How Often Should You Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy?
We get asked all the time, "how often should I review and change my marketing strategy"? We wish we could stay that there was a single approach to this question. Even though there isn't one answer, there is a rule of thumb. Let's look at all the different reviews and strategies that a marketing agency should be monitoring and building for you. Remember, marketing can be like raising a person from birth to adulthood to aged years. Every stage of the process most likely will need a different approach. And every kid is different than the last.
Review approach 1
When looking at the overall strategy of your marketing, most of the heavy lifting should have been done during Q3 last year with the final touches being put in place during Q4. You should have discussed where your company is in its lifecycle. Is it an infant, or is it a mature company? These questions help determine the approach to your strategy.
The overall marketing strategy if sound, can last for 2 years without a real revamp or review. If it is working. If it has been longer than that, you should take a deep dive into the plan to see if it needs to change. Maybe the environment you are working in has changed, or the political landscape or licensing has changed. There are quite a few things that can influence a marketing strategy and you want to make sure you are up to date on all of them.
Review Approach 2
After you determine if the overall strategy is sound and the direction you are going still makes sense, you need to determine if all the current pieces in that marketing plan are valuable and giving you the ROI, you need to achieve the strategy. So many times, we see service companies spending money on marketing and not really understanding what is working for them or where they are just throwing money away. This part of the review needs to take a hard look at the raw numbers. What are they saying to you, are they telling you the right financial story or do you need to make a change. Sometimes the hard thing to do is the right thing to do. It can be hard to walk away from something you have believed to be working and, it hasn't been. The other part that can be hard is walking away from relationships you have built with vendors. Sometimes we take those relationships to mean that we can't walk away and spend money where it makes the most sense.
Review Approach 3
This is the last review approach. This is also the hardest approach. The reason this is the hardest is that it takes the most time and effort. This is the daily and weekly review of your marketing. This is the fine-tuning that most companies forget about. You want to make sure that you are constantly monitoring the spend, number of leads, and the number of booked calls you are getting. There are industry standards for all of these. With these standards, you can determine when it is time to hire a new employee or buy a new service vehicle, or maybe it means that you must let someone go. It is hard to make business decisions if you don't understand how your marketing is doing. You need to know if your marketing is maxed out or if you have plenty of room to grow. You need to understand how flexible your marketing can be. In the service industry, your business can change in a heartbeat. One day you can be slammed and the next, slow.
Make sure you are watching every dollar you are spending. Take the time to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. Put in the legwork to analyze the data and make changes where changes need to be made.