Why you should already be evaluating your marketing strategy

It is early in the year, but some tactics might already show signs of poor execution or lackluster results. Here’s why you should check your efforts right away.

Marketing_Strategy_Analysis

March is here, and that means spring is on the way. For businesses, March also marks the end of the first quarter of the year and the perfect time to review the early results of your annual marketing strategy.

As much as you would love to “set it and forget it,” marketing is something that needs to be routinely updated for the latest trends, data and effective tools. Though your timeline may be a little different depending on the nature of your business and schedule of your campaigns, a quarterly schedule is a chance to review what’s working and what needs improvement.

Here are five reasons from the web design firm 97 Switch on why you should constantly be revisiting your marketing strategies:

1. Learn what works—and what doesn’t.

By taking an in-depth look at your marketing strategy campaigns and the numbers, you can see which areas need more attention or change. Since the digital world is always changing, if something isn’t working out the way you thought it would, someone likely has created a new way to communicate with your target market using updated tools, apps and website features. By staying on top of technology and adapting your marketing strategy accordingly you may find you’re serving your clients better and getting a better return on investment.

2. Data provide valuable lessons.

What’s the best way to learn how to improve your marketing strategy and drive results? Learn from your data.

There’s so much of it available at your fingertips and it can all be accessed for free using platforms like Google AnalyticsBitlyMatomo and more. The easy to read charts and graphs will let you know (sometimes in real-time) how people are finding your organization, what they’re clicking on, and how long they’re staying on your website.

3. Constant updates keep you organized.

We know just how quickly work can pile up, but taking time to prioritize your marketing strategy is important. If you have an established, routinely scheduled review on the calendar it will be easier to follow-through and make time to look at your progress. If something isn’t working, you don’t want to let it run unchecked.

4. It helps to achieve long-term goals.

Long term goals are important but thinking about the big picture can be intimidating. Break them up into smaller quarterly chunks. With smaller milestones along the way, you increase your chances of hitting those big finish lines.

5. Put a stop to “failing” tactics.

No business is perfect. No matter how well you’re doing, there’s bound to be at least a few factors that aren’t performing as well as you may have hoped. When this happens, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy and try a new direction. Keep testing different keywords, content types, schedules and advertisements.

What your goals should look like

Back at the end of 2018, what did you have in mind when building your marketing strategy? Ideally you took all your ideas and visions and narrowed them down into a list of SMART goals.

Here are the five traits every goal should have:

  • Specific. Ask yourself what exactly you hope to get out of your given tactic. Do you want more website traffic or increase your social following? Get specific. How much of an increase do you want to see?
  • Measurable. In order for your goals to be successful, you need to be able to measure them against some benchmark. Trying to increase web traffic? Use Google Analytics to determine how many visitors you have before starting your campaign and as a guide to measure your success at the end of the campaign.
  • Achievable. Make sure your goal is reasonable and don’t set the bar too high. Consider the time and resources you are able to dedicate to your marketing strategy, as well as the industry you’re in, when determining how achievable your goals are.
  • Relevant. How will your marketing strategy help your customers and your company? Having a social media account, blog or newsletter just to have one is not doing any favors for your business.
  • Timely. Make sure you set a time limit to reach those goals. Not setting a deadline for success will make it hard to measure your results.

Go over your marketing strategy wins for the last three months. It’s crucial to understand what worked in the last quarter and what didn’t. Take a hard look at your failures, too. Falling short or completely missing your goal is a hard defeat to swallow, but evaluating what went wrong can help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Anna Izenman is a marketing and PR specialist with Three Girls Media, a PR firm based in Yelm, Washington. A version of this article originally appeared on the Three Girls Media blog.

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