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Is your marketing plan on the right track?

recession19085238.jpgYou have spent all this time and effort on a marketing strategy and have implemented that strategy to the best of your ability, so how do you know if your marketing plan is on the right track?How do you know if your marketing strategy is really working? (Or if it is other factors that are affecting the rate of sales in your business?)What about the times when marketing success cannot be seen in numbers and sales?Evaluating the success of your marketing plan and determining whether a change in direction is needed, is better described as a combination of both actual number of sales and the inclusion of factors that may not be as readily apparent.

One of the first things that you need to do in order to evaluate whether or not your marketing campaign is on the right track is to first identify what aspect of plan you will be looking into.Many times those close to the marketing plan will fail to see the flaw that exist within that plan and will instead shift focus (and blame) to the unresponsive consumer.Naturally such a defense is without merit as the customer is never wrong when it comes to what he or she is and is not interested in.But just because the process is not yielding results, does not mean that the entire marketing plan had missed the mark.You can minimize or even eliminate a lot of work for yourself when it comes to re-evaluating your marketing plan if you can identify a step in the process of marketing that needs to be changed rather than having to assume that the whole process was flawed.

As you continue determining whether your marketing plan is on the right track, a term and corresponding concept that you should familiarize yourself with is "conversion."Conversion (in the context of market planning) is the point where money is exchanged and the customer receives the product or service.Some companies do not count conversions in such a black and white manner.To some, a conversion may be a sale but it could also be the prospect of a sale such as a lead or a referral.For companies that do only a few high yield deals a year, there are certainly more conversion factors involved than simply signing the final paperwork.Once you have decided on what a "conversion" will mean to you, the next step is to evaluate the success of your marketing plan by breaking down what your cost per conversion was.If you are exerting effort that exceeds the value of the conversion than there are some changes that are needed.In this case, your marketing plan is not making you money, it is costing you money.

Having an understanding of the economy is also important in determining the success of your marketing plan.Economic theories of supply and demand are also key factors in that the higher the demand is for your product, the less hard you will have to work to market that product, and naturally, the opposite is also true. Hard economic times may deter buyers from making a purchase but this does not mean that you should underestimate that customers could still be interested in your product even though they may not have made a purchase.For factors that exist that are either beyond your control or difficult to see on the surface, further information collected by a marketing research firm may give you the information that you need to determine whether or not you are meeting your marketing plan objectives.

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