One does not simply sit down and “evaluate a marketing strategy” over a cup of coffee. Or, does one?
While evaluating the effectiveness of a B2B marketing strategy is serious business, we believe it should start with a straightforward approach. As such, we’ve put together 5 simple questions you or your marketing team can ask to get a good idea of how well your current marketing strategy is working. Think of this evaluation as a precursor to a strategy overhaul.
Here Are Five Questions to Start Your Evaluation:
Review: Are You Reaching Your Goals?
Start with a high-level review of the goals laid out in your current strategy. Hopefully, your goals are clearly articulated and readily available to the team. It’s worthwhile to have report metrics handy as well if the goals are measurable.
If your goal was to increase marketing-qualified sales leads by 50% year over year, did you achieve that? If your goal was to create a larger brand presence in your marketplace, has that happened? Does your target market have an idea of what products or services your B2B firm sells or provides?
Give yourself a rating of how well you achieved your goals.
- A = Accomplished and exceeded
- B = Mostly accomplished, but still in progress
- C = Partially accomplished, but lackluster results
You don’t need to start worrying about changing your strategy at this point, we are still in the beginning phases of a simple evaluation. It’s better to update your strategy once you have a larger picture of the overall strategy.
Attribution: Where Do Your Leads Come From?
An effective B2B marketing plan uses multiple channels to reach a target market and drive leads. Knowing where leads are coming from is essential to understanding what role each channel plays in the lead attraction and nurturing process. Take a high-level look at where leads are coming from. Are they primarily Google searches (organic), AdWords (PPC), phone calls, tradeshow contacts, webinar attendees, or something else?
At Bop Design, we’ve found that where people believe leads are coming from isn’t always what the metrics show. Never use anecdotal information for lead attribution. Always look at your CRM or Google Analytics for tracking and managing lead attribution. (The one caveat is that if you are using last-touch attribution, you can’t completely disqualify the other channels from driving leads. They may be driving leads that are earlier in the sales process.)
Resource Allocation: What Resources Did You Access?
Again, as this is a high-level look at your strategy, you must take stock of the resources that you had allocated vs. the resources you used. It’s a good opportunity to see what was available that wasn’t necessary and what was necessary but wasn’t accessible.
For example, did you have an expensive reporting tool that you never used or didn’t fulfill the needs of your team? Did you need access to subject matter experts but were never able to schedule meetings? Do you need more budget or team members to reach your goals?
When evaluating a B2B marketing strategy, many people focus solely on a budget in terms of resources. However, you should also examine where resources can be freed up or where they need to be assigned, including team members, subject matter experts, software tools, research tools, outside partnerships, etc.
Priority Focus: Did Priorities Shift?
At this point, you’ve evaluated whether you’ve met your main goals and objectives. Next, it’s time to determine if there were any new goals or priorities that were assigned to your team outside of the main goals of your B2B marketing strategy. For example, if your team was blogging to improve SEO for your website, but a new priority was thrown in to produce case studies, did that shift in priorities impact how well you were able to reach your SEO objectives?
Priorities shift, but they shouldn’t up-end an entire marketing strategy. While a strategy can be nimble and flexible, it shouldn’t be thrown out in lieu of new goals. Taking stock of how goals were met AND how new priorities were introduced can give a better understanding of how well a marketing strategy was executed.
Team Feedback: What Do Internal Sources Say?
Now is the time for anecdotal evidence. It’s time to look to internal resources, like your sales and customer service teams, to see what feedback they have on your marketing efforts. Did the quality of leads increase and produce long-term clients with larger partnerships? Did prospects rave about articles or case studies that your team produced, saying how helpful they were? Did the C-suite love the new reporting metrics you provided since it helped them problem solve client issues and innovate new solutions?
A 15-Minute Evaluation of Your B2B Marketing Strategy
There you have it, a 15-minute evaluation of your B2B branding and marketing strategy. After answering those 5 simple questions, you should have a general picture of how well your strategy has been delivering and helping you to reach your objectives. After performing that quick evaluation, you can schedule a time to take a deeper dive into updating or crafting a new marketing strategy for your firm.
Check out 3 Tips to Refresh a Lackluster Marketing Strategy to update an under-performing marketing plan.
Ready to launch a new marketing strategy for your B2B firm? Contact us today for a personalized evaluation of your marketing objectives.