Step 9: Assess Your Progress
With marketing activities underway, you will want to assess whether these activities are achieving the objectives they were designed to accomplish and are helping the program reach its overall goal. To best assess activities, create an evaluation plan.
Portland Evaluates Waves of Success
In July 2009, Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) launched a pilot program in Portland to judge the effectiveness of an energy efficiency program in the state. The program created an evaluation plan to gauge success. The plan included predetermined outreach dates, evaluation activities, and the scope and timeframe of the program's evaluation process. Evaluation results revealed where the pilot program was successful—and where adjustments were needed.
Collect and Analyze Data
In this step, using the evaluation plan developed under Step 2 as your guide, you will collect data and analyze the results of your marketing activities. Once you've analyzed the data, you will adjust your program's tactics based on what efforts do and don't appear to be working. Don't wait until the end of a campaign to evaluate it! As your marketing efforts progress, watch for trends in your evaluations and don't be afraid to make adjustments to your plan.
Use unique codes (e.g., discount codes or coupon codes) in your marketing or advertising materials that consumers are instructed to reference when inquiring about the program. With this approach, you are set up to evaluate which of your tactics and messages were most effective for generating inquiries, applications, or upgrades.
The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program has designed sample surveys to help gauge a program's successes and shortfalls. The first is an email survey to participants who have successfully completed the upgrade process, and the second is a phone survey to be conducted with participants who started the process but dropped out.
Both surveys are designed to help a program evaluate its marketing tactics by asking where the participant first heard of the program. Questions about participants' motivations for engaging with the program show which messaging might be most compelling.