quarterlyreviewThis is a great time of year.  March Madness.  The Masters.  Baseball Opening Day.

All three of these things also coincide with one simple but often terrifying fact for modern marketers: Q1 is over!

We’re now 25 percent of the way through 2014, which means if you’re not on track to hit your goals (around qualified leads, pipeline contribution, net-new sales, revenue, whatever), it’s time to make adjustments.

World-class B2B marketing organizations have not only focused scorecards that measure their performance and impact throughout the quarter, but also scheduled deep-dives on results and adjustments necessary to continue deep external impact moving forward.

Whether you have these systems already or not, below is a proven framework for conducting a quarterly review of your team and company’s marketing efforts and impact.

Feel free to customize this for your own purposes, but the sequence was built on purpose.

  1. Q1 Postmortem
    1. What were our original goals, and how did we do?
    2. How would we evaluate not just our results, but our execution?   Could we have worked smarter?  More efficiently?
    3. Which channels were most effective at driving not just qualified leads but sales pipeline and closed business?
    4. Did we have the right resources & tools to achieve and exceed our goals?
    5. What did our competition do to market their products & services?  What have we or could we have learned from them?
  2. Partner Feedback
    1. What does sales have to say about your performance this quarter?
    2. What did they like, and what would they like to see improve?
    3. What other departments need to give feedback on marketing’s performance?  Customer service?  Retention/renewals?  Finance?
  3. Business & Sales Progress
    1. How did the business overall perform in Q1 relative to its goals?
    2. How did sales perform in Q1 relative to its goals?
    3. What implications do these results have on Q2 focus areas and beyond?
  4. Adjustments
    1. Based on business, marketing & sales performance in Q1, what adjustments need to be made to marketing’s goals & focus areas for Q2?
    2. What new focus areas does marketing need to incorporate to more efficiently support the business and exceed expectations?
  5. Q2 Goal Setting & Planning
    1. What specific, measurable goals will drive marketing’s focus in Q2?
    2. How will these goals map directly to business and business unit (i.e. sales) goals in Q2 and beyond?
    3. Once developed, do sales and/or other key business units agree with the focus areas?
    4. Do you have the right resources, people, tools and budget to execute?
  6. Q2 Review Cadence
    1. What are the weekly & monthly milestones that will serve as leading indicators of your performance?
    2. Which reporting tools are required to provide quantifiable evidence of results & impact, such that specific adjustments (if necessary) can be made?
    3. What feedback mechanisms do you have in place to make real-time adjustments as necessary based on input from sales, finance, competitors and other factors?