How can evaluation drive marketing results?

Understanding how to find, unpick and apply insights and analysis of your marketing activity is key to driving marketing results. Without this, your strategy is based on little more than intuition – and you may be wasting time and budgets.

But, when there’s so much data out there, how do you know where to start?

Focus your energies

The first step to getting the right data to lift marketing results is focusing your energies. That is, using measurable objectives to define what it is you actually want to evaluate.

image of a dart board with three darts on bullseye.

Whether it’s website traffic, brochure downloads, social media engagement or email open rates, for example, define a small set of the key dials you want to improve through your marketing activity. Once you have these goals, take the time to find out where you can access the data you need to prove them. Here are some examples:

  • For any objectives relating to your website, ensure you have Google Analytics set up. You can use our Google Analytics evaluation guide to navigate to the data you need.
  • For social media goals, different platforms have different evaluation tools. You can use our social media evaluation guide  to navigate to the data you need.
  • If you’re looking to boost sales enquiries, ensure you have a function in your CRM system – even if that’s just a spreadsheet list – that’s tracking where enquiries are coming from. If you’re not sure, ask new prospects the question: ‘where did you hear about us?’ and record their answer.

No matter what it is you’re looking to achieve, it’s important to take the time to understand how you will measure it. Only once you’re measuring it, can you begin to see how it’s impacting your marketing results.

Review on a regular basis

Once you’re set up to track your marketing results, set some time aside to review the data.

How often you check in will depend on your level of activity, but every week to every other week is a good rule of thumb to start with. Make a note of the numbers – eg website visits, leads generated or newsletter sign ups – at each check-in, so you can see how they move overtime.

At each evaluation check-in, consider ‘what’s working well’, ‘what could be going better or differently’ and ‘are there any other opportunities we should be looking at’. This will help you to drive continual improvement for your marketing results.

When necessary, adjust your approach

The most important thing here is to make sure you’re not changing your approach too often – let your activity run for a period of time to get real insights into how it’s working. One week of social posts isn’t enough to judge that ‘social isn’t the channel for you’, for example.

However, when you can see a trend in your results over a period of time (eg a few months), you can use this insight to adjust your approach and influence your marketing results. Let the data show you what’s working and what’s not. Let it guide where you should put your time and efforts to get real results.

If something doesn’t seem to be working, don’t rule it out altogether. Take a deeper look – is there anything you could do to boost results or improve performance? For example, with social content, could you use more engaging images, or video content to vary what you’re posting?

Use your evaluation to drive marketing results

Your evaluation should be centred around your PR and marketing objectives. This will help you to see clearly where your marketing results are coming from (or not) – regardless of the platform you’re using or type of content you’re putting out there.

For help in understanding how your marketing strategy could be stronger, book your free communications review here.

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