Thursday, June 07, 2007

Just Try It Out # 6: Auditing Marketing Efficiency

We haven’t had a Just Try It Out for a wee while now, so I thought I’d throw one back in again. With the start of summer upon us (hopefully), you may be thinking about reviewing the marketing you have already conducted this year, or, alternatively, you may be thinking about starting some marketing in the following season. Either way, the following steps should give you some tips as how to start tackling this review of your business and marketing.

Step 1: Analyse this
Take a virtual snapshot of your business and analyse it (objectively) from various angles. Assess your strengths, weaknesses and any likely opportunities or threats (SWOT analysis). Next think about any environmental forces that may affect your business both internal (micro) and external (macro), the latter of which will include Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) forces.

Step 2: Review
Review your business objectives and decide which marketing activities have delivered the best results (if you have already conducted marketing). Even if you haven’t conducted any formal marketing, consider referrals and Word of Mouth as these are also forms of marketing. Take note however, a few activities might take some time to have any noticeable effects. Even if you feel that some are not yielding the desired results straight away, try to maintain the momentum on those activities and fine tune them where suitable to ensure maximum results.

Step 3: Generate new ideas
Brainstorm to think of new ideas for potential marketing activity, but make sure they are appropriate to your business objectives. Use the analysis you conducted in step 1 also to help devise activities that will maximise your strengths, minimise weaknesses, manage external threats and exploit external opportunities.

Step 4: Plan Ahead (If you haven’t already)
Your planning and auditing schedule should follow a cyclical pattern and if an annual marketing plan has been agreed you will already (or at least should) have noted when your audit(s) will take place. If there is no plan, your audit should uncover the need for one, which can be formalised at the next appropriate juncture. You can then fit each activity and campaign into a suitable time-slot and begin the new season with some new marketing.

So, Auditing Marketing Efficiency - Why not try it out?

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