Simple Marketing Part 5: Review Current Marketing

2 05 2008

Before thinking about making any changes to your existing marketing activity a full review of all current activity should be undertaken. This is also the ideal opportunity to look at how you are currently reviewing your marketing, which in itself may indicate the need to create a more formal assessment process.

This is important because when you spend any money on marketing activity you need to be able to see the results of that expenditure. Yes there are times when you may not be able to put an exact financial result to your marketing activity but you should at least be able to contextualise whether you believe to have been money well spent.

If you don’t already have one for your business, set-up an excel spread sheet for marketing expenditure. In the first column list all the different types of marketing you have undertaken, examples would include:

  • Printing business cards
  • Printing literature
  • Printing leaflets
  • Direct mail
  • Advertising
  • Sponsorship
  • External marketing support / advice / consultancy
  • Hospitality
  • Promotional items
  • Pay-Per-Click
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • PR
  • Promotions

Literally list everything you do to support your marketing. In the next column list down the amount you have spent for in each area. Ideally if you can do this on an annual basis over time it will be simpler for you to see where the bulk of your marketing spend is going.

You should then use the next column to indicate the return you have had on the expenditure.

Where your marketing activity will illicit a direct result in sales you can put the % lift in sales or £ lift in sales in this column. But to do this you may well need to ensure that, say for example, that your advertising includes a response mechanism that will allow it’s effectiveness to be tracked. This may be a code for customers to quote, a coupon for them to return or redeem. Alternatively, when taking a booking or an order customers should always be asked to confirm where they heard about you.

If you have several different advertising campaigns running at the same time, set-up a separate worksheet just for these and then collate the data on an ongoing basis and at the end of each month put the total figure into the advertising column on the main review sheet.

Keep this spreadsheet up-to-date, it is far easier to do this on an ongoing basis rather than having to track back months later.

Remember to inculde things that may only have cost you time, for example if you eMailed a press release to your local newspaper and they featured your story, look to see if there was any extra up-lift in sales on the day of publication and for any of the days immediately afterwards. Again ensure customers are asked why they have come to you, then where possible list how many did because of the press release and how much they have spent.

Some things are hard to measure, for example if you sponsor the sports kit for a local team it can be almost impossible to know if you will get a direct financial return. However, local businesses do a great job at supporting local groups and by doing so shows your committment and involvement in the local community which will certainly help to generate goodwill towards your buisness. So in the return column you may well just want to put down GW (Good Will) or CPR (Community PR) as a code. In terms of managing your marketing budget, you can set an amount that annually you are prepared to donate for local causes, which will help to ensure that this part of your budget is kept under control whilst at the same time being able to offer local support.

Once you have organised your marketing spend you can see exactly where the money is going and have a good impression of the return you are getting for the expenditure. This will help to direct your future marketing activity and will also raise questions as to how your marketing spend is performing.

It is important not to jump to conclusions, there can be any number of reasons why elements of your marketing activity have not performed well and these do alter over time. These will be examined in future parts of the Simple Marketing series.

But at this foundation stage of reviewing your marketing the most useful requirment here is to know how much you are spending on marketing (ideally over time) and to gather as much information as to how the different elements of your marketing is performing.

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