It's that time of year again… when you must put time aside to review your annual marketing plan. Next year may be more important than any year previous with the rapid adoption of social media strategies. Here's what I recommend collecting:
- Marketing Spend by Medium – this is actual money paid for external marketing and advertising efforts. Breaking this down within categories is essential as well. In other words, don't just list ‘online'… break online down to web site, search engine marketing, social media, etc.
- Marketing Resources Spent by Medium – this is internal resource costs in human manpower as well as supplies and equipment. Again, be sure to break each medium down to the lowest common denominator.
- Customer Acquisition or Product Sales by Medium – this is both a count and revenue amount accumulated by medium… include both referrals and word of mouth. Understanding how many customers, as well as the value of those customers, is essential to planning for next year. Some mediums may bring smaller counts… but much larger deals.
- Customer Retention by Medium – this may take some additional effort, but understand what your company is doing that is impacting your customers' retention. Many times educational programs and consultations are seen as an expense. Recognize the value of the services you provide at no cost… you could see the most gains here!
- Year over Year Comparisons – how did your marketing strategies perform compared to last year? You can absolutely bet that it's going to change again next year! Changing your media mix, resources and strategies will increase your marketing return on investment.
Don't put off a year-end marketing review. Most companies spend money in marketing where they have the resources, where they think the revenue is coming from, or where they're simply most comfortable. Performing a year-end review will provide you with the tools you need to attack next year with a new, winning strategy!