As someone who has fairly recently started a new business, I knew that I would be spending a great deal of time marketing and developing the business. What I hadn't really thought about too much was the difference between marketing success and business success - or perhaps I simply hadn't considered the measurement of marketing in any depth before.
I the time that I have been "trading", both solo and with James Dunning at Geotrupes, we have gained reasonable press exposure, spoken at two conferences, gained followers on Twitter and for our blogs, and undoubtedly raised awareness of our business. These can all be considered marketing successes.
What has been interesting, however, is the link to business success. No matter how many followers we have, and no matter how wonderful our websites are (and I think they are of course), none of this matters if it doesn't lead to business - i.e. to income.
I spoke with a good friend of mine who has had (and is having) a long a glorious career in international media and marketing. I asked him about the link between marketing and business success. Only after I agreed to his anonymity did he admit that he (and apparently his industry) goes to huge lengths to avoid that link and to stop clients measuring business success by business success. It would appear to be, if not all smoke and mirrors, then at least most smoke and mirrors.
My point is this - don't get caught up in marketing for marketing's sake. Always measure your marketing in business terms. Enforce the link and make sure your marketing is paying off in real terms.