Measuring Marketing Plan Successes & Failures

Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

Every company needs to have a plan for marketing. They then need to make sure they are measuring the successes or failures of that plan. This lesson will provide techniques and strategies for doing just that.

Measuring a Marketing Plan

Think about the last advertisement you saw for a product or service. It is likely that the company had this advertisement in their marketing plan. A marketing plan is the layout and expectation of the marketing and advertisement efforts of a company for a specific time period. The company sets goals and makes plans for their marketing and advertisements, usually for the upcoming year.

For example, Susan runs a chain of local restaurants and she sets a marketing plan for the whole year. She needs to know if the marketing plan is successful throughout the year. It is important for Susan to measure the successes and failures of her marketing plan.

If the company just goes along with the original plan without measuring it they may not know what is working and what is not working. We will take a look at a few ways to measure the successes and failures, which include customer and competitor response, revenue, and comparing goals to results.

Customer & Competitor Response

Now that the company has a plan in place and is starting to use the marketing and advertisements in the plan, they need to take a look at what is working and what is not. First, the company can look at how the customers are responding to a certain advertisement. For example, Susan might run a special for a free appetizer when a customer signs up for the restaurant's email newsletter and she might use a promotional code for this marketing campaign. This lets the business track how successful that campaign was by being able to see how many purchases were made using that promotional code. Companies can also track and see how many customers click on a certain advertisement. Seeing how the customer reacts to marketing and advertisements can help the company determine which ones are working.

Another way to measure the success of a marketing plan is to look at how your competitors respond. Are your marketing and advertisement efforts catching their eye? For example, for years Burger King has been accused of copying McDonald's menu items and marketing tactics. When McDonald's came out with the dollar menu Burger King followed suit. If your competitors are copying or changing their marketing because of yours then it is a good measurement of your success.


Companies are in the business of making money, so looking at revenue can also be a good strategy for determining the success or failure of a marketing plan. First, companies always want to know what their return on investment is when it comes to marketing. They can look at how much money went into a marketing campaign and compare it to the money brought in by that campaign. This can let the company know if the money brought them any return on their investment in the marketing campaign. Susan can look at the cost of the free appetizer and compare it to the amount of additional revenue brought in by those customers to determine if she had any return on that campaign.

Next, a company can always look at their overall sales for a specific time period. For example, if Susan has been running a new marketing campaign in the first quarter, she can look at the overall sales for that quarter. If they are down in sales compared to last year this can be an indication that the marketing campaign is failing.

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