Analyze and Adjust (A.K.A. Rerouting Until You’ve Reached Your Destination)
We've made it to the final installment of our series on creating an effective strategic marketing plan. In our previous posts, we discussed setting marketing goals and defining strategies and tactics to achieve them. Now, it's time to evaluate, analyze, and adjust your tactics to support your strategies and overall goals. This is how you assess where you currently are in progress toward your goals, and reroute when needed.
Track Your Performance
In our last post, we emphasized the importance of establishing benchmarks at the beginning of your campaign. These form the base for our analysis, which will be built upon using industry and marketing platform benchmarks.
There are as many ways to track your performance against your benchmarks as there are tactics themselves, but there are four key considerations we’d like to highlight:
Embrace Google Analytics and its Ecosystem
While there are other analytics tools available, Google currently reigns supreme. If you have an existing Google Analytics account, make sure you have transitioned that to their latest version, GA4, as their old version (UA) will sunset in July 2023. Once you are set up with GA4, update your events and conversions in the new analytics platform, using Google Tag Manager to capture user actions that are important to your strategies.
Utilize the Tools Available to Track Ad Performance
Define what action you want ad viewers to take and track it. Google Ads has robust tools for tracking ads within their platform (with the help of Google Tag Manager). But conversion tracking is also available for other ad platforms, such as LinkedIn or Meta, by placing a pixel on your website or integrating with Google Tag Manager.
Use Trackable URLs Across Channels
Trackable URLs, created by using UTM codes, can help collect data on specific user interactions even outside the Google ecosystem. They're especially useful in tactics such as third party digital ads, social posts, and newsletters, by providing a clear view of how viewers engage with your ads or campaigns.
Maintain Consistent Measuring Tools
Whether it’s a paid analytics tool, Google Looker Studio, or even just a spreadsheet, create a consistent way to track your metrics so you are always comparing apples to apples. Document exactly how you are pulling the data so there is no confusion if and when this task is done by others.
What is Google Looker Studio?
Google Looker Studio is a tool that consolidates data from all Google platforms into a single, easy to view dashboard for shareable, visually appealing analytics reporting that can be shared across your organization. This is a great way to ensure you are comparing and pulling data in a consistent way over time.
Use the Data
While tracking your data is crucial, its value lies in how you apply it. Use the data you've collected to make tactical adjustments throughout the year and inform future planning. Starting each goal check-in with an analytics review is a great way to ensure that data is considered throughout the conversation.
As we wrap up this series on our approach to strategic marketing planning, we hope you take away that a thoughtful, goal-driven, and data-grounded approach to planning can help you make tangible progress in your organization. Good luck on your strategic marketing journey!
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