Everything that is related to the customers are fallen into this category. This includes gathering feedbacks, sorting critics, Net Promoter Score, and others. This also include the broader scale of research of the market like gathering market share data, customer spending pattern, sentiment analysis, engagement rate both for ads and social media posts and campaigns, and sales related numbers including marketing budgets. Although a few internal data is also used, unlike in the operating activities, our purpose here is to gather information to measure the external performance. Such data is used as a combined approach to further validate the result of the analysis of whether a business meets these four objectives in marketing: satisfy its customers, create successful campaigns, has a competitive power, and also bright future sales potentials.
Customer satisfaction is the most important matter among those objectives. In fact, all the others are actually leading toward this one. It is because good customer satisfaction score is proven to indicate that the business is operating with manners that are appreciated by its customers and are related to a good profitability level which in turn will make the business thrive—tested across industries from airlines to retails, banks, and more as well as countries in Asia, Europe, and America (Charan, 2017; Anderson et al., 2006; Matthew et al., 2000; Anderson et al., 1997; Hallowell, 1996). However, before a business can satisfy its customers, sales—and leads—has to occur first. For this reason, we will also need to analyse the sales number and marketing budgets as well as any numbers related to it before scoring the customer satisfaction. Those data will show us whether or not a business managed to reach its customers while generating favourable sales amount effectively, or in other words, the success rate marketing campaigns—our second objective. There are plenty methods to measure both customer satisfaction and campaign success rate but they will not be discussed here, rather they will be available on the Marketing Activities section of our website—since there are so many factors that affects them and thorough discussion needs to be displayed for each specific factors.
After obtaining the score of the campaign performances and customer satisfaction, to better validate the analysis, we will have to to compare our numbers against competitors’. Comparing such data brings us to our next objective, competitiveness. Identifying these matters are often difficult as the data is not explicitly available. Companies might have to conduct researches themselves or hire a professional independent market analyst firms to gather valid data. One of the simplest ways to do this—although not very accurate but still useful—is by recapping the publicly traded companies’ data that are operating in the same field—this data is targeted to be available soon in Plomia’s website. While analysing competitiveness seems like only observing historical data, turns out a predictive analysis is also necessary to be performed from it. After knowing the current position in the market, a business should also gain knowledge about whether the market (customers) are going to be kept promising in the future or not.
Predicting the future is not easy, some consider it is impossible, while others prove that at some degree, it is logical. There are well proven frameworks and analysis that can benefit business by predicting businesses, especially for trends, thus our framework will suggest us to use those like what is suggested by Dragt (2018) in her book How to Research Trends. More detailed version are also available in a separate articles in our web. These are important to be done because business will always need its customers to survive. Being able to continuously satisfy them in the future better than our competitors brings more profits and more importantly, positive cashflow to ensure its long term survival. As you can see, those four objectives are, in the end, related with each other. In short, the objective of being successful in the marketing campaigns will bring us to the objective of satisfying customers and to the next objectives of staying competitive and keeping it that way for as long as possible.
All of those four objectives are necessary to be analysed because they represent persistence and love in the area. By looking at the end result, we are be able to identify their existence and can acquire the overall insight of whether there is enough persistence and love in the field. Take customer satisfaction for example, it is stated that good quality is what matters the most (Fornell et al., 1996; Churchill and Suprenant, 1982). Developing a high quality product or service surely involve a lot of repetitive data gathering process, studies, trials, errors, et cetera. Persistence is surely holding the key role here, but then persistence alone will never breed a high quality innovation idea, one must also have a great management skills, that is, the ability to interact effectively within a team (leadership, motivation, and more) or what we call as love. (Bayarçelik et al., 2014; Cooper, 1999). Now let’s take competitiveness as other example, it is crucial for a business to maintain enough market share to obtain sufficient margin to grow and pay its costs with a favourable leftover. Although it seems obvious that persistence is the only key in winning any competition, for business, it will not work. The not-so-new findings in 2007 by Armstrong and Green found that competitor-oriented goals are actually harmful. That being said, again, having a great persisting yet loving team is a must to face of the very challenging characteristics of markets. In conclusion, both of those traits are equally important and needs to be prioritised at all times. Lacking one of these traits in the department is highly unfavourable and should become a concern for managements.