaigns. However, setting up some type of review schedule will help to track the results over time. This is important because things can change within the market and successful strategies may need to be revamped.
On-line performance tracking is, on the surface, the easiest to conduct. That’s because many websites and email providers use software that will allow the child care business to track various strategies. For example, website providers can track visitors, back links, and even how many return visitors. Email providers can track who has read emails, deleted them and even forwarded them. However, be cautious as this really only tracks online activity in response to marketing. It doesn’t track conversions to customers.
Off-line to On-line
However, off-line strategies can also be very difficult to track. That’s why your child care business might try to track off-line activity with on-line tools. For example, you might run an ad in the local paper with a unique access code to a landing page. Some businesses have experimented with creating unique suffixes and prefixes attached to their URLs. In this manner, the site knows that the traffic is a direct result of the physical ad. However, in this case, improved results are again only measured by activity and not conversions.
On-line to Off-line
Of course, your child care business is most interested in knowing the effect each strategy is having on enrollment. There are several ways to do this. Simply comparing the correlation between increased enrollments and marketing campaigns can help. Some business will also use a unique phone number that is only available through the on-line campaign. Dialing this number then results in a ping directed to the site. Also, consider on-line coupons for discounts or waivers of registration fees.
So get started now and do some performance tracking. Your child care business can benefit greatly from knowing which campaign is having an effect and which is not. There are multitudes of ways to track both on-line and off-line activity. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks and can provide the center with different information. Regardless of which is chose, data driven decisions are always better than shots in the dark.