By Alex Genadinik

When you think about any marketing campaign, how do you know whether it will ultimately help you achieve your business objectives? In this article I will present the 4 things you need to consider to be able to determine whether you should undertake any marketing-related action or not, and provide a case study example for how to think through your marketing efforts. They are scale, cost, targeting and conversion.

You should be able to know how many people you will be reaching.  The more people you can reach, the better. Also, if you can sustainably reach people over time, it is equally good as reaching many people at once.

Of course, cost matters. If you can reach people inexpensively, it is much better. Just don’t confuse not paying with free. If you have to invest time and effort, then the cost is the value of that time and effort, especially if you have to pay a salary to the employee who is working on this marketing campaign.

Targeting is extremely important.  You must identify your target market and make sure you reach them. If you make the mistake of mis-identifying, misunderstanding, or not targeting your target market correctly, you will be reaching people who do not care about what you are offering, and your efforts will be wasted.

When your targeted potential clients learn about you at scale, and at an acceptable cost, you must make sure that your website (or whatever is the first point of contact these people make with your business) can actually convert those visitors into actual clients.

Case Study Example
Many people think about Facebook as a potential place where they can market to people. Let’s consider an example of a Facebook group that I maintain for my mobile business apps  to see whether it is an effective way to advertise. Here is the Facebook group in question.

Does this scale? The answer is no, because my updates are only seen by about 25 percent of the people who liked the page, and most of the people pressed “like” because I had a call to action for that inside my mobile apps.  So there is minimal reach beyond the people who initially liked the page.

Is the cost appropriate? Surprisingly no, because I did not get any viral effect, and no new customers came from Facebook.  My cost was the call to action which could have been asking users to do something else which may have been more useful. And it takes time to maintain this group. So the investment is 90% unrecouped.

Did I reach my target users? Surprisingly no, because the people who liked the page were already users of my apps, and almost no new users came from inside Facebook itself. And even if they did, they would be random people who are friends of my users, and not necessarily people interested in business.

Did they convert? This is not even applicable.

Alex Genadinik is the founder of Problemio business apps.  He holds a B.S in Computer Science from San Jose State University. Please say hello to Alex on Twitter @genadinik and let him know whether this article was helpful to you in your marketing efforts.