Many small businesses do not have the budget to run a mass media marketing campaign, whether it be in print, online, radio, TV, or billboard. The remaining marketing investments do not have a storied reputation or are being questioned for their performance. Daily deals options like Living Social or Groupon and couponing services like Valpak or others both face the same reality—their performance is marginal and not measurable and their cost is expensive. Social media ads have some merit and are more measurable, but they take time to get right.

Before you make any marketing investment decisions for your small business, there are a few foundational steps that will ensure your success:
• It’s important to measure your marketing performance. Do you have an overall marketing dashboard?
• Make sure that all of the free marketing options have been harvested. Can you be using search, social, or email marketing more effectively?
• The challenge with paid marketing (in any channel) is that it has to create at least as much as profit as the investment. Before you invest in a couponing or daily deal program, can you ensure that you will recoup the investment?

There are few marketing programs available to small businesses that allow a small business owner to understand their entire marketing landscape, can isolate each marketing activity for its generated lift, and can offer the visibility of each solutions actual results. This marketing knowledge gap is the reason that we formed Saffron Key—to ensure that every coin invested by small business owners was invested to drive measurable results.