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Operating Communities Action Plan — Item #6, Track Your Results

If you have been following the posts for the last few weeks, you know we have been sharing our thoughts on marketing action steps every community should be considering in these tough times. For the most part, we’ve stuck to the basics, because these provide the best return.

We began by talking about executing a consistent program to drive a steady stream of leads. Then we shared the value of a targeted approach to focus your efforts with prospects that match your community profile. We told you not to overlook your lead base and to find every opportunity to leverage this valuable asset. We highlighted ways you can make your web site work more effectively, as seniors look there first to gather information. And finally, last week, we spoke to the need for a well-trained and motivated sales team that can convert the highest percentage of leads.

In this final installment, we bring everything together by touching on tracking results. Executing several of the suggestions we’ve made requires detailed marketing data such as resident profiles, top-producing zip codes, sales staff conversion rates and others. These are only available if data is being tracked each and every day. Do you track every lead? Do you know which sources are producing the best results? Are you tracking re-inquiry? Is data being entered consistently by everyone? Do you know the level of web traffic coming to your site? If you don’t know the answer to these and other questions, you can’t effectively measure the return you are receiving from your marketing investment.

We know from our conversations with community marketing staffs that budgets are tight and choices need to be made. What should we do comes down to what has worked? Where do we get the best return is answered by what has performed in the past? If you’ve been tracking results and building your knowledge base, keep up the good work. If not, get started. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Make it a priority, so it doesn’t get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.
  • Integrate it into the process. Put it on a checklist and train for it right up front.
  • Spot-check data to be sure all data is being collected and tracked correctly.
  • Review results on a regular basis to gain value from the practice.

Marketing isn’t a one-time event. It’s an evolving, ever-changing activity that must be continuously evaluated. Having a record of past activity helps you make better, more confident decisions, and lets you invest your marketing dollars wisely.

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