Marketing Performance

Is Your Marketing Performing As It Should? Tips for Mid-year Reviews and Adjustments

Wondering if your marketing is successful enough? Now’s the time to complete a mid-year marketing review to ensure a successful year.

As we prepare to close out the second quarter, it’s time to consider how well your marketing is performing. Are you accomplishing what you set out to accomplish? Or do you have big goals remaining for the year which you’re far from reaching?

It’s a good time to reflect, adjust and refocus your marketing to achieve your annual goals. Here’s a look at what you should be doing to audit your marketing actions thus far and update to improve your strategy to achieve your goals.

Why Complete a Mid-year Marketing Assessment

Marketing is all about testing, analyzing data and adjusting to create the best connection possible with prospects and customers. While research might show that one message will work best, you might find it resonates differently on various channels.

But you won’t recognize the difference in how your message is resonating unless you take the time to do a full assessment.

A mid-year assessment is like what you present at an annual meeting to show your C-suite how well your marketing performed and plans for the new year. Only it’s a shorter segment of time and you’ll be planning for the next six months instead of the next year.

Your company might experience these great benefits from a mid-year marketing assessment.

  1. Provides time to implement changes and improve ROI before year’s end.
  2. You can get a leg up on your competition while they are in summer mode and working around vacations.
  3. You’ll have a better concept of how you’re performing and can provide reports to your leadership.
  4. It offers an opportunity to re-engage prospects before the lead goes cold.
  5. Waiting too long to adjust could mean your opportunities in certain areas disappear.
  6. It offers an opportunity to re-engage and re-energize your marketing staff toward your goals.

What Does a Mid-year Marketing Assessment Include?

A mid-year marketing assessment will look a great deal like your year-end assessments – just shorter. It allows you to review what you’ve accomplished and areas of opportunity to improve. Here’s a look at some of the areas you’ll measure as part of your assessment.

Marketing Performance
  1. Key performance indicators: you should have outlined your KPIs at the start of the year. These metrics are what you come back to for evaluating your marketing activities and progress toward goals. Some examples of KPIs might be leads generated, lead-to-conversion ratios, sales generated, etc. But quality KPIs set specific targets. So you might have a goal of generating 50 leads per month with a lead-to-conversion ratio of 10 percent.
  2. Conversion rates: you’ll compare these to years past to see if there is any change. An increase is obviously a good thing but you might also notice that your conversion rates have fallen. This might indicate the need for fresh content, website usability upgrades, or improved graphics that better resonate with your audience.
  3. ROI: there are many ways of measuring ROI. You might look at the cost per conversion or you might track ROI based on the lifetime value of a customer (LTV). LTV is more challenging to calculate and requires that you track all revenue from that customer from the moment they purchase from you.

While those are the most important metrics because they indicate business success, you’ll also want to monitor several other metrics that could tell you something isn’t quite right with your marketing or that a minor shift has happened that could be holding back your marketing. These more granular metrics will help you respond to marketing changes, such as search engine algorithm updates or the removal of third-party links that lead to your website.

  1. Social media engagement
  2. Website total traffic and traffic by source
  3. Website traffic from organic search
  4. Search engine rankings over time
  5. Leads generated by channel
  6. PPC cost per click and cost per conversion
  7. Website pages with the highest bounce rates
  8. Website pages with the lowest conversion rates

These more granular metrics are items you should be reporting on month-to-month. But if you aren’t yet monitoring and reporting on them, mid-year is a great time to start.

Every minor change in these metrics doesn’t necessarily indicate something is wrong. By tracking them, you’ll see clear indications of when you need to make adjustments or when there is a clear trend of downward progress.

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Steps to Complete a Mid-year Marketing Review

Successful reviews require careful planning. You should follow these three simple steps to complete a successful review of your mid-year marketing accomplishments. 

1. Review Your Marketing Goals

Go back to your annual marketing plan for the year and review what your goals for the year were. These should have been integrated with organizational goals.

Before you review whether your marketing accomplished what you set out to accomplish, review whether your organizational goals have changed in the past six months. That might warrant a change to your marketing goals.

You’ll also want to see if new market segments have formed since you wrote your marketing plan. That way, you can start connecting with these market segments throughout the next six months with minor adjustments.

2. Take a Deep Dive into Analytics

Now it’s time to assess the areas discussed above. You need to dig deep into your analytics. This means taking a more serious look at monthly metrics and regular reports from your various marketing technology systems.

Then compare your results to your goals. Look for the largest areas of opportunity or the largest gaps between your goals and achievements. Those should become your focus areas for the next six months.

Along the way, make sure you’re reviewing what marketing strategies worked and which clearly did not resonate with your target audience. Now is the time to create your marketing plan for the remainder of the year.

3. Review Who Your Top Audiences Are

You might be experiencing a shift in your target audience but you hadn’t noticed before now. This is a great opportunity to stop and ensure your audience targeting is accurate. Review to see if anything is impacting your audience, such as a change in product offering. Also, see if there are other ways you should be reaching your audience.

Review whether there are specific types of posts or content that your target audience is interacting with well. Make a plan for creating more posts like this. And check to see if there is a segment of your audience that is currently underserved with content and make adjustments.

Barriers to Effective Mid-year Reviews

Taking time to complete a deep, analytical look into your marketing programs can be challenging. Some marketers skip the assessment because they face one or more of the following barriers.

  1. Vacation schedules: but let’s be real, when you complete your year-end assessments, the environment is just as challenging with many employees out for the holidays or working to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. There isn’t an ideal time to complete an assessment but taking the time is generally worth the results.
  2. Having to keep all marketing going while assessing: this is always a challenge. Your day-to-day work doesn’t stop or slow down for you to engage in a mid-year assessment. You’ll have to be extra picky about what meetings you attend or new campaigns you start for a few weeks while you retool your strategy. 
  3. Leadership doesn’t see the value: your leadership team might have other priorities, such as launching a new product or starting a new campaign. And if leadership isn’t allowing you the time to complete the assessment, you’ll likely face challenges in getting it done. That’s where you need to advocate for the value of such assessments and demonstrate their value.

An Expert to Help You Assess Your Marketing

If you haven’t completed an annual or mid-year assessment, having support from an expert can help you get the most from the activity. Get marketing support all year long with New Light Digital, a digital marketing agency offering everything you need to succeed. Schedule your free consultation now.

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