Fact: Multimillion-dollar companies and small businesses rely on marketing efforts to promote their goods and services. You can only stay relevant in today’s cutthroat market if you pay attention to marketing.
The truth is consumer tastes and preferences are constantly changing, so your marketing initiatives should change.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted most industries’ flexibility and marketers’ resiliency. Most organizations reduced their marketing expenditure from 11% to 6-4% between 2020 and 2021, and these budget cuts and other uncertainties continue to affect marketers negatively.
But to expand your business, you should focus more on your marketing strategy. An effective marketing plan can help you give more details on things like:
- Your ideal clientele against who you thought it was.
- How to gain more customers.
- Where to spend future marketing expenditures.
- How to identify potential new growth prospects.
Remember that the success of your firm directly depends on your marketing strategy’s effectiveness. Your company will fail or continue to struggle without an ideal marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy gives in-depth details on what to expect for the upcoming year and leaves room for adjustment according to market changes.
Therefore, you need to continuously review, evaluate, and alter your marketing strategy to meet your firm’s needs. This helps you save time and money by understanding how to evaluate if your strategy produces satisfactory results. However, ensure you have an effective marketing strategy before going this route. Let’s explore a few elements that can help you evaluate your marketing plan for your success.
Focus on Your Return on Investment (ROI)
The only time you can say your marketing strategy is effective is when you can determine the ROI. This evaluation of your ROI can help you save time and money. You can calculate your ROI with the following simple formula:
ROI= (Sales Growth – Marketing Expense), then divide it by the marketing expense.
For instance, if your sales growth is $1000, and your marketing expense is $100, it would be something like this:
($1000 – $100) = $900
$900/100 = 9
9 x 100% = 900%
The beauty of this equation is that it applies to various marketing efforts. So, you can use it to calculate the returns after running digital ads for your organization. This formula can help you determine the ROI of each channel’s ad campaign. So, if you ran an ad on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you could evaluate the analytics of each ad campaign to see the number of sales generated. Doing this is essential as it helps you to determine if you need to alter a channel’s ad or duplicate changes you made on the other channels.
Remember, before applying the strategy, you need to determine if it was a success and contributed to a sales increase. Keep in mind that it would be a waste of time if you can’t directly link the leads you produced to your marketing efforts. Moreover, ensure you have tracking to help determine the ROI if you’re running multiple campaigns simultaneously. Also, you need to be careful not to include existing sales increases in your current marketing efforts. Your marketing strategy should separately account for the typical sales growth.
Also, this formula is flexible, so you can modify it to fit what you want to measure. If your objective for April is to increase your leads, assign each lead a financial value and substitute sales growth with the lead’s value. Thanks to Google Analytics, you can trace your leads and customers to make it easy when calculating your ROI. Before starting your marketing campaign, you need to prioritize metrics and understand how you’ll measure them and the time to collect data.
Review Your Sales Growth
Another effective way to evaluate your small business marketing strategy is by tracking your sales. It is advisable to keep track of the sales before you start any marketing activities and compare them to your current sales. More often than not, marketing results are a cumulative effort across campaigns operating in unison. Your marketing strategy could be why you’re selling more today or in specific markets.
For example, if you’re running local SEO for your firm and noticed increased interest after your marketing efforts, it’s safe to duplicate the formula in other regions. The SEO strategies could be as effective in a new region as in your local area. Moreover, if your marketing efforts are successful today, it can be easy to take a business consolidation loan to dedicate your efforts to effective marketing. You can control the time you use to track your loan payments and start tracking your sales growth. Besides, a small business consolidation loan may give you the financial power to continue pumping into your marketing goals so that you can grow your monthly sales.
Evaluate Your Customers’ Feedback and Relations
Another effective way to evaluate your marketing strategies is by speaking directly with your customers. They might be able to pinpoint the exact marketing initiatives your brand used to speak to their soul. Mixing your customer surveys with analytics tools results is advisable to determine what’s working and what needs improvement.
So, before using your offline marketing initiatives, ensure they resonate with your customers. There are two ways to gather data from your customers that work efficiently. You can ask them so that you can add more light to your overall outcomes, as it’s a direct reflection of how they interact with your marketing. But also, observing what your customers do is more accurate than asking their perspectives on your initiatives.
Customer feedback is effective when evaluating your marketing strategy because of two things. First, it provides new insight that you can leverage next time. Second, it makes your customers feel valued, which may improve their brand loyalty.
Some effective techniques you can use to get clients’ feedback on a marketing campaign include:
- Prepare an enticing reward system for every customer survey. The reward for participating in a survey may include money or free shipment on their next order.
- You can send an automated email survey to your clients who interact with specific marketing materials—leverage some efficient email marketing tools to achieve this.
- Engage with your social media audiences. Seek more information about how they feel about the campaign when someone messages you regarding your services or product.
You can leverage free tools to create surveys if you’re a small business owner on a tight budget. Some of the free tools include Survey Monkey or Google Forms.
So, if a marketing campaign brings in new clients, make sure to ask how they heard about you. Be bold and ask new prospects and existing clients about the marketing campaign they find compelling for them.
Gather Feedback from Your Partners
Most small business owners outsource their marketing department to freelancers or marketing firms. So, it’s crucial to ask for feedback from these professionals on the real-time results of your marketing strategies. Your partners will be able to share in the effectiveness of your activities with respect to linked suppliers, vendors, and brands.
Your partners are usually better placed to give constructive feedback as they’re on the front lines and have direct client interactions. So, chances are very high that they will experience the results of a good campaign before you do. Moreover, ask them to analyze your competitors and share the report with you. Also, it’s vital for them to share screenshots of the client’s interaction and reaction to your marketing initiatives. So, ensure you have these insights at your fingertips. They might come in handy in the future.
For instance, if you want to request a business debt consolidation, it might help you demonstrate your financial standing. You want your lenders to know that you can pay back your loans. So, it’s always better to be in the know in terms of your ROI after investing in a marketing strategy.
You also need to leverage your sales team’s feedback. This is because they’re constantly interacting directly with your consumers. Additionally, customer care representatives are better placed to offer constructive feedback. They might come across criticism of your marketing initiatives and need to share it with you. Therefore, it’s essential that both your internal and external staff know how to document feedback they receive on marketing initiatives.
Also, you need to pay more attention to bad reports. This may allow you to update your current marketing strategy. Besides, this can be crucial if your partners keep enquiring when launching the new marketing strategy.
Study Your Competitors’ Behavior
The easiest way to tell the success or failure of your marketing plan is by observing your competitors’ actions. You will know that the strategy is effective when most of them are trying to duplicate it or are trying to outdo your activities.
So, you should be concerned when your initiatives go unnoticed or are negatively received. This is because there might be a problem with the messaging you’ve chosen to use. This can help you know how to improve or stop the campaign before it harms your brand image.
You must regularly examine your business marketing strategy to sustain growth momentum and make the most of your budget. You can choose your marketing strategies more wisely if you have a plan in place for each campaign.