Not to be forgotten is the last step, monitoring. It is just as important as the other steps, but frequently never happens. You’ve researched and planned and devised and scheduled and now you’re tired and just want to get to work. Your tactic takes place and start thinking about the next one without analyzing and documenting the results of the former tactic. Did you compare the actual results to your goal? If you don’t monitor your activities, you’ll never know if they are working and whether to do more or do less of that particular activity.
A critical component of the monitoring is figuring out up front how you will measure success of each tactic. That should be a component of devising the goal. Make each goal specific and measurable. To suggest that you want to increase sales from a particular line of product advertising is entirely too vague. We want to increase sales by 3.5% in the residential line of vacuum cleaners or as in our example, we want to increase sales of pool openings by 50.
Once you have a specific and measurable goal, decide how you will actually measure. In most cases this will be obvious and clear. But if you have two or more activities working at the same time, you need to spend a little time devising a way to tell from where the potential increase in business is coming from. How will you know if new business is coming from a social media campaign or that newspaper ad you bought? Use special departments, phone numbers and web splash pages to identify and segregate traffic and purchases so you have a method to measure the increased activity and identify from where it came.
As you get data from each tactic, compare what you did and how you did it to the results you got. Consider a changing the copy, color, pricing, or layout to get different results. As you tweak your tactics, note the change in performance and try to continually improve your results. When you hit on a great tactic, try to use it as a template for future tactics.
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