In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever to utilize these small business marketing tips to ensure that you get the most out of your marketing and advertising dollars. Being aware of critical data such as how much you spend to acquire each customer and where that customer comes from is no longer a luxury but rather a matter of survival. You must have systems in place that will record and track this type of information so that you can determine which of your advertising and marketing methods are producing the best results for your business. This type of information is not always obvious because of the number of factors involved, so you must rely on written data to better assist your analysis.Tracking Your AdvertisingOne of the most important business marketing tips you can implement is to have your staff politely asked every single prospect how did they hear about your business. Every time someone calls into your office or enters your business, your staff should be asking “How did you hear about us?” I also suggest that you take it one step further, if appropriate, and try to get a little bit more information.For example if they say I heard an ad on the radio you can ask “Do you remember what station it was?” or if they say “I saw an ad in the newspaper [or magazine]” you can ask “Do you remember which one it was?” Some people will not remember exactly where they saw it or don’t want to be bothered telling you, but even if you got that additional data only half the time, you would still be ahead of the game. This is particularly useful especially if you’re advertising in multiple places using the same type of media.Tag Your AdvertisementsAnother business marketing tip to help you track your leads is to tag every ad with a unique discount code. For example, you could say something like “Mention coupon code ABC and receive 10% off.” An alternative to this would be to have some fictitious extension as part of your phone number to receive a special offer so the caller would ask for extension 123, and your staff would respond “I can help you” and would record that number (say, on a spreadsheet) which would be linked to a specific ad or TV spot. Of course all prospects would still receive the same offer regardless if they remembered the specific code or not but you would be surprised how many people would make it a point to remember exactly where they saw the advertisement and what the code was in order to receive the additional bonus or special offer.Prospects Versus CustomersAdditionally on your spreadsheet, you should also be tracking whether that prospect converted into a sale or not. This is vitally important because you may be getting lots of responses to one particular type of marketing or advertising, however you may find that the majority of your sales are actually coming from some other ad or medium. Tracking your responses is certainly an important part of your overall marketing program. Ultimately however, you are only interested in where your sales are coming from. Obviously you want to invest your advertising dollars where they will produce the greatest return.By implementing these small business marketing tips and making them part of your normal operations, you can begin to see increased profits in your business and more effective advertising. You can also gain a strategic edge in your marketplace because most of your competitors will not be employing these methods.