When your marketing, sales and executive teams met to discuss the 2014 strategy, how did you evaluate marketing’s 2013 performance?
What key takeaways did you gain from the highs and lows? And, how did 2013 key performance indicators (KPIs) performance affect your 2014 action plan?
Through the assessment and benchmarking process, you’ve most likely identified top priority goals and subsequently outlined an action plan for the year. Ideally, your 2014 goals are based on historical performance, and the action plan contains a mix of marketing tactics that correspond and are measureable.
Now, one month into the New Year, let’s do a gut check to see how your 2014 marketing plan prepares you for success—and whether you’ve built enough momentum in January to sustain throughout the year.
A Questionnaire to Assess Your 2014 Marketing Plan
Below are a series of questions to consider when evaluating month one of your 2014 marketing campaign. Use these questions as conversation starters when you meet to assess ongoing performance and monthly/quarterly priorities.
What were 2013’s big wins? What can we attribute to this success?
In looking back at 2013, what major highlights did your organization experience? As you assess KPIs at the various stages of the funnel, recognize what areas are currently seeing success and those that still need improvement.
Wins may include increases in:
- Social following or blog subscribers (brand).
- Qualified website traffic and leads (leads).
- Sales and revenue (sales).
- Customer engagement and increased lifetime value (loyalty).
Does your 2014 plan take advantage of top successes, and build upon the activities you know are driving results? What campaigns will you maintain or duplicate to further improve these figures?
Where did you fall short of your 2013 goals? What were root causes?
If you saw dramatic dips in performance over the past year, you may be marketing against an issue at the core of your business that cannot be solved by an increased social presence or revolutionary industry report. Evaluate the general health of your foundational assets by testing products or services, and carefully reviewing customer feedback.
In terms of marketing performance, if you fell short of your goal to increase sales qualified leads (SQLs) by 15%, did your team evaluate lead source channels or the effectiveness of marketing to sales handoff? If efforts are focused on channels that produce lower quality leads, or the processes in place between marketing and sales are not optimized, consider foundational projects for your team in Q1.
As you look at your list of items in the red (those that decreased from the previous quarter/year), consider quick-win activities to simultaneously boost performance in Q1:
- Increase social publishing.
- Create a piece of content based on top-viewed resources/pages.
- Make simple changes to site structure, featured content on your homepage, SEO or product/service page copy to improve the customer experience.
Are your 2014 goals realistic? Are goals based on 2013 performance?
If you’re like many organizations, you reviewed 2013 data against your predefined KPIs and assessed the marketing program based on year’s worth of data, exploring quarterly trends and monthly fluctuations. However, if your original goals weren’t realistic, or if 2014 goals aren’t aligned with activities that will enable success, then you’ve got a much bigger problem.
One piece of the puzzle is the KPIs you’ve identified for your organization and individual teams. If you feel that your KPIs are out of sync, you may want to reevaluate those selected. Check out the Marketing Score post, How to Define Critical KPIs Across the Marketing Funnel, for help in this area.
How did your campaign perform in January?
While a single month is only a small sample of your overall performance, it can give you valuable insight into the momentum you’re building. Take a look at January data, compare it to December and 2013, and then review your list of priority activities.
If you can already see improvements, find ways to capitalize on this success in the coming months. However, if results are not starting to align with goals, consider adjustments to your action plan now. It’s never to late to evolve!
Wonder how other marketers, executives and entrepreneurs are evaluating their marketing performance? Check out the 2014 Marketing Score Report, which draws insights from 318 Marketing Score member surveys across all ten sections.
What activities do you have slated for the 2014 calendar year? And, how will these be used to drive results and reach your end of year goals?