All right, so you have a marketing plan, and it may even be working, or so you think. Now what? What’s the point of marketing if you have no idea if it’s even working?
In order to effectively implement your marketing plan, you need to prove the success and effectiveness so you can continue to evolve the strategy over time. Your next question may be, how can I prove this? Well, that part is simple: through tracking & reporting!
First thing’s first; develop a tracking plan.
Tracking plans vary based on the needs of your company, but they include the same basic reporting building blocks:
• Identify goals - both main objectives and secondary objectives
• Identify conversion funnels (how someone gets to a goal)
• Identify reporting tools for each funnel - this could be a combination of analytics software, custom tracking, email tracking tools or social networking tools (just to name a few).
Next, avoid the initial alarm or false sense of security.
Your numbers are down. PANIC! Wait, don’t. It is important to stay calm and find out exactly why your numbers are down. There are many potential reasons. This is when we get into reporting diagnostics. Some things we start to research are:
• Seasonal shifts
• Industry shifts
• Changes in your marketing initiatives
• Website changes (i.e. Creation of a mobile site could transition a large number of visits to a mobile site. Simply combining the statistics may bring you to a positive number).
• Goal changes (example, a shift from conversion to brand and awareness via social channels)
A decrease in your numbers is the easiest to work with. They are the most obvious and they scream for review and reflection, but what about your numbers being up? Many companies fall into the trap of a false sense of security with their numbers increasing. Keep in mind there is always room for improvement. You may want to start researching things like:
• Additional goal conversions
• Quality of conversions
• Comparison to the industry (If the industry is up 30% and you are up 10%, are you really up?)
• Compensating for seasonal shifts
Overall, our biggest recommendation is to know your goals and know how to track them. This ultimately will let you know if your marketing plan and strategy is working effectively towards meetings those goals.