Developing an effective marketing strategy is a necessary component of every business. However, it’s imperative that you set smart goals and measure your progress using the data points that you’re regularly tracking.
Here’s the thing: if you’re doing well and making money, it’s tempting to think you know what you’re doing and why and how you’re making money, but you’re only making assumptions if you aren’t tracking and measuring.
You may attribute your success to the wrong actions, thus risking interrupting your profit-making capabilities when you eventually make the wrong choice based on assumptions and not data. I mean a lot of the time, your assumptions will be right if you know your audience, but eventually – if you don’t use the data you’re collecting – you will make a wrong choice.
But if you use the data you have, the choices you make are more than likely to be accurate, thus helping you avoid actions that don’t lead to profit. What’s even better is your decision-making ability will improve as you keep studying the data, ensuring you are progressing in the direction you want to go.
- Set SMART Goals – Your first step is to set SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This simply means that your goals must be very specific, something you can measure numerically, and you can’t set the goals so high that they are impossible. They must be something you can really do and achieve in a reasonable amount of time.
- Study Data Regularly – If you’ve set SMART goals and know exactly how to measure to find out if you’re reaching those goals, you’ll need to study the data on a regular basis. For some things, like a launch, you may have to look at the data daily for a couple of weeks but for evergreen marketing materials you may want to check only every 90 days. If you are running ads, you’ll want to check their progress weekly to avoid wasting money.
- Tweak & Update – If anything isn’t going as you planned once you check the data, the awesome thing about digital marketing is that you can easily change things on the fly. For example, if you realize you’re getting lots of clicks on a certain share but no conversions, you can assume something is not right. The landing page may not match the information they clicked through on, so you’ll need to do some tweaking there.
Tracking and measuring results based on your SMART goals is going to help you improve your business in many ways. First, you’ll be more likely to catch mistakes; secondly, you’ll be able to update and improve results more often simply by checking to see if your assumptions (based on research) are really working. Plus, you’ll see clearly where you can make even more audacious goals so that you can keep growing your business.