Every dollar you spend on marketing could be working harder for you. If you want your money to make more of an impact on your marketing strategies, these 9 factors are for you. While they are meant to work in conjunction with one another, you can implement one and add the others in the future. These tips are just a sample of the growth strategies you can take from coaching with Rod! Click here to find out more.
1: Strategic Objectives
Is your marketing aligned with the company’s overall strategic objectives? If not, you’re probably wasting your money.
Your company should establish it’s strategic goals at the beginning of the year, whether they are to capture a certain portion of market share or achieve a particular annual sales figure. These goals should be clear and in black and white. I suggest 10-12 goals per fiscal year. Once you have your goals in front of you, you can tailor your marketing efforts to help you meet those goals. With a tangible benchmark in mind, your marketing will more focused, and therefore more effective.
2. Consistent Communication
Are you presenting a unified message from the different facets of your company? Is your marketing department consistent with your website’s imagery and message? Does your staff, from sales to management, reflect the image of your business as a whole?
This means your website should reflect your mailings, your print advertising should be consistent with your in-store advertising, etc. If you are running a promotional deal, every member of your staff should be able to discuss the promotion in detail. Consistency is King. If you do not have consistency among your staff, marketing, and products, your marketing dollars will be wasted on unconverted leads.
3. The Rules of Engagement – Customer’s Choice
Are you engaging your customers in the way that they prefer? This just might be the most important item on this list – so make sure you remember this one. Just because your marketing makes a large number of impressions (a cheap newspaper ad for example, or door-to-door handouts) does not mean that is going to be effective. You have to know your target audience, and what marketing engagement works the best for them. You have to know HOW you customers want to be communicated to, and use that method PRIMARILY. That is not to say that other methods will not be at all useful, but we’ll cover that soon.
You can survey your clients to learn their preferences. Start with your best, most consistent customers (these are the ones you want more of). Find out what they like and how they like to communicate, research their general demographic, and test your marketing accordingly.
It is in your best interest to engage your customers on their terms. In today’s globalized marketplace, your competition has never been stiffer, and a potential customer will always find a business that meets their needs. Researching the needs of your ideal customer, and implementing ways to meet them is of the highest value.
4. Multiple Methods
A complete marketing strategy, like we discussed above, has a lot to do with consistency. Your marketing methods should cross media boundaries: your email marketing should have links to your Facebook, Twitter, blog, and website, and they should all contain the same essential message. Utilize SEO and PPC advertising to capitalize on search terms that meet your exact promotion. The point is to get a consistent message into many streams. Use a mix of media to deliver the same message to multiple avenues.
5. Educate Your Customers
Far too much marketing is focused on simply presenting a product and all the reasons a customer should purchase it from a particular company. Unfortunately, this is really only effective on people who have already decided to purchase the product.
A more effective strategy is to educate the consumer ABOUT the product itself, or offer an educational portal for them to increase interest in your business or product.
Not only are you increasing awareness of your product, you are also creating a DISRUPTIVE marketing campaign, getting potential customers to break from their routine at the enticement of an educational opportunity.
Offering free educational material, like whitepapers, webinars, and the like are excellent ways to educate, lead capture, and create interest in your company.
6. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
If you aren’t going to follow up with your leads, then you shouldn’t be marketing in the first place. This is huge. Bigger than huge.
Read this, and you will understand: http://michaellejeune.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-single-biggest-reason-your-marketing-sucks/
7. Maximize Your Touches
This follows number 6, but it’s worth going into. You have to understand that most potential customers won’t even recognize or remember your brand unless they’ve seen it 6 to 10 times. What does that tell you about the importance of making contact multiple times?
It takes diligence, and you have to run the risk of being overbearing, but you have to make your presence known. Anything less than 10 touches with a buyer is going to end up a waste of time and money. They won’t remember you, your business, or your product.
Think about it like this: each time you make contact with a potential customer, you are increasing your chances of converting. It may take a dozen emails, it may take 2 dozen phone calls. Just as follow up is paramount, maximizing your touches with potential customers is right along side. You simply HAVE to do it for marketing success.
8. Are You Analyzing?
While this seems quite basic, you would be amazed at how many businesses don’t measure anything. Recording and analyzing statistics about your business – from year to date sales to Facebook clicks – will always help you run your business more efficiently. Simply put, it’s the only way to tell what’s working and what isn’t. Measure your results and take the guess work out of marketing.
9. Easy to Buy
How easy is it to buy your product or sign up for your service? Can you make it easier?
As we discussed in number 4, you have to meet customers on their own terms. If your customers want 24-hour support, you should provide it. If your customers want to pay with a credit card, make sure you can accept all types.
As I said, the globalized marketplace is larger than ever, and competition is everywhere. Make your product or service as easy as possible to acquire, or someone else will. Your marketing will go to waste if the time for conversion comes and your customer gets frustrated by a clunky website or bad customer service. Make it as EASY AS POSSIBLE.
