Monday, June 14, 2010

My Tank Gets 30 MPG - Is That Good?

If I told you my vehicle delivered 30 miles per gallon would you say that was fantastic, average or awful? In order to answer that question you would need to know several key facts. Am I talking about a Vespa or a Hummer? What do cars like mine get for average MPG? What type of gas mileage did I plan to get with my car? Without considering these factors, answering the question would be premature and would have no frame of reference.

As with the car mpg, many retailers deliver marketing programs yet they have no idea about what results they can or should expect to deliver. In essences, there is no goal setting, thus no frame of reference for the results that are achieved. Are the results good? Did I use my resources (time and money) effectively on this marketing program?

Best practice retailers know that performance assessment on all marketing activity must be done to determine their ultimate effectiveness. If you haven't quite got in that habit yet for your business, June is just the time to review how your marketing plans are performing so far this year. Take a piece of paper and ask yourself the following questions related to your marketing events thus far in 2010:

  1. How much money and resources did we invest in each marketing activity?

  2. Did we implement this activity optimally?

  3. How much incremental sales were driven by the marketing activity?

  4. How many new customers were generated by the marketing activity?

  5. Did my in-store staff capitalize on all the opportunities created by this activity?

  6. How much new customer information was generated for the customer relationship management system?

  7. Did the activity deliver new insights into customer needs that can be used to increase profits or market share in the future?

  8. Did this activity contribute to long term customer loyalty and subsequent repeat sales?

  9. How effective was each marketing activity relative to each other?

  10. What are the industry leading benchmarks for these activities?

Answers to the above questions can help answer questions about yor marketing planning, effectiveness and about how your business is at implementing programs. If you don't like some of the answers you gave, or frankly, don't know enough because you didn't set objectives for the marketing activity you did deliver, now is the perfect time to re-tool and plan better for the balance of 2010. If necessary, get key stakeholders in the organization involved to help you maximize your success.

Keep in mind that successful marketing for your business is linked to overall goals and objectives that can and should be tied to industry benchmarks for success. After all, a tank isn't designed to perform like a scooter either. Don't let your marketing programs perform like a tank this year.


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