Since I’m a business growth specialist, entrepreneurs constantly ask me for low cost, high-impact advertising and marketing strategies.

By far, the best tip I know is simple: track everything!

So simple…yet so few business owners actually do this. It takes time and effort. But, more than that, it presupposes that what you’re doing is actually trackable. You can’t track the untrackable.

That’s where the real issue is. A great deal (if not most) of the marketing and advertising done by entrepreneurs is completely untrackable.

But, if you’re not tracking your marketing and advertising, how do you expect to know what’s working? It’s not possible.

And if you don’t know what is working, then you can’t know what isn’t working. And if that’s the case, then you’re very likely spending lots of money on marketing and advertising that has no chance of success.

If that resonates with you, I can guarantee that you’re leaving tons of money on the table! And you’re also flushing tons of money down the drain in the form of wasted advertising.

I see so many business owners metaphorically stick their heads in the sand and write check after check for local advertising and all kinds of marketing ventures (SEO, social media, mobile apps, etc.). They are forced to keep their heads in the sand because it’s way too painful to admit the truth…that they’ll never know what their actual return on investment (ROI) is for the checks they’ve just written.

Let’s imagine that you just spent $1,000 on a newspaper ad and have no way of accurately tracking the response to that ad. How do you know if your return on investment for that ad is $1, $100, $1,000 or if your investment brought an extra $10,000 in new business through the doors?

Should you run the same ad again next week? Or should you change it? Should you spend more or less on the next ad? Should you use that same ad in another media?

The point is that you don’t know. You can’t know. If you experience any perceived increase in customer traffic after placing an untrackable ad, then all you can do is guess.

When you’re guessing, you’re gambling with your hard-earned dollars.

It’s the same with any other marketing process. If you don’t make it trackable, then obviously you can’t track it. If you can’t track it, you can’t (and won’t) know for sure whether it worked.

I often hear stuff like, “Yeah, but if you get a lot of obvious new customers coming through the door after placing such an ad…isn’t it enough just to call the ad a success?”

Not really.

The reason is that, when you take the time to make the ad trackable, then you’re able to accurately measure the success or failure of that ad.

Then, and only then, do you have any semblance of control over your ad campaign. Then, and only then, do you know whether an ad was profitable or lost money for you.

If you accurately track your advertising, then you have the proper insight to know whether you can justify spending the same, or even more, on a similar ad in the future.

Why would you want anything less than that level of control? Without the knowledge that puts you in control…again, you’re just gambling.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ll find that advice to be quite reasonable. Yet, you’ll likely still fail to track your advertising and marketing.

So, let me haunt you with an image or two.

One thing that often gets the attention of business owners is to simply add up all of your expenditures on each and every marketing/advertising campaign for the entire year thus far. Once you’ve added it all up…look closely at the amount of money that you’ve spent…and let it sink in that you have ZERO idea of what actually worked (and to what degree it may have worked) and what didn’t work. You quite literally could have thrown most of that money down the drain.

You likely would have had better luck in Vegas with that money. At least you’d walk away from Vegas knowing how much you won or lost!!

Now, imagine taking a bucket full of cash and coins and pouring it down the toilet as it’s flushing.

If you’re not tracking…these images represent your marketing and advertising model. You’re flushing money down the toilet regularly! You’re gambling your money away!

Ok, if that didn’t get your attention then nothing will!!

If you’re looking for low cost, high-impact advertising and marketing strategies…then simply make ALL of your advertising and marketing trackable and then track and test everything!

For more free advertising and marketing tips and strategies, please visit my website

Author's Bio: 

Tom Matlock is a business growth strategist and specialist who takes a non-traditional approach to marketing and advertising. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs and business owners to grow their businesses without having to spend more money on advertising. He accomplishes this by identifying underutilized and hidden marketing opportunities and transforming them into profitable assets. With this approach, many business owners begin to experience exponential growth (as much as 25%-125% or more) in as little as 60-90 days and they're able to obtain peace of mind, security and predictability as their businesses grow and thrive in this roller coaster economy. The system he works with is so powerful that he is able to offer a zero-risk guarantee on his consulting services. For more information, please visit