Importance of Marketing Plan Evaluation
It goes without saying that marketing is the biggest and most important aspect of any company. Whether you’ve recently setup a new business or have been around for years, having a marketing concept or plan is critical to your organisation’s overall bottom line and continued success.
A definite strategy helps you determine the – who, what, where when, why and how of your business. It also sets out your essential goals and strategies for promoting your product or service. A common trend noticed amongst most business owners is that once the marketing effort is underway, they tend to neglect future marketing. By doing this, your company numbers will suffer, and will not grow in both size and revenue.
Thus, if your marketing concept or strategy is not continually evaluated to determine its effectiveness, the time and money spent on marketing may be wasted. Evaluating marketing strategies help you get more bang for your buck. However, when was the last time you evaluated your marketing concept? If you are not too sure when, now is the time!
Remember, you do not have an unlimited marketing budget. You need to continuously evaluate to examine the effectiveness of each marketing campaign. The results drawn through every evaluation will help you determine which strategies have been successful and which should be dropped in the future.
We’ll further explore more on this subject and see how your company can track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, its effects on ROI and its effects on sales.
Top 5 Parameters to Evaluate a Marketing Strategy
Here is a list of ways to assess the success of your marketing initiatives:
- Return on Investment: The first criteria you must determine is ROI. Does the marketing investment bring in enough new or repeat business to justify the expense? Is it able to produce desirable profits? Take a look at the analytics and the financial benefits your company has earned during the campaign period. Check where your company has made progress and shown results.
If you are getting a high ROI overall, may be you can continue with the same tactic and eliminate unproductive ones. Marketing ultimately works when you are able to convert leads into customers. If there is no change in your company’s profit even after executing a particular campaign, then the marketing plan should be revised accordingly.
- Sales performance: The end goal of any marketing strategy is to raise sales and profits. Thus, it is important to pay close attention to those numbers. The best way to do this is by studying the sales six months before and after the campaign. This will give you a long-term picture of how sales have been affected by your efforts.
If there isn’t an upward trajectory, deconstruct what went wrong and work towards fixing the loopholes. Interact with your sales people as they can be a great barometer in measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Ask for their feedback on customer impressions, marketing materials and timings. If the feedback is overwhelming negative, you must revise your plan. A marketing plan’s effect of sales is important to generate leads.
- Customer response and satisfaction: Customers are the ones purchasing the product or availing the service, so their reactions to marketing campaigns matter. It is an easy and inexpensive way of evaluating marketing strategies. To gauge how a marketing campaign has changed a customer’s perspective towards your company, send out questionnaires and feedback forms.
They can be conducted by phone, in-person, by mail or online. You can ask them things like how they heard of you and what part of your marketing message sparked their interest in your products. This will give you a clear picture of which initiatives are reaching your customers and which market segments are making the most number of purchases.
- Market reaction: The actions of your competitors are often an important parameter in measuring the success or failure of a marketing plan. If your competitors quickly rush to adopt the same strategies as you, then your plan is probably working. If your campaigns are going ignored by them, then there’s an issue you need to address. On the other hand, if you have applied strategies similar to your competitors, keep track of their social media followers, the frequency at which they post content and how their customers are responding. This way, you can tweak your marketing strategy wherever needed.
- SWOT analysis: Conducting a SWOT analysis will provide you with sufficient information about the strengths and weakness of a marketing strategy. It also gives you insights if a marketing plan needs expansion. In case it does, that means your plan is working.
Though marketing is not scientific, evaluating each effort from time to time is important. This will also help you shape future strategies. Using the above five points, you can assess the effectiveness of a marketing plan. Remember, you’re not a great marketer if you are not tracking numbers.
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