The end of the year is fast approaching, probably a lot faster than most of us would prefer. It is typically a time for reflecting, planning and budgeting. So how can you see what your marketing activity has actually done for your business? How can you make sure what you do next year will add value to your bottom line?
A lot of businesses find it difficult to identify the contribution their marketing makes. There are, however, some really simple ways to monitor your results and achieve maximum performance:
Plan, plan, plan. Map out clearly what you need to achieve with your marketing and plan exactly what you need to do to achieve it. And be disciplined about following your plan. That doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible or that you can’t make changes, just that you need to have direction and focus.
Make a proper evaluation of the ‘before picture’. If you don’t know what your starting point is, you cannot evaluate how far you have moved. Only ever undertake marketing activities that can actually be measured. That sounds a bit over simplified but being quite brutal about it, if you don’t know what that £500 banner ad is actually going to achieve, is there any point in doing it?
Set achievable, measurable and clearly defined targets for all your activity before you start. If what you need to achieve is 10 appointments per month via telemarketing decide on that from the outset, be realistic about the resource needed and determine exactly what constitutes an appointment.
Don’t be tempted by the last minute cheap deal if it doesn’t truly support your objectives – the wrong cheap deal is sometimes an expensive waste of precious resource.
If you can’t see what your marketing is achieving, it most likely hasn’t been evaluated and set up correctly from the outset. Taking some time from the beginning to think about the longer term could save you money, make your marketing schedule easier to deliver and improve effectiveness of your activity.
Don’t forget though, it isn’t often any one activity that will lead to an influx of new business enquiries, but a sustained and coordinated approach should show you a positive return in both new business generation and overall brand awareness.