We’ve almost reached the halfway mark of 2016, the perfect opportunity to review your marketing plan and performance. A half year review will see you dissecting your strategy so far, and making better marketing decisions for the second half of the year.
We’ve outlined the reasons why conducting a regular marketing review of your activity and results is essential below. We also created a handy guide on how to conduct your half year review.
1. You stand more of a chance of reaching your goalsReviewing your marketing activity as you go means you can measure your numbers against your targets, and get a clear view of what you need to do to meet them.
Using your data, you can:
- Measure the completion of your quantitative goals by way of percentage
- Identify successful channels and problem areas within your marketing mix
- Compare the effectiveness of your channels against your goals
- Review and revise your goals for the next period
- Look at what you need to continue to do or start doing, in order to meet your goals next time
2. You’ll know what works — and what doesn’tYou’ll be able to pat yourself and your team on the back for the big wins over the last two quarters, and identify specific areas for improvement.
Looking at all of your marketing channels, individually and as a whole, you can see which ones have been pulling their weight in terms of effectiveness, and which ones haven’t. Has your email, social media, PPC and content seen good conversion rates, according to industry benchmarks
Then comes the crucial task of working out why this is the case. Learning from the past is the key to making positive changes to your marketing strategy moving forward.
3. It forces you to be data-influencedCollating your data over the last half a year and creating solid, comprehensive reports showing visitors, conversion rates, percentage increases and so on means taking a numbers-driven approach to your marketing.
The beauty of using data and metrics to measure your success is that numbers don’t lie, and they can be compared — with your targets, with monthly averages, with the last six months and with the next six months.
At the same time as letting data drive your decision-making however, you should also trust your own instincts and experience as a marketer. Data is an valuable guide, but you should still rely on your brain.
4. You can revise your company’s overarching marketing strategyOnce you’ve looked over your data and performance over the last six months (or other time period), you should be able to draw a number of conclusions about the effectiveness of your overall marketing strategy.
You and your team can ask yourselves the following questions about your strategy:
- How could you better allocate resources, such as time spent and budget?
- By how much did your visits/conversions/ROI improve month-on-month?
- How will you go about achieving your goals moving forward?
- Where should you focus your efforts to improve on your past performance?
- Are you measuring success in the right ways?
5. You can submit a snapshot report to your bossWhen it comes to reporting your data to your internal stakeholders, there are only a few metrics your boss and sales team will be interested in. However, you still need a good grasp of your results so you can explain the reasons behind the numbers if you need to.
At the end of every month or quarter, get into the habit of sharing your performance against your goals with interested colleagues. It keeps them in the know, justifies budget increases and keeps you feeling directly accountable for the marketing decisions you make — daunting, but the pressure can be a motivator.
6. It will make you a better marketerWho doesn’t want to continually learn and get better at their job? Your regular marketing reviews will keep you focussed on improving your skills and changing your tactics as necessary. Watching your data will teach you new lessons about marketing, your target audience and the effectiveness of your branding and approach.
As a company, your circumstances and priorities might change throughout the space of a year. On top of that, new trends and technologies crop up all the time. Your assumptions at the beginning of the period may not hold now. An in-depth performance review is a great way to stay on top of everything, and be the best marketer you can be.