It’s January — time for new beginnings and improvements for your security company. Security dealers typically sit with their staff and marketing teams during December and January to reflect upon what was successful during the past year and what was not.

Around this time we also carve out as much time as possible to talk with our clients who have been with us for more than six months, and if you’re not taking the time to do so, you should be.

When it comes to looking at the previous year’s marketing success, we know there is much to talk about, but below we have highlighted seven tips and techniques for talking with your marketing team.

One more thing: If you’re not using some type of analytics like Google Analytics to track your marketing efforts, than go play ping pong or something, because without tracking none of these tips will matter.

1. Look at your marketing plan from last year and reflect. Did you meet your goals? If yes, then there’s no need to start from scratch this year, instead talk about split A/B testing to improve your efforts. If you missed the mark completely, then ask your team, “If we could deliver one message to our potential customers, what would that message be?” Build a new marketing plan around that sole message.

2. Where did your traffic come from? Better yet, was it laser-targeted? If you don’t know exactly who your targeted audience is, you’d better talk about it this year. Knowing the demographics and needs will increase leads coming in from your website.

3. Were your ads properly geared toward your audience? Did you create multiple ads around segments? What we mean is if you were creating ads around home automation, did you focus on advertising to only those interested in home automation as opposed to security? The exception is if you are looking to increase brand awareness. If this is the case, use Facebook on a CPM basis and spend about $1.50 to $2.50 per thousand impressions. We’ve seen increases in leads when we run direct ads along with brand awareness ads, keeping your security company top-of-mind.

4.  Was your website equipped with multiple landing pages to handle the laser-targeted ads and traffic mentioned above, or was traffic directed to your home page? If your ad is offering a free install, create a page for that offer. If your ads are for home automation  — you guessed it — take them to a home automation landing page. Best practices for landing pages include a captivating headline, one paragraph, bullets and your call to action. And keep your call to actions on the left- or right-hand side toward the top; we see better results this way than with them on the bottom of the page.

5. Make sure you’re using tracking URLs on all your ads. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a direct mail piece or Facebook ads, you need to know where your traffic is coming from and, more importantly, what campaigns are converting. Why spend money on campaigns that aren’t generating leads, right? Here is a link for a campaign URL builder:

6. Is your website responsive? If the answer is no, stop right now. Yes, we said stop what you are doing, call up your Web design company, or call your team in immediately; we don’t care if it’s Sunday — get them into the office and talk about revamping your website so it is adapting according to which device the Web visitor is using, including iPads, smartphones and desktop computers. Analytics will let you know the percentages of users by device. If your site is not responsive, kiss your hard-spent marketing dollars goodbye, or, better yet, give us a call.

7.  Know what you’re spending per lead. It’s a simple thing to do in analytics via conversion goals. If you’re spending more than $5,000 a month in TV commercials but are only generating 1 to 5 leads a month, why do it? Track, track, track!

There are so many things to consider, we know. But each week we get asked by existing and potential customers what’s important, what to adjust, what to track and how to generate the best ROI. If you’d like to know more, we’re here to increase awareness to the entire security industry when it comes to marketing.