If you’d like more coaching tips from Streamline Enterprises, sign up for a FREE COACHING CALL!
The law of attraction is a pretty incredible thing, especially when you understand the things you attract may not always arrive in in the way you expected or planned. Being open to change is of the utmost importance. You have to be ready to re-frame every situation. I can help with this – don’t miss out on your FREE coaching call.
Over the course of the last month, I’ve been working quite diligently to craft a complex schedule that will accommodate a speaking engagement at an upcoming conference. Two weeks ago, another opportunity (also very valuable) came up. I of course went back to the schedule to tweak. After some adaptation, I managed to get the second opportunity into my schedule. I thought I’d finalized everything, and was looking forward to the challenge of a hectic few weeks.
Then, just this past Friday, another awesome opportunity presented itself. With my already crazy schedule, I proposed meeting with this exciting company during the only open time I had. Fortunately for me, it worked out!
In the indelible words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you cannot, you are right.”
Our perception of ourselves, the beliefs we have about our personal capabilities, has as much to do with success and achievement as any amount of training or “right place, right time” scenario. Our minds are incredibly powerful, and can enable us to reach incredible goals, or trap us into a life of unfulfilled goals and potential. Coaching provides an objective viewpoint that can help you guide your goals and life expectations back on track – try our FREE introductory coaching call today.
Unfortunately, many people let a lack of confidence in their abilities hold them back. All of us do this to some degree, placing boundaries on what we think we can achieve. We often let others define this for us, unwittingly let other people’s expectations and opinions determine the way we see ourselves. Eventually, the beliefs of others become our personal viewpoints.
Your reality is determined by what you believe to be true. Two people, equally talented and skilled will have different outcomes if they have different sets of beliefs. If they see the world (and themselves) differently, they will not perform in the same way.
Shaking up your belief system always results in significant change, often realigning your perspectives, and doing away with something you once considered a “truth,” and with it, removing obstacles that held you back!
Not too long ago, on his free coaching call (get yours here!) a business owner asked me this: “With more people price shopping before they buy, I’ve noticed business slowing down. To make a sale, sometimes I have to beat my competitor’s price. How do I avoid losing money on sales like this?”
I told him that when you compete based on price alone, you are effectively turning your product or service into a simple commodity. Once you’ve allowed consumers to view your product/service in this light, you’ll never be able to compete on any ground but price.
I’m completely serious when I say this. Here’s an example: (more…)
When asked to differentiate between a business coach and a business consultant, most people would probably scratch their heads, mutter a few words, and do their best to change the subject. Admittedly, it can be a tough distinction to make. At a glance, there doesn’t appear to be much separation between the two, but when you look at the specifics, what each actually does for their clientele, the difference is obvious.
Consultants, as a general rule, operate on a case-specific basis. When contracted, they will perform the duties within the scope of the contract. This can be anything from making strategic recommendations for a specific facet of your business, all the way to implementing major company changes on your behalf. When the terms of the contract are up, however, a consultant typically has no more obligation to your business, unless of course you update the terms of the contract.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the business coach. Business coaches are less involved with specific, contractual, outcome-based work, and instead provide general guidance and strategies for your business as a whole. The purpose of a business coach is to help you develop your own skills and strategies. Hiring a business coach is exactly that, a COACH – an expert to help you achieve your potential as a business owner. (more…)
Underestimating the importance of accurate margins, primarily current break-even costs, is a costly mistake, and one that far too many businesses fall prey to. Business owners need to be aware of how their company is functioning currently. Business plans and projections, while important, can only do so much without real-time data. Are you tired of operating in the dark? Click here to begin streamlining your enterprise. Not convinced yet? Listen to this story…
A colleague of mine, providing a consultation for a relatively new California winery, recently saw this common problem in action. The owners of the winery were baffled, successfully selling their product and somehow finishing each month with no money to show for it.
When they approached my colleague, he asked them a simple question: did they know what their current break-even costs were? It turns out they didn’t.
In fact, the winery was still operating under the projected break-even costs outlined in their business plan two years prior. These costs were never recalculated during actual operation, and because of it, their estimated operational expenses were wildly inaccurate. In turn, the break-even costs were higher, and a projected positive margin was, in reality, the negative margin they were currently experiencing.
Operating under incorrect information proved to be their downfall, as the winery joined the ranks of the 80% of small business that fail in the first five years. Despite a successful and popular product, they burned through their capital, inadvertently labeling themselves too “high-risk” for lenders to back.
If only they had known the actual, tangible break-even costs, perhaps they could have operated more successfully.
Unfortunately, many small businesses misunderstand the importance of break-even costs. Knowing your costs, and how to calculate them, is essential to a successful venture, and they are actually quite easy to calculate. Shouldn’t you know if you’re selling your product for less than break-even? Wouldn’t accurate break-even costs help you determine your budget? To get professional help on this aspect of your business and more – click here.