Evaluation is an important part of marketing: it helps your company eliminate ineffective strategies and develop an overall plan that helps build your business. By scheduling regular evaluations of your marketing plan, you can save wasted money by modifying or eliminating campaigns that are not reaching your target market or garnering the response you need. As you plan, build in mechanisms to monitor the success of each marketing effort to make evaluation cheaper and easier.
Check for Changes in Sales
Because the end goal of most marketing efforts is to raise sales and profits, use the numbers to measure how your campaigns are affecting customer behavior. Look at the sales before a marketing campaign, during its rollout and for six months afterward; keep track of the long-term response to monitor delayed effects.
Use a Questionnaire
An easy and inexpensive way to evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing technique is to talk directly to consumers using a questionnaire. If you want to check on how well you are promoting new features or services to existing clients, talk to customers who have been with your company for some time. To gauge how a marketing campaign has impacted customer perception, send out surveys to a random sampling of your target audience to see how familiar they are with your company. Ask new customers where they heard about you to see which of your marketing strategies is the most persuasive.
Monitor Your Progress
Marketing can be used to support your overall business objectives, so it's helpful to monitor your progress towards strategic business goals. At regular intervals, conduct an evaluation of each goal. If you find that the progress toward one is slower than the others, your marketing strategies for that goal may be ineffective or need to be ramped up.
Compare Your Strategy to Competitors
If you are employing similar strategies to competitors, you can compare them to find differences in frequency, quality, content and response. Note the number of places competitors' advertisements show up, how many social media followers they have, how their profits changed after a campaign or how they have altered their other marketing strategies.
Evaluate the Return on Investment
Even if your marketing strategies are helping to achieve your company goals, they can be unsustainable if they cost more than they make. Calculate the cost of each campaign and the man-hours that go into each project, then measure that cost against the campaign's profits to determine the return on investment. If there is no change in profit, the campaign may not be worth keeping.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.