BarcodeThe year is almost over, and it’s time to evaluate how you did in your marketing efforts. If you started the year with a well-developed marketing strategy, chock full of tools like social media, PR and blogging, now is your chance to determine what worked and what didn’t.

Why You Should Analyze

It would certainly be easier to keep doing the same marketing activities you’ve been doing year after year, but you’d be wasting valuable time and effort in doing so. Instead, paying attention to which marketing tools brought you the best results, and which under-delivered can help you better tailor your marketing plan for 2013.

Technology is making marketing move at the speed of light, so what might have been working in January of this year might be less effective 12 months later. Likewise, there are always new marketing tools popping up, so now is a good time to choose a few of them to try out for next year.

How to Analyze Your Marketing Efforts

If you have Google Analytics or another analytics program embedded in your website (and you do, right??) it’s easy enough to see which websites sent traffic to your site. (In Google Analytics, look under Content, then Traffic Sources) You can look at this on a month-by-month comparison or the big picture from the entire year. Once you see how much (or how little) traffic each source has sent you, you can determine whether it’s worth it to keep using that marketing channel.

Finding New Marketing Tools

In running your business, it’s your job to constantly be on the lookout for new innovation that can help your company grow. That means paying attention to your industry as well as what your competitors are using, and being open to change.

Maybe you weren’t ready to try Google + at the start of the year because it was so new. Why not divert some marketing dollars in that direction for 2013? Here are a few other tools you should consider if you haven’t used them yet:

  • Online press releases
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Online advertising
  • Email marketing

Gearing Up for Your Marketing Plan

You don’t have to create your marketing plan for next year just yet, but do review your plan for 2012 and make notes on what needs to be changed. Speak to your marketing team as well as your entire staff to get ideas for how to better connect to customers. What are they seeing in their work that might be applied in the plan? How can they get involved? The more you involve your staff in your marketing, the more successful it will be.