Why you need a regular marketing review!
Your marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Done properly it will drive your business and also maintain it. It might sound obvious, but reviewing your marketing content and the activities that you are doing frequently is essential.
For example when was the last time you checked that your online details were correct? Whether your brochure copy accurately details what you do and if your membership directory listing is 100% right? If the answer to any of these questions is last week or last month then well done. But if the answer is several years ago or never, then you might want to think again. Spending just a few minutes on a regular basis checking and changing information about you and your business can lead to a raised profile, which in turn can bring in new leads and/or new customers.
Marketing is organic
What you need to remember is that any marketing that you do is organic and that change is happening all the time. Whether it’s new competition entering your marketplace, a change in customer perceptions or market trends, improvements in customer service and/or timing implications, you need to be prepared to act quickly and adapt what you are doing.
What works for you one month, may not continue to yield the same rates of success. And by assessing and analysing the results and seeing whether you are against your marketing strategy/plan you should be able to enhance campaigns and activities to increase targeting and conversions.
Not an exact science
And although it pains me to say it, marketing isn’t an exact science. Just as instant results are great to have but should never be expected, marketing can behave differently from one organisation to another so in order to be able to take back control and be proactive, you need to think honestly about:
- What have you tried?
- What did you expect to happen?
- What was the actual outcome?
- How much did it cost you?
- How much time did you spend on it?
- Who’s been doing what?
- What you enjoyed doing and what you hated?
- What have you learned?
Whilst learning from the positives is good, it’s also essential to learn from the negatives so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes. But don’t just try activities for a few weeks; focusing on an activity for between three-six months is long enough to see if it has had an impact.
Know what’s working and what’s not!
So to conclude, make sure you review your marketing plan during the year and assess how it’s performing. This should be at least once every six months and ideally once a quarter.
At the review, check whether the activities are working and the objectives are being met. If they are not, then by reviewing part way through the year it gives you time to do something about it. You can then reallocate scare resources (i.e. time and money) to those activities that are working and reduce the time and money spent on activities that are not working. By building in a regular review it ensures the plan is a ‘live’ document and does not just sit in the office gathering dust!