What did you learn by examining 2012? What are you going to do about it? Knowledge without action has lost its value.
What successes stand out for your business in 2012?
In order to capitalize on the successes of 2012 and expand them even further up the profit ladder in 2013, they must be identified and dissected. Not only what worked but why did it work? What tweaks are possible in order for those successes to be even more impactful in 2013?
Marketing campaigns – Determine what elements made those particular campaigns so successful.
Who was the target market for each campaign? Did you broaden the scope of the target or narrow it?
What tracking did you use to determine the results? Did you use a specific code which the customer had to enter? Did you use a special QR code on printed marketing materials to lead the customer to a web page? How did you compile the data? What was your response rate for each promotion?
Did you use a special coupon, bonus, discount rate or free product? How time sensitive was the offer? Give too long a time and there is no urgency to act, but give too short a time and they may miss the offer entirely.
What marketing method or methods did you employ? Did you combine marketing methods such as placing a QR code on your printed marketing materials or tying a mailing to a social media campaign? What specific printed marketing piece did you mail? Which campaign received the highest response rate? Was it your printed postcard campaigns, your brochure mailing or your sales sheet promotion?
Timing is also significant. What time of year proved to generate the highest rate of return?
Thoroughly analyzing every detail of your marketing strategy helps to quantify the most effective elements?
Sales volume – Why did it generate the highest sales volume? Was that particular product or service timelier for the market conditions? How did this sales volume change in comparison to prior years? Were there changes in marketing campaigns which influenced the boost in sales?
Profit margin is important. Loss leaders are the luxury of large corporations with multiple streams of income. When income is diversified over several product categories, a slim margin on one product does not seriously impact the overall bottom line. Jeff Bezos of Amazon sold the Kindle for a very low margin; the goal was to make money on using the device rather than on the sale of the initial device.
Customer satisfaction is always highly desirable. JustFab.com and ShoeDazzle.com ask customers to rate the style, comfort, value and quality. They also tell how many customers have reviewed each product and what percentage would recommend it. This thorough customer rating provides valuable information to prospective purchasers. Rating the degree of customer satisfaction also provides an indication of potential repeat purchases and probable referrals.
Marketing and products or services are only two of the many aspects of business to be reviewed. This is the beginning of the process in reviewing 2012 in preparation for a dynamite 2013.