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What will I learn?Marketing isn't a science. Evaluating the overall failure or success of marketing efforts can be difficult particularly in understanding which tactic led to what result. The purpose of evaluation is to track the measurable aspects of your tactics and progress toward overall objectives and goals.

How long will it take?
It’s healthy to evaluate and adjust as you go and create a new marketing plan on a yearly basis.

Where to Begin
When marketing efforts are conceived and budgeted, an expected return on investment (ROI) or result should be discussed. The ROI can be set in terms of increased giving resulting from the marketing effort, new members or program enrollments gained, or whatever other measure best suits the church's marketing. After the marketing effort has been completed, the actual ROI should be compared to the expected ROI, and the difference noted. 

Success or Failure
Did you achieve your goals? If yes, see if this type of effort can be repeated, either in support of the same marketing goal or another one.

Evaluating a failure is more complex. Was the expected result unrealistic and set too high? Was the marketing effort flawed in execution? Was it reasonable to expect results when you did the measurement? Did it fail to reach the selected target audience?

Only after these tactical matters have been considered should the review turn to the strategic: Was the correct program chosen for marketing? Was the correct demographic targeted? Did we understand our target market’s needs? At this point you decide where you go from here with the existing objectives, goals and tactics.

Hidden Positives
Even a marketing effort that falls a bit short of its anticipated outcome can result in lasting positive impressions. If the church's identity has been communicated correctly, you’re on the right path in your marketing effort.

Positive results will continue to build over time in the minds of prospective members, reinforcing the church's identity and making it more likely that subsequent marketing efforts will be able to turn seekers into members.

Remember to treat your MARKETING PLAN as a living document. You should review your MARKETING PLAN on a regular basis. Marketing efforts done in the previous year should be evaluated as should the church's progress in reaching its marketing objectives. If expectations or conditions have changed dramatically since the last review, the church should adjust the marketing plan accordingly.