Things to keep in mind for your annual marketing analysis

No matter if you offer products or services, doing an annual marketing analysis is a must. Without that, it would be almost impossible to tell if your marketing activity was successful – and if it was worth the time and money you invested in it.

Time to read: 6 min, 26 secs

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Focusing solely on sales index is a common mistake: business owners often think that high revenue equals effective marketing activity. However, it is not necessarily true: there can be countless reasons why your product or service is popular. It can even occur that your product or service fills a niche so perfectly that it sells despite bad marketing.  Maybe you are offering something trendy, in which case outer circumstances boost your sales numbers. Besides these, there can be countless other factors that mislead you to think your marketing is working just fine, while in many cases there are other things that contribute to a successful year in business. Do not throw away your sales index though – it provides important information, simply stop relying on it alone.

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Goals

The best way to measure the success of your marketing activity is to ask yourself: did I reach my marketing goals last year? It is recommended to set goals early in the year. This way you do not lose sight of deadlines and you will have a full timeframe to review your annual activity.

One goal can be -for example- to reach a minimum of 10 conversions per day or to gain 8000 followers on Instagram before the end of the year. Whatever you aim for, it is important to keep it real: it has to be reachable but also something that does not come so easy, therefore motivating you to work on it. At the end of the day, you are doing that as a mission: if you set unrealistic goals, the only thing you will achieve by the end of the year is exhaustion and a negative experience.

It is essential to have marketing goals that are challenging and realistic at the same time. Did you have any goals at the beginning of this year? If so, look through them. How many did you manage to achieve? How big of an investment they were (in terms of time, money and energy)? This kind of analysis will help you set the goals of the next year and plan to achieve them.

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Measurable marketing

It is important to jump on every opportunity to make your marketing measurable. Online marketing makes it easier to do but you also have plenty of options if you are offline-only. One of the easiest methods is asking some quick questions from customers after they make a purchase. It is worth tracking the answers on an Excel sheet or other similar softwares to analyse them later: which were the most popular platforms and which needs more attention? Tracking also helps making a timeline of the results, which is an effective way to support your future marketing decisions.

In the case of online marketing, most analysis is done automatically – however, there is still some work to do.

The most important condition is to have a well-working website that can be measured properly. It means that we should enable measuring any measurable conversions on the site. Simply put, offering an email address or phone number on a website where customers can also directly contact you is not the best solution as phone calls and emails are not easy to track. A much better way is offering a sheet to fill which they can use to ask for a quote or send a message. If that happens, the user is directed to a so-called “thank you” page, which is an unambiguous act of conversion for analytic apps. If you have an e-commerce site, it is even easier: the whole process of purchase happens on the website and everything is automatically tracked by the analytic software.

The most popular one is Google Analytics that offers a whole lot of other functions besides measuring conversions. It also helps you see how much time users spend on our site, which subpage is the last they visit before they leave and how they get to an act of conversion. This helps you further analyse and fine-tune your website to reach even more conversions.

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Social media and PPC

When doing a marketing analysis, monitoring your website is not the only important thing to focus on: it is also essential to go through the measurement of your social media activity and PPC (pay-per-click). In social media, do not just focus on the number of likes but also consider reach and interactions. However, taking only reach into consideration is also a common mistake that businesses make: it is an important number but it does not mean much on its own. It is the rate of interactions per reach that shows the real worth of a post. So when doing your social media marketing analysis, do not look for numbers, look for percentages!

Rates help you see your social media popularity changes, week after week and month after month.  It is important to see these tendencies as they help you make valuable conclusions. On Facebook, you can set a certain timeframe to analyse and with a few clicks, you will see the exact numbers of likes, shares, comments, reach and clicks that each content generated.  However, you can do similarly on most other social platforms as well.

When it comes to social media and PPC (Google Ads) ads, clickthrough rate (clicks to impressions) is what you should look for, as it helps you really see how attractive and relevant your ads were to your audience. With PPC ads, also consider ROI and ROAS to get the full picture.

You have to keep track of analysing these at least monthly as this makes it possible to make an annual marketing analysis. It is also a good idea to make diagrams out of monthly percentages as they help you notice any outstanding number and picture in the yearly tendency. Any significant positive or negative values and outstanding rates should be further analysed, also considering environmental factors.

This year, it is also important to keep in mind that we had unprecedented circumstances throughout these months, so negative extremes do not necessarily mean there were faults in our marketing as outside factors such as Covis-19 were highly impactful. By that, we do not mean to sneak out of responsibility – resilience is essential when it comes to marketing.

The following quote from Charles Darwin perfectly summarizes this year’s events and gives us a valuable business lesson:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

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Summary

  • When analysing your marketing activity, do not just focus on sales numbers! In terms of brand building, for example, they are totally irrelevant.
  • Check if you managed to reach the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Also consider the point in time when these happened and the amount of resources you used.
  • Also check if conversions are properly set on your website – they should be measurable with Google Analytics or another marketing analytic software. If they are okay, analyse your conversions, make diagrams, notice tendencies and if needed, analyse outstanding numbers!
  • When analysing your social media activity, do not just focus on numbers: also consider the percentage of interactions per reach. Just like in the case of conversions on your website, make diagrams, notice tendencies and analyse outstanding numbers!
  • In the case of social media and PPC ads, analyse clickthrough rate (CTR) and do not forget ROI and ROAS.
  • Keep in mind that it was a rough and unprecedented year: do not be too hard on yourself if you see poor results but also do not yield to fate. Do a realistic analysis of the reasons and make new plans!

Can we help in developing your business or building and delivering your marketing strategy? If so, do not hesitate to contact us!

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