What is the true test of marketing success?
I call it testing and measuring.
Most people hate it that’s because there’s a chance, however remote, that every marketing strategy that you're going to try will not work the first time you try it. In other words, it's possible that you could be spending money without seeing any returns, and that sucks. No one wants that.
But consider this: you’ve probably been testing and measuring all your business life.
Remember that old newspaper ad that you tried and it didn't work or radio spots, maybe, that did okay, and you weren't even sure if they worked or not. Well, that's what testing is. Testing what works and what doesn't. The next step is really to do it properly; to do it with the proper intention.
In this business tip, you will learn 6 steps on how to successfully determine what works and what doesn't.
Start by asking people where they heard about you. Start right now. Do it immediately! If there's one thing that I really stress with the business owners when I'm coaching them, is if you don't know what's working or what's not, you can't really possibly make really good informed decisions and you'll never know which ads to run.
You might keep adding or running an ad that never brings any sales or accidentally kills a good one. So our customers, if you think about it, really come from a variety of different sources and it's impossible to judge how an ad is working based on just sales alone. You really have to find out for sure.
A simple way is to just create a simple tally sheet, including some of the ways that someone can hear about you. Whether it's your website or maybe a specific landing page, social media, newspaper ads, direct mail, flyers, and of course, other referrals you get. If you're in a retail location, walk-in traffic as well.
Every time someone inquires about your business or buys from you, just ask them a simple question. “By the way, can I just ask you where did you hear about my business?” Then just go ahead and make the mark on the tally sheet in the relevant column and keep track and ensure that this is important to make sure that everybody in your team is doing the exact same thing.
At the end of a couple of weeks or at the end of the month, just tally up and get the figures. What I really like most about social media ads right now, is they keep track of all the results for us. In fact, this is really a good place to test your ad message or your offers before you invest in the more expensive media, like radio, TV, newspaper ads, whatnot.
Without this information, you really can't determine how much it's going to cost you to buy a customer and until you know this number, you will continue to waste money on poor marketing decisions.
Think of it this way, I always tell my clients that Marketing is Math. Maybe that's why so many people hate tracking it, right? Because it really comes down to, “how much does it cost you to buy your customer?” But as with this information now, you can start making smarter business decisions. It’s prune - modifying - increase.
(1) Figure out is what's not working.
If you have an ad and it's getting a very low response which means there's a low-profit margin from sales or basically the ads are not paying for themselves, kill it right away. And then you only have one option — improve the ad to make sure you get a great response.
There are a couple of things that you could do to make that task a little bit simpler.
First, go back over your past ads and think about how well each one worked. Pull out the best couple and see if you can pick out what gave them their edge.
The next goal ahead, look at what your competitors are doing today.
Do they have an ad that runs every week?
What can you learn from it?
What's their offer?
What's the pain that they're targeting with your prospects?
Go through this part of the process with each marketing piece that you're currently using and then just examine it and then kill or modify. Examine, kill, modify.
Remember, the true test of the market of a marketing strategy is whether it pays for itself. So if you run an ad and it costs you 600 bucks and you make 1300 profit, hey, that's a good ad, right?
Run through each of these strategies then examine why these are producing results and the others aren’t. See if you can pick up what's the one attractive point about each one, and this in itself is going to teach you a massive amount about your business and your marketing strategies as well.
(2) Think about the way that you can use each of these strategies and work on a larger scale.
Let’s take Google ads. The answer is simple. Test to see what happens if you could increase your budget, double your budget, or increase it by just 50%, or maybe try adding your ad to other social sites. This could you bring in maybe twice the amount of sales as you had before.
Look at it by taking your offer and test it by maybe adding it to other media, radio, or TV. But whatever you do at this point, don't meddle with the ad. Just do the same thing but now on a larger scale because we're testing and measuring the results and if we meddle with it then we're screwing with the results.
(3) Go ahead, test, and measure for another couple of weeks.
Measure the leads with this new revised strategy of scaling up your ad and then compare this with how much you were spending on your marketing.
You'll probably find that you barely miss those dead ads and these now large-scale working strategies are paying off pretty well. If not, go back to your original size.
(4) Check your conversion.
Conversion is the number of leads that come from your sales. Many times when analyzing a business, I discovered that poor marketing is not the problem, it’s just that they have bad sales techniques. There’s a bunch of businesses that have a bunch of leads, but there are no skills to turn them into sales. So we have to be honest with ourselves.
How many leads do you convert into sales?
It is possible to increase that conversion rate by maybe just a little?
I would tell you for sure that in most cases, it is. You just have to give your customer a reason to buy from your business. Price is not the only reason that customers will buy from your business.
What would happen if a salesperson at a more expensive business than yours actually took more interest in your prospects?
What if they had just been a little bit friendlier?
What if they were willing to back their product with a guarantee?
What if they offer free delivery?
All of these what ifs all add up and can really tip the scale of that next sale.
What we need to do is leave it for a month or so - just working on converting the supply leads we have and working on a better conversion technique. Plus, these more leads from these bigger scales and more successful marketing strategies should give us a really good boost to our business.
(6) Now is the time to branch out.
What do I mean by branch out?
Remember all those marketing strategies you examined and then modified? Now is the time to pull them out of your drawer and give them a run and give them a test. Do one at a time and then track the results meticulously.
Write down exactly how many leads it brings you in; how many of those actually turn into customers. Then compare that with your marketing costs and judge whether this is a good strategy or not. If so, add it to your list of ongoing strategies. If not, try again.
Test, maybe, a different headline, maybe a different media. Put on a different offer, or maybe a different look if it doesn't work, then still just try getting in and giving it another try, and keep tweaking until we get it down right. Very soon, you're going to develop a collection of marketing strategies that worked and you're going to weed out the really costly ones.
Now what we really have here is now a business success formula.
So, is your company’s marketing awesome or is it lame?
If you want to gain some insights on how to improve your marketing to leverage, or to increase the profitability of your business, I suggest you schedule a free strategy session with me, and we'll take a closer look at your business.
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