Though evaluation typically comes at the end of a period of activity, the process involves benchmarking against preset key performance indicators which are set in relation to objectives at the beginning. If you haven’t followed a robust planning approach, your evaluation will unfortunately be sketchy at best.
Encouragingly, the digital revolution has extended the ability to evaluate activity such that weblogs, analytics programs and other automated controls can be used to immediately and powerfully inform marketers as to the success or failure of an activity and help to pinpoint where corrective remedy needs to be focused.
You can track enquiries, registrations, sign ups and log ins on your websites and from emails and other marketing. (Use of targeted campaign specific landing pages helps to track all advertising, direct marketing, social media and PR traffic).
You can more specifically track and calculate return based on visitor numbers (unique and return over time), enquiries, conversions and terminations. Monitoring terminations and what lies un-purchased in online baskets allows you to contact them or refine your online ordering to make it easier.
It goes without saying the main KPI is to evaluate against revenues i.e. same or more from existing customers, new customers or new products and services to both existing and new customers.
Duration of time spent instore/on your website are good ‘soft’ barometers of interest, as are the running of recommend/send to a friend features which encourage word of mouth – again all tracked back to a specific landing page / log in.
I make no apology for keeping it simple – it’s what this blog is built on. Companies and global brands spend millions tracking brand mentions on the web, tracking their brand position, brand share, brand equity and lots of other stuff. Good luck to them.
Ultimately, the name of the game of evaluation is to keep doing the right things right and to stay profitably in business. With the pressure of new business in the current economic environment so stark, maybe ensuring you have the same customers next year that you had this year is the best place to start?