Have you ever heard the saying? – “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Whether you are planning a holiday, planning a client presentation or planning your marketing, without the planning component, it would be difficult to get your campaign, idea or trip off the ground – if at all!
But once you have a plan, how do you know if you are making the most out of it? Your business may have several marketing campaigns on the go, but how do you know which ones are bringing you the best returns? And what happens if business starts to decline? How can you start to find a solution unless you know where you are sourcing your customers?
What are your goals?
With an ever-increasing array of marketing channels available, harnessing and measuring the true impact of marketing can seem tricky. When writing a marketing plan, it is very important not to gloss over the marketing objectives section. This needs the MOST attention because it is the part that everything else hinges on – the objectives will determine what communication strategies are used, and the overall success of a plan. Therefore, the objectives must be identified before you start marketing activities.
It is important to note that your marketing objectives are not the same as your business objectives. Marketing objectives represent the concrete goals for improving business through communication strategies. Basically, what are you trying to achieve through your marketing plan?
For example: are you trying to reach a percentage of a local market? Do you want to increase sales online? Improve market share relative to competitors? Change the opinion held about your business in the community?
Regardless of your marketing goals, the objectives need to meet the five criteria of SMART objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. This will provide businesses with a basis in which to measure and evaluate the progress of marketing efforts. To find out what is working and what isn’t.
However, developing a marketing plan and setting objectives is only “half the battle”. Implementing that plan is the other, often more difficult half. And an important part of implementation is monitoring.
Are you achieving your goals?
It is necessary to monitor marketing campaigns with as much detail as possible in order to get a complete picture of how a marketing strategy is working for your business. Monitoring the implementation and progress of the marketing plan is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it helps to ascertain that your efforts are “on track”. Monitoring allows companies to find out which campaigns are most effective and the ones that aren’t working. Once you have this information, you can make sure you are spending your marketing budget wisely and re-allocate dollars if needed.
Secondly, you can learn more about your customers and prospective customers through monitoring activities. For instance, monitoring can be as easy as asking your customers how they heard about you when they call. The information you collect can prove valuable for future campaigns to select and target marketing communications more efficiently.
Finally, monitoring allows for corrective action. To “fine tune” your strategies if they are not working. It serves as an early warning system as it gives businesses the opportunity to evaluate their progress and identify where the problems and / or opportunities lie.
So take a step back, assess the progress of your marketing activities, and plan to succeed.
IS PHEED THE POWERHOUSE PLATFORM IT’S BEING MADE OUT TO BE?
March 26th, 2013
What do you get when you combine Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube? The result, a social media platform that looks like Instagram, functions like Facebook, tags like Twitter, re-pins like Pinterest, and supports videos like YouTube. That is, Pheed.... Continue reading