I remember when I was a kid spending time at my cousin’s typesetting business in Baltimore. It was the largest such operation in the area and his clients included many of the finest companies. They relied on the business to expertly lay out their brochures, newspaper ads, direct mail pieces, etc. for printing.
What I didn’t understand at the time was that with the exception of well-orchestrated direct mail campaigns, customers were largely unable to tie their print collateral to its actual impact. Whether a pretty (and costly) four-color, multi-fold brochure actually paid for itself (or could have been arranged in a manner that would have achieved better results) was a subjective / hypothetical guesstimate at best.
Fast forward to the reality that instead of print collateral, today’s marketing often occurs digitally and online, which is the reason there are so few typesetters and printers still around. While the adoption of the Internet is omnipresent, the commitment to data analysis hasn’t been as permeating.
Rather than having to ask someone how he / she heard about you, the data is readily available through tools like Google Analytics. The marketing piece no longer needs to be viewed in an all-or-nothing framework; parts may be good and others may need refinement. That’s the beauty of the web; anything can be assessed, intelligently modified and factored back into future efforts (SEO, SEM, Social Media) immediately … if your site and marketing initiatives are properly coded to be tracked.
No groundbreaking insights here, just a reminder to invest the resources to close the loop and thus avail yourself the opportunity to attain impressive results.