If this year has taught us anything, it's that the way you do business can change at the drop of a hat and as business owners we have to be prepared for whatever comes next. This is particularly true when it comes to strategic expenses such as your marketing efforts. 

Which is why I suggest that you look at your marketing efforts, what is working, what isn't and what is on the horizon at least once a week. Delving into your reports and looking at each campaign or effort objectively can help you capitalize on what is working and stop campaigns that aren't producing the intended results. Not only will this save you money, but it will also help you preserve valuable time and resources that can be better spent elsewhere. 

Here is a checklist of things that I encourage all leaders and marketers to consider when looking at their own marketing strategies and tactics. 

1. What is the real result I'm trying to get? What result(s) matter most for the business? 

There are many marketing efforts that produce traffic. This could be things like SEO, social media content, blog content or podcasts to name a few. But, it's important to remember what the goal of the campaign is. Is it to gain more followers? Is it to get more paying clients? Is it to increase brand awareness? Once you are clear on the goal of each campaign, you can then ensure that you are getting the desired result. If you aren't this would be the time to adjust accordingly. 

2. Is what and how I'm doing this the optimal way to get these top results?

You have been running a campaign for a few months now and are seeing a certain amount of success. But it's important to ask yourself if you are seeing the best results possible? Could you look at things from another angle and possibly get a better result? Could you adjust the way you market? Change your message? 

3. How can I know this? If I can't know, how can I approximate or make and intelligent inference about this?

Whenever possible, the ideal scenario would be to have accurate tracking and reporting set up before each and every marketing effort that you launch. But, for many, this isn't always possible. So, you may have to dig deeper and look at key leading indicators instead. Brand awareness for example is one that is hard to measure but if you find that you are getting more website traffic, leads and clients overall, this could be a good indication that you are headed in the right direction.

4. If I changed... added... refined... simplified... deleted... adjusted... this what could I do that would give the biggest bang for the buck?

Once you have a good feel for what's working and what isn't, you want to look at the problem with a fresh set of eyes to see where you can adjust the message or campaign to get the most benefit. Could you simplify the sign up process? Test some new copy? Don't just accept the current campaign as the only option, think outside of the box here. 

5. Based on all this, what will I do next? How will I test, track and know its impact?

Once you come up with the change or test, come up with a plan on how you will test or track it's impact. And include that in your weekly marketing campaign review. That way you will be able to know quickly if something is working or not. 

6. Have I shared these insights with the team?

And last, but not least, you want to think about how to share your marketing insights with the rest of the team. Could the sales team benefit from your updated sales copy or approach? Could your customer service team learn more from a tweak you made to your content strategy. It's important to share your insights and knowledge with the rest of the team, so that they can all make better strategic choices in their chosen pillars.