How to Determine What’s Working in Your Marketing Program

You have probably spent many hours developing and finally implementing your marketing program. But how do you know what is working and what isn’t working in your marketing program?

It’s all about constantly evaluating your marketing program’s data and making adjustments.

But what metrics should you be looking at?

How do you define success?

And what adjustments should you make?

Keep Your Goal In Mind

When it comes to marketing and sales, it is always important to keep your goal in mind through every step of the process. A great marketing campaign will only have one goal, such as brand awareness. You can, of course, run more than one campaign at a time, each with a different goal. As you evaluate each campaign, remember what the goal of each campaign is as this will lead your evaluation of the campaign. 

Evaluate the Data that Matches that Goal

Each marketing campaign will come with a slew of data. Evaluating most of that data can be helpful, but it is key that you really dive into the data that matches the goal. That isn’t to say you should ignore all the other data, but to evaluate whether you are meeting the goal requires you to fully evaluate the data that matches the goal. 

For example, if you are running a brand awareness campaign on social media, really pay attention to the engagement metrics (likes, comments and reach). If your likes and comments are up, that is generally a sign that you are headed in the right direction with your marketing campaign. But don’t stay in your comfort zone! It’s important to continue to make adjustments, but we’ll get to that more a little later in this article. 

General Data to Pay Attention to

No matter the goal, there are a few key metrics you should pay attention to for every marketing program.

One of those metrics is the return on investment (ROI). Looking at this metric will let you know whether the money you have put into your marketing campaign has resulted in a profit. In other words, you are comparing the money spent on the campaign to the money brought in by that campaign. Remember to evaluate each campaign’s ROI separately to see if that particular campaign is working or not. 

Looking at the overall sales number can also help you figure out if your marketing plan is having a positive result. Don’t forget to take into account any increase in prices or expansion of the business.

Customer reactions can also be evaluated to measure the success of your marketing program. Online surveys, general customer feedback and commentary on social media posts can all reveal what your audience thinks of your marketing efforts. 

What is Success?

Everyone defines success differently. When formulating your marketing plans and goals, hopefully you took the time to figure out what you might consider a success. If your small business is relatively new, perhaps you might define success as increasing brand awareness by just 50 people. If you are establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, perhaps success to you is 20 new followers on Facebook. If you are a larger, more established company, perhaps success is $50,000 in sales over a several month period. 


If you haven’t taken the time to decide what is a success for each goal, do that now. And just like making adjustments to your plan in general, don’t be afraid to modify what you consider a success. But whatever you do, don’t define success for your brand based off of someone else’s definition of success.

Making Adjustments

Once you have created your marketing program and evaluated that data, it is time to make some adjustments, even if your marketing campaign is doing well. Never sit back and just let your marketing program run with no one at the wheel. Doing so could let your program run astray or get stuck in a traffic jam going nowhere. Rather, you want to constantly adjust your marketing campaigns to continue to improve your program. 

But how do you know what adjustments to make? By testing! Run A/B test campaigns to see what works or works even better. Remember to only change one element, such as the picture, in each test to ensure that you can narrow down exactly what works and what doesn’t. If you change up multiple elements, like picture and headline, then you won’t know if it was the picture or the headline that improved your marketing campaign.