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Are your marketing techniques working?

Are your marketing techniques working?

Marketing has always been an integral part of running a successful retail business. Whether you're a small, one-of-a-kind store or a manager running a chain outlet, you need to make sure that your campaigns are reaching your intended customer base. Unfortunately, it can be hard to measure exactly which of your techniques are pulling customers in the door and which are going unnoticed. Here are a few tips to help you gather metrics:

The trouble with customer surveys
Obviously, the easiest way to analyze your marketing efforts is to ask customers directly what is and is not working. However, customers aren't always eager to fill out a survey, especially if they don't get anything in return. This is why you need to offer your shoppers something special if they participate. For example, you can tell everyone who fills out a survey that they get a 20 percent discount on select items lining your display cases or gondola shelves. You can even hide the survey in a different sort of form. For instance, try asking customers to fill out a form to be entered into a promotional raffle, and at the bottom of the form, have a question asking them how they heard about your shop.

Your employees are your ears
You may not be able to interview every single customer who makes a purchase at your store, but the employees patrolling your clothing racks and wall displays will be able to give you valuable insight, as long as they keep their ears open. You may want to train your cashiers to casually bring up marketing techniques to see if they are working at all. For example, you can advise them to ask customers if they've signed up to your Facebook feed to get great deals. Not only will this help you know if your social media marketing campaigns are working, but it will also encourage more people to log on and check out your page.

Watch the books
One of the best ways to monitor your marketing is to keep an eye on your periodic revenue. Try out different marketing techniques at different points throughout the year. Eventually, you'll be able to compare your year-over-year income, and you'll be able to see which ad campaigns caused spikes and which fell flat. This is more of a long-term strategy, so make sure you are still analyzing your outreach on a day-to-day basis.