Like a house, a business can accrue junk over time. Especially when it comes to marketing. In this post we look at the importance of focusing on what’s working, clearing out the junk and keeping your marketing fresh.
Do an audit of your marketing activity
When you consider how much time and effort can be spent on delivering and maintaining a marketing campaign, it’s quite incredible how rarely proper analysis is done. As highlighted by Michelle Carvill, MadeSimple’s Marketing Director in the ‘Practical guide to building your marketing plan’:
“Being aware of what results you are achieving enables you to learn from your marketing activity. Too many times when business owners have gone to significant effort to put a marketing campaign together, when I query the response rates – there’s a stunned silence.”
With this in mind, create a spreadsheet made up of the following campaign information:
- Name of the campaign (‘Facebook Summer Offer’ for example)
- Date the campaign went live
- Cost of campaign
- Time spent creating and maintaining campaign
- Money made from campaign
Rather than doing this every so often, get in the habit of populating the spreadsheet on a weekly basis. This way you can quickly and simply monitor campaigns and address any issues that come up.
Divide each campaign into a group
Colour code your spreadsheet, splitting all your campaigns into the following three groups:
- Working well
- Some success
- Little or no success
Review all activity
Having assessed your activity so far you should now look at improving everything. Even if it’s worked, how can you make it better? If something was a complete disaster, or a drain on your time and resources (campaigns that ended up in section 3), ask yourself whether it’s worth continuing with.
Of course there will be instances where a marketing channel is right for your business, the implementation of your campaign was just a little (or a lot) off. In these cases it’s a good idea to look at what other businesses are doing – in particular your competitors. Take inspiration whilst staying true to your own brand. Make changes and…
Start the process again
Now let’s jump into the Delorean and set the date for a few months down the line. Time to look over all marketing again using your spreadsheet. How much traction have you had on social media? Did anyone sign up for your service using that voucher code? Have any of your email campaigns converted web visitors to paying customers? Every single piece of work that could be considered a marketing effort needs to be analysed again and dealt with accordingly.
As the owner of a small business your time is unbelievably precious. Especially if you’re on your own – there has to eventually be a return on investment. If something isn’t working, even after you’ve reviewed and made changes, don’t be afraid to cut that activity altogether. You can always revisit that marketing method further down the line. It’s all about being smart with your time.
We hope you’ve found this post helpful. Are you interested in getting more marketing tips? We’ve written a number of guides covering marketing (and more) that you can download for free here: