Want 10 times more impact from every marketing dollar you spend? If so, check out these 9 key factors that will allow you to maximize your marketing budget and dominate your competition…. These 9 keys are ideally meant to work together, but you can start with just one and add the other in later.
1. Is my marketing aligned with the strategic objectives of the company?
First off, if your company doesn’t have strategic objectives, you are in trouble! Worse than that, if your marketing isn’t aligned with where you want to go as a company, you are just wasting your marketing dollars.
The first key here is establishing clear objectives for the company. Get this done at the beginning of each year. But just get it done. Your next question may be, so what’s a strategic objective look like? If so, here are a few for an ink and toner remanufacture business: We want to capture 50% of the market share of small businesses in our company who buy ink and toner. We also want to position our company as locally owned and operated experts in our market. We also want to educate our clients on the environmental impacts of not using a service like ours. We want to increase our revenues 25% over last year.
Those are just a few strategic objectives for that business. I suggest between 10 and 12 per business per year. But understand the impact of having this on your marketing. Once you understand what you want to accomplish, you can then build your marketing campaigns around those objectives. This puts your marketing and your business in harmony and allows you to be more effective.
2. Do I communicate the SAME clear message through my: Marketing, Business, Customer Service, Website, and Staff?
This one is pretty simple. Do you have the same message being broadcast in all the areas of the business? The odds are that every area of the business and even each marketing piece are all selling something different. One of the most important keys of marketing is having a clear message.
For example, if you are Jewelry Store and you want to sell diamond rings, your direct mail needs to focus in on diamond rings. Your website should educate buyers on the value and how to properly select diamond rings. Your website should mention the direct mail ad directly or indirectly and connect with that message. Your staff should talk about diamond rings with everyone they meet and your business should have strategic objectives around how you will sell more diamond rings. One more, your customer service team should be TRAINED on handling diamond rings, cleaning them, and educating the customer in even greater detail on the great purchase they made.
3. Do I engage my customers the way they want to be engaged?
This is where most businesses completely veer off track. If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this. Just because you can put a cheap ad in the paper or hit 10,000 houses for dirt cheap with direct mail — doesn’t mean you should! You have to understand HOW your buyers want to be communicated with and then engage them PRIMARILY in that way. The secondary way/s are also very important and I cover that in my next point.
So how do you know the best way to engage your clients? The first thing you can do is poll your current clients. Ask them how they like to be communicated with. And start with your best or top 20% of customers first. These are your ideal clients and the ones you want the more of. So talk to them and find out what works best for them. The next thing is to study your ideal client by making a list of their characteristics. Then you move on to practical things like testing your theories. It sounds much more complicated than it is.
My main point here is that if you want to be successful in business, you will find out HOW your customers want to be engaged and then you will do it! Because I can guarantee you one thing… If you choose NOT to engage your buyers the want they want, they will find another business that is WILLING to engage and communicate with them they way they prefer. In this global economy, even the local jeweler isn’t the only game in town. People are one google search away from 20,000 businesses who do what you do and one of them is bound to do what they ask. It might as well be you. J
My Top 6 ways to engage clients:
- Through an ACTIVE referral program
- By Phone
- Direct mail
- Social media
4. Do I engage my customers using 5 or more methods with my message?
This is what I call a complete marketing strategy. It’s when you send a piece of direct mail that has a link to your website, facebook, twitter, and blog on it. The customer then goes to any one of those online places and finds out that you have some great educational pieces they can download after they enter in their contact details. They can also email you or signup for a webinar with you. If this person gets your same direct mail piece and chooses NOT to go to your site but rather search for your product or service, you have done some SEO work as well PPC and you SHOW UP in the search research!
The takeaway from this section is that you need to use multiple methods to reach your customers with the same message. Mix it up and have them all touting the same message.
