Often times in the rush of getting a marketing program out and the marketing pipeline filled, we get into a continuous execution cycle.  We plan and launch, we plan the next one and launch the next one, most of the time relying on our gut instincts and anecdotal evidence to determine success of our campaigns and marketing efforts.

Stopping, pausing, or putting new plans on hold to assess our performance often times seems counter-intuitive to the speed at which we need to move today.  After all, who has time to attend a meeting on what has already happened when the clock is ticking on this quarter’s deals?

But the best marketers know that their effectiveness is exponentially impacted by their ability to assess not only the quantitative results of a marketing plan, but the qualitative results as well.  What happened that was not expected?  What competitive responses occurred that came as a surprise?  What did you try
differently that worked this time around?  What did your sales reps think of the ad that you ran

Asking these types of questions gives us marketers important data points that help us tweak and tailor future plans and strategies to be more effective and efficient, especially given the budget constraints that we all have today.  Further, there’s the ever-present office politics to take into account as well.  Often times a high-profile marketing project will attract the attention not only of the field, but the executive team too.  Ensuring that you’ve taken their feedback on what they liked, and what they thought worked and didn’t work, is an important CYA step that may be just what you need to get the air cover you need to
continue to move forward with your plans.

Sometimes these are tough meetings to have—they involve sharp critique, assignment of responsibility, and admission of failure.  But they will make you smarter for the next cycle, and savvy marketing leaders know that they’re an integral component of your marketing strategy today.