You’re probably asking what a quarterly marketing review (QMR) is. It’s just like a quarterly business review (QBR) but for marketing.
The QMR takes place when we schedule our quarterly review with our clients to go over key performance indicators and business goals. We like to show (not just tell) the client how we’re meeting their goals through our marketing efforts.
Whether you are or aren’t having a quarterly marketing review, here’s a look at how things go down.
What Is A Quarterly Marketing Review?
Think of a QMR like a quarterly business review, but replace business with marketing.
Most of our clients sign yearlong agreements with us. When that year is up, we have to try to gain renewal.
We’ve found it’s helpful to win these renewals if we’ve constantly been communicating our value to the client.
With our quarterly marketing reviews (QMRs), we use past data points to guide future planning and forecasting. We also show where we’ve hit or missed goals (with complete honesty).
It’s equal parts reflection and future planning.
When planning your QMR, aim to answer this question: “What are we learning with your data?”
Then, you can include the following three sections to create your full report.
Start With Key Performance Indicators
To start, every client will have different key performance indicators or KPIs.
The point of good KPIs is to be able to tie your marketing efforts to business outcomes. Many of our QMRs revolve around advertising because we’re able to show how online ads resulted in real-world sales.
ROAS, or return on ad spend, is a great way to show value to your marketing clients.
However, there can be plenty of other KPIs a client wants you to measure. Social traffic is a biggie. So is engagement or return on conversation.
We like to put KPIs first in our quarterly marketing review because — let’s be honest — this is what most customers care about most.
After KPIs are covered, we move on to the last two sections.
Reflection & Summary Points
After you’ve shown your work (aka the data tying your KPIs to client business goals), you’ll want to reflect with summary points.
We like to try and keep it to three main points, but sometimes that’s not possible.
Two questions to focus on here are
- What happened?
- Why did we meet/not meet our goals? (Or, WHY did the above happen?)
What are the three main points you can make with the answers to the above questions?
Be careful not to spend too much time here. Too often, quarterly marketing reviews simply a look back at what happened.
Instead, focus on how your summary points and insights will help you deliver better results in the future.
Focus On Future Success
The last part of your QMR is the most important. Well, second most important if you consider your KPIs and whether or not you’re meeting your clients’ goals.
Here, we like to share insights about the most effective and least effective initiatives and show how we’re using that data to plan for the future.
Again, we like to try and keep this to three takeaways or suggestions.
Answer this question: “How will we meet or exceed our current KPIs?”
Using forecasting to show what you expect to happen. Use data points to back up your claims (especially if you’re asking for more spend!).
Spend most of your time here so that during the next QMR you can show your wins. As long as you’re showing value, the client may decide to keep you around (even if you aren’t meeting all of your KPIs).
Documentation and storytelling are key here. Show versus tell!
Other Must-Have Items For Your Quarterly Marketing Review
Because we love processes at B Squared Media, we developed a standard operating procedure for our QMRs.
Items included in that process are
- Keep a record of who attended the call, as well as detailed call notes; highlight action items for next quarter
- Make a list of the ongoing data points needed: reports, the metrics, and KPIs that matter most, as well as main goals to be discussed
- Don’t forget to leave plenty of time to gather data points from people outside of your team
- Choose your presentation method (we use a custom PowerPoint deck)
- Create and send the agenda as discussed above
Are you currently conducting a quarterly marketing review with your stakeholders? Why or why not?
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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