A great way to look at your key marketing indicators to understand whether your marketing strategy is working or not is to look at your sales revenue in relation to your key marketing indicators listed below. If your sales are up-it is working. If your sales are down-it is not.
However, this is not enough. Sales revenue alone gives you no feeling for your marketing dynamics and provides no way to focus on the key elements of your marketing operation. Try creating a marketing funnel by looking at the following starting at the top and working your way down the funnel:
1. The size of your market as a whole.
2. What part of the market you cover with your marketing activities.
3. How much of your market coverage can be converted into interested potential buying customers?
4. Measure how many of those potential buying customers actually convert into customers.
This funnel narrows at each step of the process. You can quantify each level of the funnel with key marketing indicators and track how well your strategy is really working or not working and how to correct it.
The key marketing indicators are
Market Size:Your Target Market Population.
Market Growth:Target Market Changes
Market Potential:Business Available from your Target Market with a
Maximum Dollar Value
Market Coverage:Effective Marketing Activities that Reach Your Target
Lead Generation:Quantity of Motivated Potential Buying Customers and
% of Target Market
Lead Conversion:Quantity & % of Leads Converted to Sales
Market Share:Market Share of Business in Your Target Market
Average Sale:The Dollar Amount of Each Average Sale.
To be effective in your marketing strategy, you should measure this information monthly and be consistent in the measurement of this information. To do this more often, the information may be skewed in that there are too many daily variances to get a clear picture and understanding of the underlying dynamics of your market and business practices if you look at the information on a daily or weekly basis.
Monitoring the above information will tell you what is and what is not working in your marketing strategy. You will know if your market is growing or decreasing, in addition to how much business is out there for you and your competitors. You will know if your advertising and other integrated marketing communications are bringing in sufficient numbers of qualified leads for potential buying customers. You will also be able to determine if your market coverage needs to be increased or not and if your sales people are converting leads into customers effectively. You will understand the trends of your business and will be able to spot areas that need more attention than others.
Using this information will allow you to have a complete understanding of your competitive analysis that will give you a solid feel for ways to increase your share of the target market.
When compiling data for your market size, it should consist of the number of people in your target market who meet your demographic study discussed earlier. This information would be updated annually rather than monthly, as it is a demographic comprehensive study of your potential probable customer.
To gather the data for your market growth, consider the average frequency of purchase for your type of product or service. Unless you have great market research at the tips of your fingers, you will have to estimate this one based on your knowledge of your markets and common sense at the same time. In the exhibit industry, I would want to know how often my customer purchases an exhibit item and what they purchase to determine this demographic information.
The next step is gathering Market Potential based on the first three steps in looking at your marketing exposure. Does your marketing reach someone in your target market? If so, the potential buying customer is exposed to your marketing message. A great example is a direct mail piece that has been mailed to 5,000 people and you would have created 5,000 exposures if all the addresses were known and correct. If you do this twice a year, you would be creating 10,000 exposures. Additionally, if you run an advertisement in the local business paper or magazine that reaches 15,000 of your target market customer, then you have created a total of 20,000 total exposures by this time. If you continue to circulate 2,500 newspaper inserts per week for four weeks, then that would be another 10,000 exposures for a grand total of 30,000 exposures to your target market potential customers.
In generating leads, it can be done in many different ways for your company. A lead would be any person who has expressed interest in your business or its products and/or services by walking into your store or showroom, submitting an email, responding to your direct mail or viral marketing piece, making a telephone inquiry indicating interest in your product and/or service, or filling out a call to action form on your web site responding to a product and/or service inquiry. This person would be considered more than someone in your target market because they exhibited a motiivation to buy and an interest in your product. Leads are a process of someone having already begun to work their way through the Purchase Decision Buying Cycle and have made an expressed interest in working with your company.
When you convert these leads to sales, you have already most likely collected sales information by this time. For the purpose of tracking your marketing strategy, you will need the exact number of each sales transaction and the number of each lead generated to calculate your true lead conversion rate.
When compiling your sales dollar totals, you can find this on your business financial statements or in your sales reports in your accounting program. This information represents one type of marketing data most people can find fairly well.
Now that you have created your key marketing indicators, it is time to use metrics and evaluate this information to keep you informed of what your quantification efforts are and will give you accurate, objective and an ownership point of view of your business rather than the usual collection of random numbers with personal impressions most small business owners rely on. You will know what your business is doing and what to do about it. You will be able to constantly adapt to change by being in the know of your business strategies and using metrics for quantifying your data.
This is the last section of What is Marketing Strategy and Why is it Important? I hope you found each of the six components to your marketing strategy of value and will use this information to grow and strengthen your business by using metrics along the way.