Most business owners or managers are quite used to having accounts audited at the end of their financial year. This can provide useful insight into how the company is doing and also whether the business strategy and operational plans are delivering as intended.
Indicators for success
What is reviewed less frequently is the marketing strategy and functional deliverables. Successful marketing is an early indicator to overall business success. Simply, if you are marketing your products and services well you stand a better chance of selling a greater quantity of goods and achieving your company’s objectives.
How to measure your marketing
Marketing is most often measured at the output stage, as that is when a given campaign has been implemented fully and analysts are able to draw conclusions on which goals have been achieved, and the extent to which they have been achieved. This method of evaluating success is often criticised and is said to replicate the process of ‘closing the door when the horse has already bolted’.
One way to anticipate the likely success of an organisation’s marketing operation is to conduct an audit of the key plans and structures that will deliver the campaigns. The key aspects you need to consider when looking at evaluating an organisations marketing capability are as follows:
Strategy Organisation and structure Systems and processes Methods of capturing and evaluating success or productivity Capability Marketing strategy
A good marketing strategy should clearly state it’s aims and objectives. The strategy must articulate what is to be achieved and why, and must draw on a clear functional plan which outlines how the strategy can be conducted and the resources used. It is important to note that language must be clear, jargon-free and understood by all members of the organisation.
Organisation and structure
The marketing function must be organised and structured to deliver the marketing strategy. Often organisations evolve over complicated structures that do not align with the strategy that is being followed. The simpler the structure, the more likely the chances are of achieving success during implementation.
Marketing systems and processes
Marketing systems and processes should provide the organisation with a clear method of communication that achieves insight and organisational agility. The better the systems and processes, the clearer the organisational understanding will be. Through high quality communications, the organisation can quickly evaluate, modify and implement changes with the implementation process. This provides the foundation for marketing agility, which is essential in achieving competitive advantage in competitive markets.
Methods of capturing success and productivity
It is essential that any activity captures information effectively. This should be used to provide insight and organisational learning. The better the method of capturing, evaluating, understanding and action, the quicker the organisation can react to changing circumstances and deliver services and products quicker and better than the competitors are able to. The development of an effective intelligence gathering system provides competitive advantage through achieving a higher organisational tempo relative to competitors.
Through the development of a robust marketing strategy, the organisation can identify and invest in critical capabilities. Few organisations can retain a full range of high quality capabilities and it is therefore important to invest only in those functions critical to success. Other marketing capabilities can be delivered through third parties, partners or strategic alliances.
Key to success
Make sure your marketing is up to the job, look at these simple indicators and make up your own mind as to whether the investment in the output will be worthwhile. Remember the output is only as good as the quality of the input.