Marketing is critiqued on a regular basis to determine where it worked, where it didn't and what can be done to make it better. Marketing critiques are typically conducted with the use of sales numbers, customer reviews and click-through data that indicates performance and response. If you want to improve your small business marketing, an educated critique is the place to start.

Review the cost of every marketing initiative your small business has engaged in during the current year. The costs which you budgeted for in your marketing plan might not match the actual costs when all is said and done. Do a direct comparison to see where and why you went over budget. Eliminate the causes for these added expenses and count them as negatives in your critique of the process. Any examination of small business marketing should begin and end with its cost because small businesses are not able to absorb costly errors in the way larger businesses often can.

Review the customer response to each marketing initiative for the year. Some will have worked better than others, and your critique should include mention of the less successful and completely ineffective attempts as well as those that exceeded expectations. The initiatives that disappointed must be removed or altered in such ways as to improve performance. Your critique should outline ways that each failing initiative can be improved while announcing the goal for marketing response in future campaigns.

Accumulate feedback from trusted clients and partners to gauge how well your marketing is received by the customer and the public at large. If your marketing seems to work relatively well with existing clients but is deemed ineffective by the general public, you might be missing out on a large segment of the market who would give your business a try if the message was a little different. Learning what the consumer wants and needs and changing your marketing to provide it is a major component of an effective critique.

Analyze the direct return on every marketing initiative in your small business portfolio. It is one thing to know that your marketing is failing overall, but it is quite another to be able to determine exactly how much revenue is coming in as a result of each of your marketing efforts. Only once you know which campaigns are bringing in the people will you know where to invest the marketing funds.


Low- or no-cost marketing initiatives should be viewed with far more leniency because they do little to negatively affect the bottom line and whatever they bring in is a bonus. The more costly an initiative is, the more closely it should be monitored for its return on investment and its overall benefit to the company.


The impact and effectiveness of every single marketing initiative your company engages in should be analyzed separately from all others. Bunching initiatives or cutting corners when performing analysis can result in flawed data and the continuation of initiatives that are not performing up to speed.