It’s Time to Review Your Marketing Plan
2021 is halfway over, so now is the time to review your marketing plan and evaluate how well your efforts are performing. Analyzing your marketing plan is crucial. You need to make sure it reflects any changes within your business and it will give you an edge up on your competition. More importantly, it allows you to determine which campaigns are successful and which you should stop spending your money on. The world, and your business, was very different six months ago when you put your plan together. Now is the time to audit your marketing efforts.
The Importance of Your Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan serves as a roadmap to reach your small business’ goals. It’s a focused plan of action to implement your marketing strategy. It helps you plan exactly how you will allocate your resources in an intentional, efficient, and well-thought-out way. Planning budgets, marketing activities, and schedules ahead of time sets your small business up for success in reaching your goals. Your marketing plan gives your team a set of tangible goals to work toward, while keeping your priorities organized. It also gives your team members a clear understanding of their responsibilities and your expectations.
Your marketing plan should identify a well-defined target market, your unique selling proposition (what makes your business better than or different from your competitors), a monthly budget, and the specific marketing tactics you will take to reach your goals. It should also include the ways in which you will monitor the success of your various campaigns. Tracking strategies can include analyzing your website analytics, evaluation conversions, phone tracking, and customer surveys.
However, once you have your plan in place, you’re not finished with it! It’s important to regularly revisit your strategy so your business can adjust to market trends, keep up with your competition, and accurately reflect any changes in product or service offerings.
How Often Should You Review Your Marketing Plan?
Your business is in a constant state of fluctuation and evolution. Your marketing plan should follow the ebbs and flows of your business. Evaluating your marketing efforts is crucial. You need to analyze the results of your campaigns to stay on track to reach your goals, and to stop spending money on ineffective marketing channels. There’s no set rule for how often you should analyze your marketing data. Some businesses have quarterly marketing reviews, while some do it every month. It's up to you to determine the time frame that works best for your business.
Certain situations will require you to review your marketing plan. These can include:
- When a campaign ends - At the culmination of a campaign, like a 30-day email marketing campaign, or pay per click ads, you need to evaluate how well it worked. Did it meet or exceed the goals you laid out in your marketing plan? If not, it may be time to try a new strategy.
- When you add a new product or service - Your marketing plan should reflect every shift in your business. Your plan needs to accurately present your business offerings. You also need to be sure that you’re targeting the correct audience for your new products or services.
- Decrease in sales - If you don’t even have to look at the data to know that your sales are flat, that’s a definite sign it’s time to evaluate your marketing strategies. Analyze the results of all of your marketing campaigns. If any aren’t performing like you want them to, it’s time to switch to a new plan of action and change your plan accordingly.
How To Evaluating Your Marketing Plan
As you review your plan, what are the key metrics you should consider? The most obvious starting point is to look at your sales revenue. Are your current campaigns resulting in an uptick in sales? For example, if you targeted a specific product in your Facebook Ad campaign, did you see an increase in sales for that product? Another good measurement of the success of your campaigns is to ask any new customers how they heard about you. Did they find you by doing a Google search? Or did they see one of your Instagram posts? Whether it’s over the phone, in your storefront, or through a follow up survey, asking customers directly is a sure way to know if your marketing is working.
Another important metric to consider is social media engagement. Engagement data will show you how people interact and connect with your brand. This can be through things likes, page follows, DMs, replies, and comments. This information is a great way to measure brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Monitoring your website traffic is equally as important. Google Analytics is a free tool that makes tracking your website easy. It’ll show you the number of visitors to different pages on your site, how long they spend on your site, and it will also give you some demographic information. This will tell you whether your digital marketing efforts are driving traffic and increasing visibility.
Revitalize Your Marketing Plan
You’ve gone over the data and come to a conclusion about the success of your marketing plan. Now it might be time to give your strategy an overhaul. If you found that your website traffic or SEO results failed to reach your goal, using new keywords could make a big difference. Successful digital marketing depends on the use of the right keywords on your website and in all of your content. A google adwords keyword tool can help you figure out the search words that give you the best response and results.
If your goals aren’t being met, it might be time to branch out and try new marketing channels. For example, if you’ve been focusing mainly on PPC, try Facebook Ads instead, or add more creative content creation or email marketing to your plan.
Reviewing your marketing plan on a regular basis will keep you on track to reach and exceed your goals. You can spend your marketing budget more effectively by abandoning the tactics that aren’t producing results and focusing more on areas where you’ve been successful. With a strategic, focused, and intentional marketing plan, your business will be well on its way to reaching its goals.