What is marketing? According to the American Marketing Association marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” Very concise, powerful and full of possibility.
Corporations today have a seemingly endless number of avenues to position and market their products and services. For example, how should they pick the “best fit” for their organizations and how can they anticipate and measure the effectiveness of the avenues that they select? This is especially challenging for small, privately held companies as they enter into the implementation of their plans for the 2015 calendar year.
Operating with limited staff and financial resources, smaller companies have an enormous challenge in selecting winning strategies for communicating their value proposition to their target audiences while also paving the way for sales. That being understood, each and every strategic action must be made accountable for results. Most marketing service companies are proud to boast about their ability to assist small businesses and the larger organizations have an array of statistics to support their assertions. This is valuable, but how will they benefit the business owner? And will the selected services sit at the table to review results?
An approach that’s easy and instinctive to measuring the impact of each piece of marketing strategy employed should be used. Where outside sources are used, they should become involved in defining the measures and with a periodic, or scheduled, review.
The following are categories to capture the impact of a marketing plan:
- Brief description of strategy selected
- Cost of strategic action
- Goal of the action, e.g., number of inquiries received or hits to web site
- Time period of measurement, e.g., monthly or quarterly
- Result (should be same basis of measure as goal in #3)
- Monetary impact of Result in #5
- Adjustments or changes needed going forward
Returns on investments are vital to smaller companies and measuring the results of planned marketing actions do not require a degree in finance to measure!
-Jeff Chaffin, The Executive Influence