Written In Stone

IX. Measure your results

If you spend your money on marketing without measuring the results, you could end up wasting big bucks. Many simple tracking mechanisms can tell you which efforts are working--and which should be scrapped. If you use coupons in your advertisements, have small codes printed on them so you can track rates of return from different media. In broadcast advertising, offer a discount if customers mention where they heard your ad. Ask all customers where they heard about you. Use contests or surveys to learn which media vehicles your customers are choosing for information and entertainment--and begin incorporating those media into your advertising and public relations efforts.

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Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the July 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Written In Stone.

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