5. Do I educate my clients with my marketing?
Doing what I do its inevitable that I wind up reviewing countless marketing pieces each month. And the there is one they all seem to have in common. They talk about all the reasons they think you should buy from them. As an FYI – that only works for the people who already know they want your product and are just shopping for the best supplier. Which winds up being about 1 to 2% of the population. So that means for every 100 direct mail letters you mail out, you will AT BEST only appeal to 1 or 2 people. Starting to understand the conversion rate of direct mail? Makes sense doesn’t it?
So let’s look at the education based marketing approach. Education marketing is designed with 2 things in mind. The first is obvious. It’s designed to educate the market. But the second thing that isn’t as obvious is that this marketing method is designed to interrupt the daily patterns of your buyer and build a case for why they should consider getting this education. In short, it’s designed to get your first sale… Which is getting them to read your material, attend a webinar, download your free report or take a free consultation. Whatever it is that you are going to use to educate them.
Here’s an example of a plumber that I worked with. His original marketing was to restaurants and his pitch was of course about him. So every 100 calls got him 1 or 2 appointments. We changed up the phone pitch and it went something like this, “Did you know that are 7 key problems in every restaurant that cause 87% of your downtime? Do you think it would be helpful for one of my engineers (not plumbers – engineers sounds really professional) to drop by this week and do a walk through your kitchen with you and educate you on these 7 areas and how to avoid any downtime? Much better than, “hi, I’m Joe at ABC plumbing and I think you should use us for your next job”. CLICK… DIAL TONE…. REPEAT 99 more times to get an appointment… OR my education based marketing approach where you get 3 appointments for every 8 to 10 calls. Your choice…
6. Do I have a system in place to follow up with prospects, current clients, and past clients?
I’ll keep this brief. If you don’t plan on doing any follow up, just quit your marketing all together. You’re wasting time and money. You can read more on this in my article on why your marketing sucks by clicking here: https://michaellejeune.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-single-biggest-reason-your-marketing-sucks/
7. Does our marketing include more than 16 touches?
This piggybacks a bit on number 6, but since it’s about follow up…. So it’s worth repeating. J Understand that most buyers don’t even recognize your marketing or brand until they have seen it at least 6 to 10 times. Some surveys say it takes as many as 20 touches. It just depends on how bad you want the client and how creative you can be. I’ll give you a personal example. It’s taken me nearly 7 years of emails, phone calls, and letters to multiple departments and many staff at Tony Robbins to finally get through and get myself aligned with that organization. But I did it! And I’m only 1 of about 60 people in the world vetted and trained to work with their business clients now. That’s huge personal accomplishment for me to be in that type of elite group of coaches and consultants. But most people would have stopped after an email or two. How bad do you want your dream clients?
Remember this, anything less than 10 touches (emails, direct mail, phone calls, letters, etc) and you have wasted all the rapport, time, money, branding, and effort that you have put into your marketing.
Think about it this way. With each additional touch you add to a campaign, you significantly INCREASE your chances of getting that client.
8. Do I track and analyze my marketing campaigns?
This one is pretty basic, but most people don’t measure anything. By simply measuring how many letters you send out, what the response is, and what the revenues are, you can better run the business. This makes your marketing predictable and affordable because you know the results it produces. It also lets you know what works and what doesn’t. It sure beats doing marketing and guessing about its effectiveness.
9. Do I make it Super Easy to buy? This is HUGE!
This sort of goes along with all the others a bit. You have to understand that if you sell a product that people want to buy at 2 am while surfing the web in their underwear, you better have a way for them to do that! After all, the customer is in control these days. And again, remember that if you don’t allow the customer to buy at 2 am because your store requires them to call during your hours, there’s another guy somewhere in the world selling the same widget who has a customer service rep online at 2 am (maybe even working from home in their underwear).
The point is, if your customers want to buy online – Sell online.
If your customers want to get on a webcam with you and see the details of your product before placing a big order – Have a way to do that.
If your customers want to pay via credit card – you better accept them all.