Evaluating Your 2009 Marketing Efforts

Yield Software · December 8, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/c49

And Getting Prepped for 2010

2009!Now that 2009 is coming to a close in just a few short weeks, it’s time to develop marketing plans and budgets for the coming year. Before making any plans however, it pays to assess your 2009 marketing efforts – what worked, what didn’t, and what did you want to implement but never had the time or resources to do so.

We here at Yield Software are going through the same process – and it definitely takes more than one staff meeting or a “back of the napkin” approach! Here are some of the strategies we’ve used to help us make plans for 2010 and beyond:

1. Get your entire team involved

Small companies have one advantage big companies don’t have – the ability to hold company-wide meetings and solicit people’s feedback and insights. It’s best if you hold a series of meetings where you can have each team member present reports on their area of expertise as well as provide recommended changes or new ideas.

Pay special attention to those employees who interface directly with customers. Why? Because they’ll have real information that you can take to the bank, including challenges customers are facing, complaints about your company, and other anecdotal information that you just can’t get from PPC or web analytics data.

2. Reaffirm your company values and mission.

Companies naturally change and grow and when this happens, you can lose sight of your company’s values and reason for being. If you’ve never actually committed to paper you company’s values, have a brainstorming session with your team.

One trick that works is to list out all the values you and your team members can think of, then narrow this list down to 10 values – and then narrow this list down to the top three values that all of you agree on.

Write these values on a flip chart and hang the page on the wall so that you can refer back to them as you go through the next step.

3. Put everything on the table.

If you’ve read the new book, Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, by Ken Auletta, you know that Sergey Brin’s and Larry Page’s success is based in part on their asking why things have to be done a certain way.

You can ask “why,” too. When evaluating your business and marketing efforts for 2009, look at everything you do – from PPC and SEO to your e-newsletter and blog, and even your point-of-purchase signage (if you have a physical storefront) and how you answer the phone. Examine each tactic by itself and ask:

Does it match our values? Simply put, if you’re doing something that doesn’t fit with your company values, you have a disconnect — for example, if your value is “superior customer service,” yet it takes you 24 hours (or more!) to respond to client requests via email or the web. In this case you’ll need to determine how you’ll respond faster to customer requests in order to live up to your company’s value of “superior customer service.”

What’s working and what’s not? – Just because some expert said you should have a blog or an e-newsletter doesn’t mean you *should* have one if you can’t maintain it properly or if it’s not generating any return. If no one in your company has a passion for blogging, then ditch it. Ditto for anything else you’re doing.

What do our customers want? – Using the information supplied by team members, list out what customers have been asking for and what it would take to give it to them.
Are some of these “wants” realistic? Do they easily scale – meaning, you have some of the pieces and just need to add others. Or, is a “want” as simple as making the “order now” button on your Website bigger or sending them text messages when their favorite product is in stock or you’re having a sale?

What brings in 80% of our business? – Alan Weiss, [https://www.summitconsulting.com] a well-known business consultant, often advises that companies drop their “20% clients” – those that bring in only 20% of the business. You can use this same advice when evaluating your marketing efforts. Determine which tactics brought in 80% of your new business and then eliminate the low-producing campaigns, tactics, etc.

Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also open up room to implement new strategies.

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