While you still have some enthusiasm for new year resolutions, it is a good idea to start adopting good habits and that includes your marketing. We would suggest that companies regularly review their marketing activity as an ongoing process, but the start of a new year does provide an excellent natural review point.
By reviewing your activity from the previous year you will be able to plan your activity calendar for the year ahead more efficiently. With all marketing activity we would suggest that ideally all activities should be measured in terms of ROI, how well they met KPIs etc. but with a smaller business you may not necessarily have the time to analyse or have access to such detailed data. Now you could just randomly discuss with your team which activities worked and then continue to do more of the same, and cut out those activities that were less successful, and that would be a start but a far more efficient way would be to look at the activity on a deeper level and how they helped to meet your business objectives.
Start by listing your business objectives, e.g to grow your database by x% or increase sales by XX%, then list your marketing activity in terms of broad categories i.e. social media, newsletter, e-shots etc. Now add what marketing objectives each activity was designed to serve. Were all your business objectives covered? Now assess each campaign or activity group against how well they contributed towards the completion of each objective.
For a simple visual view of activity, colour code each activity in relation to its success for each objective. For example:
- Green – Successful
- Amber – Difficult to measure
- Red – Didn’t work
Using a matrix system, programme the green activities in to repeat again this year. With amber tasks what can you do to improve monitoring? For the red activities scrap or discuss what could be done differently to make it work. Were there any gaps? Were all the available/appropriate channels used to serve all of the objectives? While this approach appears overly simplistic, reviewing your activity in this visual format allows you to see in an instant whether your activity is planned appropriately to meet your business goals.
Of course, if you do have access to more detailed data, this could be added as a further dimension to your matrix by adding weighting to your marketing activities, i.e. resources needed (both time and cost) versus results, but if you have limits on time or data the above method will still provide enough of a strategic approach to improve your marketing for the new year.