The key to a well-performing online marketing strategy, or any kind of strategy in general—is regular, objective evaluation and analysis.
Every so often, you need to take a step back, look at things impartially, and assess whether or not you’re accomplishing your goals and where you need to improve. If your evaluations are revealing that you’re doing everything perfectly and you don’t need to work on anything, then you’re simply asking the wrong questions. There’s always room for improvement.
In this post, we’ll address the questions you should be asking to gauge the success of your online marketing strategy effectively.
1. Where are Resources Wasted?
This question is one of the most important that you can ask of your marketing strategy. For most small businesses, particularly those in the B2B industry that are bootstrapped more often than B2C companies—budget is crucial.
Every dollar spent needs to be supporting your effective strategy, and creating tangible results that will benefit the brand both in short and long-term.
Ask yourself: Where are the holes in my game plan where dollars are spent, but none are returned?
Adapt those aspects of your strategy into effective money-earners, or cut them out entirely.
2. Where in My Sales Funnel Do Leads Fall Off?
In every sales funnel, there are stages with significantly worse performance than others. For instance, you may have leads that visit your website, complete an action onsite (e.g. reading a blog post, engaging with a piece of interactive content), sign up to your email list and then drop off the face of the earth.
Pinpoint exactly where in the sales funnel you are losing your customers. Usually a simple fix can improve issues such as confused messaging coming across in the content, an overwhelming landing page, or a hard to find “contact us” box.
Ask yourself: Where do my leads suddenly turn from red-hot to ice-cold in my sales funnel? What can I do to fix those points and prevent the drop-off from continuing?
3. What Do My Competitors Do Better than Me?
No one likes to admit when their competitors outperform them at something; it’s merely a matter of pride.
However, the sooner you’re able to put away that feeling of defeat, and objectively assess your competitors to find their strengths, the sooner you can learn from them and grow your business.
If one of your rivals has a more prominent social media presence than you, find out what they’ve been doing to grow their brand on social platforms, then implement similar strategies tailored specifically for your brand.
Ask yourself: Where is my competitors’ marketing strategy better than mine, and how can I use their successes to inform and improve my own strategy?
4. Are Sales and Marketing Aligned with the Same Goals?
Sales and marketing alignment is one of the most critical parts of your brand’s overall success. If they aren’t aligned, you are going to run into some major problems. These two departments need to be on the same page in order to most efficiently achieve the common goal of building your company’s brand.
Statistics show that 81% of firms that outperformed revenue goals report having aligned sales and marketing departments. On the other hand, firms that say their departments were misaligned are twice as likely to experience budget cuts in those departments (Ledgeview Partners).
Ask yourself: Do my marketing and sales personnel work tightly together? If they don’t, what can I do as a leader to get them on the same page?
5. Does My Analytics Platform Provide Actionable Information?
Analytics is by far one of the most critical aspects of your B2B marketing strategy. After all, if you aren’t tracking your progress, how do you know whether you’re achieving your goals, or more importantly where you can improve? If your analytics isn’t getting you this type of information, you may be tracking the wrong metrics, or, it may be time to look at another platform altogether.
Ask yourself: Is my analytics platform constantly providing me with up-to-date, actionable information that I can evaluate and immediately find areas of my strategy to work on?
6. Am I Accomplishing My Ultimate Goal?
At the end of the day, as a for-profit business, you have one ultimate goal that supersedes all others—making money. If your current strategy isn’t making money or setting up a platform for you to eventually make money in the future, you have a problem, and it’s time for a change.
It’s easy to get caught up with all of the smaller goals within your marketing strategy—more website visitors per day, more followers on Instagram, a higher conversion rate, etc.—and lose track of the big picture. You could have an impressive follower base, but if there is no cash flowing in, you aren’t doing yourself or your brand any favors.
Ask yourself: Is my marketing strategy bringing in high-value customers that are netting profit for my business?
7. What Are My Plans for the Future?
Last but not least, you need to have your marketing strategy mapped out for the future as well.
You should already have both short-term and long-term goals for your business. Develop a marketing strategy to achieve those goals, modeled after the data from your past marketing efforts.
Ask yourself: Do I have concrete marketing plans for the future and challenging yet achievable goals?
Regular self-assessment is a crucial aspect of a successful marketing strategy. By asking yourself these seven questions, you’ll have a good handle on how well your marketing team has been performing, and where it needs to improve.