One of the key parts of crafting your plan (Phase 3) is building in the mechanisms for measuring each of your marketing & sales tactics (which you execute in Phase 4). If you’ve been disciplined about measuring and testing your tactics, in Phase 5, you will go through the results and decide what worked / what didn’t / and what needs to be tweaked.
Let’s look back at some of the key elements…
Your top marketing measureables might include things like:
- Website visits (unique visitors, time on site, top referring sites, etc.)
- Social media activity (followers, level of interaction, click-thrus, etc.)
- Email response (sent, received, opens, click-thrus, etc.)
- Ad effectiveness (A/B test results, eyeballs, click-thrus, etc.)
- Content marketing (page views, downloads, etc.)
For sales, your list might include:
- Daily/Weekly sales activity (calls, presentations, proposals, etc.)
- Pipeline counts (suspects, prospects, presentations, bids, conversions, etc.)
- Lead generation (# leads daily/weekly, source of leads, etc.)
- And of course, Revenue (new revenue booked, potential revenue in pipeline, revenue vs. goal, revenue by product line, revenue by vertical, etc.)
Now look at some of the management tools you created…
- Was the calendar accurate? How did you do in sticking to the calendar? Do you need to plan a little differently next time?
- How did you do vs. your budget? Did you over- or under-estimate? Any budget surprises?
- Bottom line… what were revenues?
You’re not quite done yet. Look back at the earlier part of the plan development process to see if there’s anything else you need to do / change / add as you enter into the next plan development cycle…
- From Phase 1 – What other kinds of data do you need to review and analyze? What will you skip this time around and what will you re-do? Are there any new sources of data or new methodologies that you need to take advantage of this time?
- From Phase 2 – How about strategies? Did you nail them… or do you need to look at some new directions? Any tweaks to existing ones? Can you prioritize them?
- From Phase 3 – Did the actual creation of the plan work for you? What would you do differently this time? Are any other management tools needed?
- From Phase 4 – Were you able to execute as planned? Do you need any help with execution next time around? Did you measurement plans work out? Do you need to change what or how you’re measuring?
Following the Marketing Loop™ is a process for continual improvement. The more marketing & sales you do – and then measure – the more you learn, the more you tweak the process and the better you get each time around.
If you’ve taken the time to go through the marketing & sales planning process as we’ve discussed, you’ll be part of the 1%… the 1% that actually take the time to think / plan / execute / measure / improve. That’s a competitive advantage that almost no one can touch!