How to Monitor & Control Effectiveness of your Marketing Strategy

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Evaluation is an important part of marketing: it helps your company eliminate ineffective strategies and develop an overall plan that helps build your business. By scheduling regular evaluations of your marketing plan, you can save wasted money by modifying or eliminating campaigns that are not reaching your target market or garnering the response you need. As you plan, build in mechanisms to monitor the success of each marketing effort to make evaluation cheaper and easier.

Check for Changes in Sales

Because the end goal of most marketing efforts is to raise sales and profits, use the numbers to measure how your campaigns are affecting customer behavior. Look at the sales before a marketing campaign, during its rollout and for six months afterward; keep track of the long-term response to monitor delayed effects.

Use a Questionnaire

An easy and inexpensive way to evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing technique is to talk directly to consumers using a questionnaire. If you want to check on how well you are promoting new features or services to existing clients, talk to customers who have been with your company for some time. To gauge how a marketing campaign has impacted customer perception, send out surveys to a random sampling of your target audience to see how familiar they are with your company. Ask new customers where they heard about you to see which of your marketing strategies is the most persuasive.

Monitor Your Progress

Marketing can be used to support your overall business objectives, so it’s helpful to monitor your progress towards strategic business goals. At regular intervals, conduct an evaluation of each goal. If you find that the progress toward one is slower than the others, your marketing strategies for that goal may be ineffective or need to be ramped up.

Compare Your Strategy to Competitors

If you are employing similar strategies to competitors, you can compare them to find differences in frequency, quality, content and response. Note the number of places competitors’ advertisements show up, how many social media followers they have, how their profits changed after a campaign or how they have altered their other marketing strategies.

Evaluate the Return on Investment

Even if your marketing strategies are helping to achieve your company goals, they can be unsustainable if they cost more than they make. Calculate the cost of each campaign and the man-hours that go into each project, then measure that cost against the campaign’s profits to determine the return on investment. If there is no change in profit, the campaign may not be worth keeping.

Efficient monitoring of a marketing plan ensures that your investment is not wasted; without knowing how effective each strategy is, you may be throwing away money on useless efforts. As you plan and execute a marketing plan, build in monitoring tools from the beginning and be ruthless in eliminating strategies that are not worth the time and money you spend creating them. With a regular program of evaluation, you can end up with a streamlined, powerful marketing system.

Choose tracking tools that are appropriate for each strategy in your marketing plan. List each marketing effort that is planned for the coming year and find tools that will help you monitor its effectiveness. For web-based initiatives, look into website analytics programs like Google Analytics; for discounts, you can use coupon codes that are different for each publication in which you advertise.

Build in monitoring systems at the beginning of each marketing effort. Before you launch a new campaign, implement your monitoring tools. Put a tracking code into your website HTML code, for example, or set up a spreadsheet to monitor sales progress. Treat evaluation and tracking as an integral part of the marketing process and assign one of your marketing staff to monitoring duties.

Track the response of sales before and after the launch of a marketing campaign. Because the end goal of marketing is often to boost sales, keep an eye on how each effort impacts your sales. Ask sales staff for specific feedback on the number of qualified leads that come in after a new promotion, and request that they ask customers how they came to your company for more detailed results.

Talk to your customers. For marketing efforts that are difficult to monitor quantitatively, such as awareness-building, survey customers and members of your target audience. Send out simple email on your social media profiles, and post one on your website. Design questions that will get you specific information that relates to the success of your marketing campaign: customer knowledge of new features or awareness of environmental efforts, for example.

Eliminate ineffective marketing strategies. To make your monitoring efforts worthwhile and to streamline the marketing plan, cut programs that do not achieve their initial goals. Pay particular attention to strategies that cost a large amount of money to make sure that the return on investment is worthwhile. Pare down your marketing plan so that it contains only the most effective activities, which will make room for new efforts.

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