by John Eberhard
Marketing analysis and planning is a vital action to do regularly with any marketing campaign. This means to review your statistics and then make decisions on how to proceed. You can do this weekly or monthly.
The first step is to collect your statistics.
Let’s assume that your marketing campaigns are oriented towards generating leads for sales people. Then the most important statistic you have to get is the number of leads.
I will define a campaign as either a) a promotion going out that has a specific message and/or offer, or b) a promotion going out utilizing a specific media, such as magazines, newspapers, Google AdWords, email, etc.
But in order to track things properly and do any kind of analysis, you have to also track where each lead came from, i.e. what prompted them to respond to you? This usually involves either asking the person what promotional campaign they responded to, or having some sort of coding system, where each form on your web site is coded to tell you where that person came from. Unfortunately most businesses are really poor at this.
Some other statistics you would probably want to track:
- Amount of promotion out
- Number of visitors to your web site
- Total number of leads
- Break down the leads by campaign or according to different media, i.e. from email, from advertising in magazines, from fliers, from pay per click advertising, etc.
- Cost per lead. This is the total amount spent on a campaign divided by the number of leads gotten. In some cases you have to let a campaign run its course before you can compute this. From this you will often find that a specific campaign in a certain media will have much lower cost per lead. That is your more successful campaign.
- Proposals out and/or dollar value of proposals out. If your company does proposals to prospects, then you want to track the number of proposals out and the dollar value.
- Dollar value of sales. You can track this by which campaign the lead came from, but you have to have a good sales lead database to do it.
The statistics you track could be some variation of the above, depending on how your business runs.
So what are we trying to determine from all these statistics?
- We want to find out whether statistics are going up or down, and then take appropriate actions to get them up. Often we find that promotion has dropped out or gone down, which is the first step in the whole chain and one of the things that is easiest to be at cause over.
- We want to find out which promotional campaigns are working and which ones are not. You determine that by which campaigns are producing leads in the door, and which ones have the lower cost per lead. If you have a good database set up you can also check which campaigns are producing actual sales.
- If a campaign is working well, you want to either leave it running as is, or decide to increase it in some way.
- If a campaign is not working well, either by having low leads (or no leads) or by having a higher cost per lead, then you want to either stop that campaign altogether, or change your campaign in some way. Changes could include changing the message or offer, changing the graphics or colors, or changing the media where the campaign is running.
Media: One of the first and most important jobs in marketing for a business is to discover which media work best for you, i.e. email, referrals, pay per click advertising, magazines, radio, TV. This is different in every industry. One tip here is to observe what your competitors are doing. If they are consistently using certain media you can be relatively sure that those media are producing results for them. Because they wouldn’t keep spending money on them if they didn’t work. Then when you try different media, you have to analyze the statistics as above to have a clear idea of what works best for you.
Message and Offer: You have to work out what your message should be and how to best communicate it. Surveying your target public is the best way to determine this. Another important thing is your offer, i.e. what you are offering to entice people to respond. An entire article could be written on this topic. You could be offering:
- Something free like a free report or white paper or newsletter subscription
- A free inspection or consultation
- Some free item along with the sale
- A discount of some type, often for a limited time
- Just offering the item for sale with no discount
You can survey different offers or just try different offers and track which ones work the best.
It’s vital to track your marketing statistics on a regular basis and make decisions based on what you find. You want to reinforce successful actions and drop out the unsuccessful ones. You may have to change the media where you are running your campaigns, or change your message or offer.
Good luck with your analysis and planning.