Marketing Plan / Marketing Strategy

Why and How to Conduct a Simple Quarterly Marketing Review

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Reasons to Conduct a Simple Marketing Review

How is your marketing working for you? Did it help you increase visibility, generate more leads or find new lucrative clients? Even if you feel your marketing was successful, conducting a simple marketing review every 90 days enables you to measure and track your marketing effectiveness.

A quarterly marketing review is important for the following reasons:

  • It helps you determine which marketing activities are working and what are not
  • You quickly see what you should continue doing and what you should eliminate before they cost you time and money
  • The right activities help you continue to move towards your outcome goal

But why so often you ask? There are many reasons to do your planning in short, 90 day segments. The following are just a few examples:

  • The market for your products and services can change. Reviewing every 90 days ensures you notice the changes before it’s too late
  • Marketing changes rapidly. What worked yesterday may not work today.
  • Your channels to reach your target audience may have changed. The faster you notice where your audience has moved can help you adjust.
  • Activities you are spending time and resources on aren’t aligned with your vision or aren’t getting you closer to your outcome goals. 

If you wait a year to review your marketing, you can waste a lot of money and time on things that aren’t working or you may miss opportunities that can positively affect your business.

Difference between marketing review and marketing audit

The words audit and review can be used interchangeably. However, for our purposes, there is a distinct difference:

  • A marketing review is a simplified assessment of your activities and how they are helping you achieve your goals.
  • A marketing audit takes a deep-dive look at all of your existing marketing assets and activities to determine how well they are serving your business.

Those marketing activities that are working stay the course. Those that aren’t, you may be able to adjust the campaign and test for another quarter. Or you can eliminate those completely and add something else that may work better.

So on a quarterly basis, you should do the simplified marketing review to make sure your effort is paying off in new leads and new customers.

What to look for while conducting your review

When you conduct this simple review of your marketing activities and results, what should you be looking for? What are the signs that things aren’t going in the right direction?

First look at whether your marketing activities are driving inbound leads and sales. If not, then we need to determine why.

Tracking your results helps you understand how each marketing activity is contributing to your success. You can make informed decisions about whether to continue with what you are doing or try something else. For each marketing activity, answer the following questions:

  • Does the activity help your business achieve its goals?
  • Has the activity resulted in new leads, brand visibility or sales?
  • How much did the campaign cost in terms of dollars or resources?
  • Was the return on your investment worth the effort?

For those that are working, great. Keep doing what you are doing.

For those activities that aren’t working, we need to figure out why.

Reasons why your marketing isn’t working

Your target market has changed

Have you noticed a difference in the type of clients you now attract? As your business grows and matures, your ideal client will naturally evolve. As you get a clearer perspective on your business, you begin to attract an audience that:

  • Values what you have to offer
  • Enjoys working with you 
  • Is willing to pay more for your expertise.

Not only do you thrive working with this client, these clients truly benefit from working with you.

Maybe it’s time to focus and cater your services to this new, more lucrative market. These changes will require you to adjust your messages, content, service offerings and marketing activities. But by focusing on a particular niche, you can be clear on exactly what you offer and how it helps them.

Your messages miss your intended target

Getting noticed in a crowded market is difficult. How do you create a message that cuts through the media clutter and captures the attention of your target audience? When you can be this clear about how you serve your audience, visitors to your website will see that “this person really understands what I need”.

Customers want solutions to their problems. Your core message needs to demonstrate how you solve their biggest challenge. It should make them understand why they should trust you and choose your business over the competition. Talk about the experiences your ideal customers will have and how they will benefit from working with you.

Your products and services are not relevant to your target market

Correctly pricing and packaging your products and services for your target audience is one of the more powerful marketing activities that you can do. Are your products and services:

  • Created to help your ideal client overcome some critical need?
  • Packaged such that they highlight your unique skills aimed at your ideal client?
  • Priced to fit their budget while maximizing your revenue?

Value packaging your services to align with their needs reduces their perceived risk of working with you and makes their purchase decision much easier.

Your brand is inconsistent across all your web properties.

