Evaluating What Works

  • Jun 19, 2018

I believe the most overlooked, and yet very important, part of a marketing plan is evaluating the components to see what is working and how effectively it is working.

That means examining the results from the perspective of the desired objectives. I know plenty of business people who believe that their social media efforts have been successful because all they’re looking at is the number of “friends” and/or “followers” and/or clicks they’ve managed to amass. In terms of converting any of those people into realistic prospects, or, better yet, actual customers, most haven’t figured out how to do it. Does the sheer number of people who “like” you qualify the time, energy and resources spent on social media as a success? Absolutely, if your goal was to achieve numbers of followers. If your goal was to open up sales channels via social media and achieve $xx in sales due to this effort, then the evaluation method is, “Show me the money.”

If you’ve spent money on exhibiting at a trade show, but have no solid sales as a result, then the evaluation becomes "why not?" Was it the wrong trade show? Was your message not clear or not geared toward your target market? Were you sitting in the back of the booth waiting for someone to come up to you? Did you have a way to gather leads?

Evaluation is about:

  • examining what worked so you can implement it, or a variation on that theme again.
  • figuring out what didn’t work.
  • deciding if what didn’t work needs to be eliminated or just tweaked for improved performance.
  • making the necessary changes and starting again.

Evaluation is not about:

  • making excuses. If something didn’t work, determine why it didn’t so the same problem doesn’t occur again.
  • placing blame. Yes, sometimes someone does drop the ball. Now it’s time to figure out if it’s a ball worth picking up and running with or if it’s time to call it a game and try something new. (OK, so sports metaphors not so much my thing.)
  • giving up. If something needs to be eliminated, so be it. Other options are open and should be considered.

Marketing techniques and theories abound. Evaluating what worked for you and what didn’t is about learning how to use your time, energy and resources to their best potential and to your best success.

And, as I always say, if your marketing doesn't make sense to you, then it's probably not the right technique for you. If you don't understand it or it just doesn't "feel" right, then you're probably not going to implement it properly, fully or at all and it's doomed to fail.