Efficient monitoring of a marketing plan ensures that your investment is not wasted; without knowing how effective each strategy is, you may be throwing away money on useless efforts. As you plan and execute a marketing plan, build in monitoring tools from the beginning and be ruthless in eliminating strategies that are not worth the time and money you spend creating them. With a regular program of evaluation, you can end up with a streamlined, powerful marketing system.
Choose tracking tools that are appropriate for each strategy in your marketing plan. List each marketing effort that is planned for the coming year and find tools that will help you monitor its effectiveness. For web-based initiatives, look into website analytics programs like Google Analytics; for discounts, you can use coupon codes that are different for each publication in which you advertise.
Build in monitoring systems at the beginning of each marketing effort. Before you launch a new campaign, implement your monitoring tools. Put a tracking code into your website HTML code, for example, or set up a spreadsheet to monitor sales progress. Treat evaluation and tracking as an integral part of the marketing process and assign one of your marketing staff to monitoring duties.
Track the response of sales before and after the launch of a marketing campaign. Because the end goal of marketing is often to boost sales, keep an eye on how each effort impacts your sales. Ask sales staff for specific feedback on the number of qualified leads that come in after a new promotion, and request that they ask customers how they came to your company for more detailed results.
Talk to your customers. For marketing efforts that are difficult to monitor quantitatively, such as awareness-building, survey customers and members of your target audience. Send out simple e-mail on your social media profiles, and post one on your website. Design questions that will get you specific information that relates to the success of your marketing campaign: customer knowledge of new features or awareness of environmental efforts, for example.
Eliminate ineffective marketing strategies. To make your monitoring efforts worthwhile and to streamline the marketing plan, cut programs that do not achieve their initial goals. Pay particular attention to strategies that cost a large amount of money to make sure that the return on investment is worthwhile. Pare down your marketing plan so that it contains only the most effective activities, which will make room for new efforts.