How to review this year’s marketing progress

Measuring business progressThe end of the calendar year is a natural time for businesses to take stock and look back on their marketing and business progress over the past 12 months.

If you set goals back in January and have tracked them throughout the year, you probably have a good idea how you’ve done. But often the busyness of daily work gets in the way and, coupled with confusion on how best to evaluate marketing and business development, some business owners find themselves hazy about the progress they’ve actually achieved.

 

Unable to see the wood for the trees

One thing that’s great about being a marketing consultant is we often spot the progress a client’s business has made more easily than they do themselves.  Often our objective eyes see the scope of the progress quicker than those in the business, who are very much absorbed by the daily hubbub around them.

So in this post we’ve shared a list of measures you may find helpful in pinpointing the progress your business has made with its marketing and business development this year.  Which of these pick and mix metrics you use depends very much on what you wanted to achieve.

 

Taking a more holistic review

Taking a more holistic viewRather than focus purely on your sales and turnover figures, it’s often helpful to look at a broader set of measures to gain a more holistic view of business performance.  Whilst sales tell you how your business did this year, metrics like enquiry trends, target market engagement levels and average cost of sales can give you some indication about what to expect going forward.

And obviously you’ll gain greater insight if you’ve measured your chosen metrics before and can compare this year’s results to them. But don’t worry if not.  Let this year be the first marker and commit to reviewing these measures annually, if not more frequently.  In fact let these metrics influence the goals you set for the business for the New Year, as you’ll find ‘what gets measured gets done’. Your business teams can then gain greater clarity…. and drive to achieve them.

 

Metrics for measuring business development progress this year

Valuable insight lies from assessing these ‘pick and mix’ metrics across the business as a whole and also by specific product or service lines.

 

Metric What will we find out and what can we learn from this?
 

Sales volumes and values

 

 

 


  • Success/underperformance of specific sales and marketing campaigns
  • Changing buyer behaviour
  • Impact of seasonality
  •  Price sensitivity trends
 

New customers – volume and total or average purchase value

 


  • Success/underperformance of specific sales and marketing campaigns
  • Changing buyer behaviour patterns
  • Beneficial market segments – by volume and value
  • Improvements to make to the customer journey
 

Retained customers – volume, repeat purchase value, new purchase value

 

 


  • Success/underperformance of specific sales and marketing campaigns
  • Customer loyalty/attrition
  • Changing buyer behaviour patterns
  • ‘Best customer’ profile to replicate and buying requirements
  • Improvements to make to the customer journey
 

New enquiries – volume, source and quality

 

 


  • Success/underperformance of specific sales and marketing campaigns
  • Most effective marketing channels
  • Impact of seasonality
  • Effectiveness of key messages
  • Improvements to make to the customer journey
 

New enquiries conversion rate

 

 


  • Effectiveness of the sales approach
  • Most effective marketing channels
  • Most profitable marketing channels
  • Improvements to make to the customer journey
 

Average cost of sale (existing vs new customers)

 

 

 


  • Effectiveness of the sales approach
  • Most effective marketing channels
  • Most profitable marketing channels
  • Most profitable service/product lines
  • Improvements to make to the customer journey
 

Referrals, recommendations and reviews (volume, outcome, value)

 


  • Most effective referrers /referrer channels
  • Most profitable referrers/ referrer channels
  • Most effective review channels
  • Business, brand and/or product/service line reputation

 

Metrics for measuring marketing progress this year

These will give you a sense of how your marketing spend has performed this year.  See also this article for more tips and guidance.

Metric What will we find out and what can we learn from this?
 

Enquiry volumes and value generated from specific marketing campaigns

 


  • Effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Most profitable/effective marketing channels
  • Most popular enquiry methods (email, phone, web, social etc)
 

Social media follower volumes, engagement levels and quality, overall market sentiment

 

 

 

 


  • Awareness of key messages
  • Responses to and follower sentiment around key messages
  • Most effective marketing/social content
  • Most effective social media channel
  •  Changes to follower sentiment around the business/ brand/ specific product/service line
  • Improvements to make to the customer journey
  • Business, brand and/or product/service line reputation
 

Email marketing analytics (opens, click-throughs and conversion rates)

 

 


  • Effectiveness of specific emails
  • Most effective content/messaging and timing of emails
  • List effectiveness and quality
  • A template for ‘best of breed’ emails for us and our target audience
 

Website traffic volumes and conversions (using your website analytics)

 

 


  • Performing and underperforming pages
  • Search Engine Optimisation performance
  • Website Conversion Rate Optimisation performance
  • Improvements to make to the customer journey

 

Valuable sources for gathering insight

The information for these metrics will lie in different sources in a business and each business will have its own systems and processes holding the relevant data.  Typically thought you’d expect to find helpful insight in these areas:

  • Company sales ledger
  • Sales tracking system
  • CRM system
  • Enquiry logging data
  • Website analytics
  • Social media analytics

 

The value of insight depends on what you do with it

Turn insight into actionThe insight you gain from conducting your review will only really benefit the business going forward, if you do something as a result of what you’ve learnt.  So yes celebrate or commiserate initially when you uncover the results, but then note down the key learning points that come from the analysis. For example…  What did you do well?  What didn’t go so well? What would have made a better outcome?  And…more importantly… what should the business do differently next year to create a better result.

 

Rest and review

Capture these initial points now as the review is fresh in your mind.  They form the basis of your goals for the next year. It sometimes help to then take a pause – to give time to fully digest what you’ve learnt.  Revisit the draft goals in the New Year, when you’ve rested over the festive break but before January gets too busy.  Formulate them into specific and achievable objectives that you will be able to measure throughout the year.  In doing so, factor in any other ideas that have come to you over the festive break and draw in other thoughts from different members of your team.

Plan for success

 

Creating a road-map for success next year

Once you’ve defined the objectives you’ll be focusing on in 2018 communicate these loudly with your team and gain their buy-in.  Ensure they are clear and on board with the objectives, and can plan their contribution to making those them a reality.  Don’t forget to collectively set markers or stage goals at key points in the year so you can assess progress.

If you can do this, you will indeed gain greater clarity on how the business is performing. And come next December it should be really clear to see how you’ve done.

 

If you’d like help planning for, implementing and measuring your marketing and business success in 2018, do contact us for an initial chat.