How Do You REALLY Know Your Marketing Plan Is Working?
You’ve spent an enormous amount of time putting your marketing plan together. You have developed a clear brand identity and woven it throughout all your marketing channels. You have identified your target markets, and you understand where your customers are and how to reach them. You have set your goals, created a timeline for your plan, and assigned the tasks to the appropriate people in your organization. And now, you wait. You wonder. Is any of this really making a difference? Are you deepening your connections with existing customers, establishing yourself as a leader in your industry, and attracting new customers to your business? How do you really know that your marketing plan is working as intended?
Knowing how you’re going to track the success of your marketing plan is one of the most critical parts of executing your campaign. If you don’t know if your plan is working, you can’t adjust accordingly, and you can’t take that knowledge forward into your next plan. To gauge how your marketing plan is performing, consider using these strategies.
Identify Your Goals
It’s hard to know if your marketing plan is working if you don’t really know what “working” looks like. Not only will clearly defining your goals help you build a more effective campaign, but it will also help you determine if it is a success. Your goals will also help you determine which metrics are the most important for you to track. You may find it helpful to have a few “big picture” goals that refer to the overall outcomes you want to achieve, plus smaller, specific goals that are tied to certain platforms, products, or services. For example, you may have a broad goal of increasing brand awareness in your local area with a more specific goal of ramping up your followers on Facebook.
Track Data Points
Data is the key to understanding if your marketing campaign is working. Don’t get bogged down into trying to track every bit of data you can get, as you’ll lose focus on the bigger picture. Stick to a few data sets that are important to your brand. Although your unique goals and industry may influence the data you choose to track, here are a few commonly used types of data you may find helpful to explore:
- Bounce Rates: Bounce rates are the rate at which people visit your website and navigate away without visiting more than one page. People tend to overlook tracking their bounce rates. However, this figure offers an important clue to how well your content marketing is working and how well you’re delivering on the promises that brought people to your site in the first place. If you lower your bounce rate to under 40%, then chances are that what you’re doing is working.
- Organic Search Traffic: Organic search traffic comes when someone searches for your product or service and clicks on your website in the search results, without any kind of paid advertising pointing them there. Seeing your organic search traffic increase is an indicator that your message is working and that your SEO is effective. Keeping a close eye on organic search data will alert you to any SEO or site content issues that need to be fixed, so you can act quickly.
- E-Commerce Page Clicks: Getting people to your site is one thing. Getting them to read content on your site is great for building brand awareness, but eventually you want to close the deal. How often are people being enticed to click on your sales pages from your other content pages? Seeing this rate increase means that your marketing content is convincing them to consider making a purchase.
- E-Commerce Page Clicks to Sales: Closely tied to the previous data point, track how often people who click on an e-commerce page are making a purchase. Though some people may well click, leave, and then come back later and buy, it is helpful to know how many people are spending money on the spot, as well as which products or services they are buying.
Keep an Eye on Existing Customers
Attracting new customers is an important part of marketing success, but don’t overlook the value of tracking how your efforts are impacting your existing customers. Before your new marketing campaign starts, know things like your current customer acquisition cost, the average spend per purchase, number of repeat purchases, and attrition rate. Your marketing campaign should effectively attract new people to your brand, but it should also give your existing customers a reason to engage with your brand more and increase repeat purchases.
Avoid Creating Mid-Campaign Confusion
When you’re tracking your marketing campaign and the impact of your efforts, resist the urge to add new metrics into the mix. This is a common mistake for good reason—it is tempting to adjust your data tracking when you suspect something is really taking off or that you’re not getting the full picture without a certain metric. In reality, doing so not only causes confusion for your team but also generates useless data because you don’t have a good benchmark for it. Stick to your plan so get a real assessment of how things are working. It will make it much easier to determine which lessons you should carry into your next marketing plan.
Another key part of knowing your marketing plan is really working is having a strong partner with the expertise to deliver results. At Salem Surround, we work closely with our all of our clients to develop the right marketing strategies and performance metrics to get results. We believe the best way to connect with customers and develop brand loyalty is to surround your customers—be a visible presence wherever they are. We will help you achieve this goal and maximize the power of your marketing dollar. Whether you want to generate leads, drive engagement, or be discovered, we can help. Contact us today at (469) 586-0080 to learn more and to request a free digital evaluation, to find out where your business stands.