Nature doesn't keep doing things that don't work

February 21, 2019

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Eustace Conway of Mountain Men fame. During our visit, he pointed to a chewed up log he used as a seat by a fire pit and said, “We have a woodpecker. And it’s getting bugs. Do you know how I can tell? Because he keeps doing it; and unlike some people, nature doesn’t keep doing things that don’t work.”

This got me thinking about marketing and how many marketers/sales managers/CEOs keep doing what they’re doing even though it’s not working. Why? Perhaps a small percentage are just stuck in their ways, comfortable or even apathetic. But the vast majority just don’t know that what they’re doing isn’t effective.

What did your promotional activities cost last year?
What metrics were you tracking to measure effectiveness?
What were the results?

If you can’t answer those, you could be investing in a losing strategy.

Tracking doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but as with anything, you get what you pay for. When designing your plan, ask yourself what the most important data is to you. What can be best leveraged to make decisions and grow your business? Whether email communications, print/digital advertising, social media, trade show attendance… data CAN be collected and used to continually improve your results.

If you’re on a tight budget, or just starting out, these are my top three free tracking recommendations. If you do nothing else, leverage these:


Your website should be the hub of all your activities. Driving traffic here allows you to track interest in your offering and see what information your visitors dig in to, spend time learning about and, ultimately, where you lose them.


Great for scheduling, engaging in conversations and tracking interactions on social media, Hootsuite is free for up to three platforms (for example, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook). Calculating ROI for social media can be difficult; this makes it easier to see what content is resonating with your market.


Shorten long web links and track clicks with bitly. See which links are the most clicked and what channel is getting those clicks.

Whether your program is large or small, well established or just being developed, make sure you’re tracking results so you can adapt and change course as you understand the effectiveness of your activities.

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