Recent statistics suggest that about 30% of businesses don’t have a written marketing plan, while 23% have no marketing plan at all.
This is sobering, and troubling.
Marketing and sales are the two main lifestreams of any business; if you have no plans for marketing, you have no plans for sales- and you, in essence, building a business that won’t be able to survive.
So if you have no marketing plan, or it’s not written down- the first place to begin is by creating one and writing it down. 🙂
However, once this is in place, your next question might be, “How often should I review or change my marketing plan?”
I’m glad you asked.
As you know, most of the time, our business plans are really educated guesses or informed assumptions. Many times, the outcomes are not as we plan. You can only realize this once you have a marketing plan and have been implementing it.
Once you see how close your assumptions or guesses match reality, you can start tweaking your plan for better results.
In this article, I share 7 ways you can know if your marketing is in need of review:
1) Ask your new customers.
Find out how your newest clients/customers and subscribers are finding you and hearing about you. If they are coming through your own marketing efforts (as opposed to referrals from others), you have some baseline data to suggest that your marketing is working. If you find out that thay are coming to you in unplanned for, or unexpected, ways- it might be good to flex your marketing approaches to include these avenues as well.
2) At the end of a defined campaign.
If you are running an email marketing campaign for 30 days, this timeframe offers a natural endpoint to evaluate what worked well and what didn’t. Review your results and make note of your ideas for improvement while the campaign is still fresh. This is a crucial step if you plan to run this campaign again in the future.
3) By tracking the numbers.
It’s a good idea to review your marketing approaches and results at least quarterly, so you can retain the best performing channels and decrease focus on the least performing ones. I schedule a time at the start and end of each new quarter to define my marketing intitiatives for the next three months, and to then, review what happened in the three months before. I spot-check along the way, but, for the most part, this quarterly review works well for me. I believe this is the case because most of my clients are long term and recurring- I do not launch that frequently and so quarterly works for me. If you are promoting more often, you will need to track your metrics more frequently.
4) To ensure a logical and unified approach
If your overall goal is to attract business owners at the five-figure mark and above, every element of your marketing plan should match that goal. Once your marketing plan is in place and running, compare your marketing to the clients you are attracting. If there is a mismatch in who you want and who you are getting, your marketing strategy would likely benefit from some realignment.
To Ensure That Your Strategy Is Unified
5) When calculating return on investment
Do you know how much it costs you to acquire a customer? Do you know how much the lifetime customer value is for each customer? Is your marketing strategy directly influencing your ROI? If not, then you may need a thorough review of your marketing strategy.
6) Your intuition
Sometimes, you just have to go with what you feel. If you feel as if your current strategy isnít matching up to what you want for your business, then itís time to review everything so that you can figure out where to make changes and where to implement new strategy.
And then, finally:
7) When You Develop a New Product or Service
Each time that you develop a new product or service is a great time to revisit your marketing strategy so that you can incorporate plans for pushing out the new product and/or service. Everything new you create must be promoted alongside everything that was already in place.
The entire goal of your marketing is to make sure your products and services are reaching those people they can most help. Keeping track of the numbers, reviewing results, and making changes when needed will keep your marketing going strong.