Every business wants to ensure their marketing is successful and whilst branding or having a witty catch phrase may well be important the key to marketing success is much simpler than that, it MUST be tested and measured. It’s likely that many (and dare I say most) marketing strategies you try will not work the first time, in other words it’s likely you’re spending money without seeing any return and it forever amazes me the vast amount of money businesses waste because they do this.
You probably do test and measure to an extent without knowing it. Remember the Yell ad you tried that didn’t work? Or the online advertising that ‘did OK’? And that’s all testing and measuring is……analysing what works and what doesn’t.
The key is to start doing it properly and methodically. Here are 5 steps to successfully work out what works and what doesn’t:
Start asking people where they heard about you
Start this on Monday. If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not you can’t possibly make informed decisions and you’ll never know which strategies to use. You may keep running with something that never brings a sale, and/or accidentally kill a good one!
Clients usually come from so many sources, it’s impossible to judge how marketing is working on sales alone and you need to find out for sure. Every time someone buys ask them this question “By the way, can I just ask where you heard about our business?”.
Then ensure you and/or your team keep a record for at least 14 days (and why not indefinitely?) then tally up and get the figures. With this information you can start making informed decisions.
Prune, modify and increase
The first thing to do is see what’s not working. If your strategy is getting a very low response (which means the profit margin from the sales is not at least paying for the ad), kill it immediately.
Now you only have one option – start fine tuning it to ensure you get a great response.
There’s a few things you can do to make the task simpler.
- Go back over your past strategies and think about how well each one worked. Pull out the best couple and see if you can pick what gave them their edge.
- Research what will make your strategies work, there are plenty of books out there and the internet of course!
- Lastly, look at what your competitors are doing. Do they have an strategy that you know they use consistently? What can you learn from it?
Go through this process with each marketing piece you are currently using….kill, examine, modify….and repeat.
It’s a good idea to run through each of the strategies you know are working in depth and examine why these are producing results and the others aren’t. See if you can pick the one important attractive point about each. This in itself will teach you a massive amount about your business.
Next, think of a way to use each strategy that is working on a larger scale. If it’s Facebook ads the answer is simple, run twice as many ads!
Test and measure for another two weeks or so
Measure the inquiries with the new revised strategies. And of course compare this with how much you’re spending to ascertain your ROI.
You’ll probably find you barely miss those dud strategies and the ‘larger scale’ working strategies are paying out nicely indeed.
Check your conversion
Conversion is the number of enquiries that become sales. It’s not always that poor marketing is the problem, it can frequently be inadequate sales techniques or a combination of both. There are a lot of businesses out there that have ample leads, but insufficient skills to turn them into sales.
Be honest with yourself, how many leads do you convert into sales? Is it possible to increase this ratio, even just a little? I’ll bet you it is and you know it!
Leave it for a month or so, just working on converting the supply of leads you have. A better conversion technique, plus more leads from bigger scale successful marketing strategies should give your business a boost.
Remember all those marketing strategies you examined and modified over the years? Now is the time to pull them out of the drawer, and give them a re-run.
Do one at a time, and track the result meticulously. Note down exactly how many leads it brings you, and how many of those turn into sales. Compare that with the marketing cost, and judge whether it has been a good strategy. If so, add it to your list of ongoing strategies.
Very soon, you’ll develop a collection of marketing strategies that work, and weed out all the costly ones, that’s successful marketing!