Your brand is everything you do and say, not just the visual image your business projects.

  • Do you project the same image and message across all web properties?
  • Does your website accurately reflect who you work with and what you offer?
  • Is what you say on your social profiles consistent with what is on your website?

If your marketing tools are inconsistent, you confuse your prospects which reflects poorly on your brand. It is important that your brand be consistent every place your business has a profile so that no matter where someone finds your business, they are left with a compelling, lasting impression.

Your website needs a face lift.

In addition to an inconsistent brand, is your website fresh and does it properly project your expertise? If not, it’s time for a website makeover. Without a well developed, quality website, your visibility is compromised.

Creating a compelling website and investing in search engine optimization helps you establish a strong web presence. As the hub of your web presence and the central focal point of your inbound marketing strategy, your website is where you can regularly develop and promote relevant, brand-related content that can drive more inbound leads and increase your revenue.

5 Steps to a Simple Marketing Review

1. Review your marketing goals

All of your marketing should help you achieve your goals. Your goals should have a measurable outcome such as number of leads generated. Organize your marketing activities around each goal so that you can see if each is contributing to the outcome.

Some of your marketing may be used to create visibility and awareness in order to create brand value. These activities are a bit harder to measure but you could use search engine visibility as a metric. Make sure you balance both so that you have the revenue you need to stay in business while developing your reputation or brand.

2. Determine which marketing activities resulted in revenue

When prospects contact you, you should ask them how they found your business. When you collect this information, you now have some data to track your results.

Make sure your website asks the question on the contact form. Train whoever answers the phone to ask the question, “How did you hear about us?”. Most people will tell you and you may just be surprised by their answers. By asking this question, you get a better understanding of where your clients look for your types of services.

3. Calculate how much you spent on each activity

There are some marketing dollars that you just need to invest. You absolutely need a web presence, therefore your website and any money you spend on setting up and maintaining your social media profiles and citations are something you truly can’t eliminate.

For the different types of marketing strategies that you may want to execute, you need to determine the cost to implement and the revenue derived from each. Types of marketing activities that you could implement include:

  • Inbound marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Direct marketing (both email and direct mail)
  • Online paid advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads)
  • Traditional paid advertising
  • Networking and referrals (memberships in BNI / Chamber of Commerce / Better Business Bureau)
  • Events (seminars, webinars)

You should be able to measure each of these activities with respect to the goal it supports. If you aren’t tracking results, it is difficult to determine whether to continue the activity or not.

4. Determine which ones gave you the highest return

Depending on the goal it supports, you may want to determine the ratio of revenue to expense. For example, if you are running a Google Ads campaign, it should support a revenue goal. You have tools to determine how the campaign is converting and whether you are increasing your top line revenue from that campaign.

Ideally you want at least a 3 times return or better or the campaign may not be worth your time and effort. In addition, you may want to use the money on something else.

If you are running more inbound marketing campaigns, you need a way to track how many leads are generated and whether those leads are converting into customers.

If you don’t have the data, make it a goal to start collecting information for each marketing activity you run. This is data can help you determine why your campaign isn’t working and whether there is anything you can do about it. This is where you may need to bring in someone who can determine may be missing that is preventing you from executing a successful marketing campaign.

5. Analyze the data

Now that you have a good idea about how your marketing has performed, you can determine what marketing you will continue to invest in. Look at each activity and ask the following questions:

  • Which activities were the most successful?
  • Do they make sense to continue?
  • Which activities were marginal? Do you know why? Could they be improved?
  • Should I invest the money somewhere else?
  • What new activities should I look at?

Just remember that some marketing campaigns like inbound marketing, will take a little time for them to begin generating revenue. But watch your website analytics for increased traffic, leads and hopefully in a couple of quarters, you will begin to see the fruits of your labor.

Now create your next 90 day marketing action plan

Once you set up the marketing review process, you can conduct this each quarter looking at how your marketing has helped your business grow. Your simple marketing review has given you the valuable information you need to adjust your marketing action plan for the next 90 days. Keep doing what has worked and reassign resources (money or time) to new activities that may produce better results.

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