Revenue to a business is like oxygen to a person, without it your business will cease to exist. Just like many of us pay little to no attention to how we’re breathing oxygen on a daily basis, the majority of businesses aren’t effectively pulling in as much revenue from their marketing as they should be.
Why is this? Well simply put it can be a combination of things from the wrong strategy, to the wrong people, to bad processes, and often they’re not measuring the metrics that matter.
I’m going to share with you four best practices that will help you maximize your marketing dollars and locate additional revenue sources.
Become Obsessed with Understanding and Serving Your Customer
First, you must become obsessed with understanding and serving your customer. When you truly understand them, their fears, uncertainties, desires and how they make decisions, you can connect and serve them on a deeper level at each stage in the consumer journey.
Having detailed customer personas that highlight this information can help your internal and external teams focus on what matters most to your customer. The design, messaging, imagery and experience of your website and marketing materials can be tailored to in a way where they feel it speaks to them and are inspired to take action.
Start with a Strategy
The right strategy can make all the difference. My company, Webfor, performed a study in 2017 where less than 67 percent of the businesses surveyed reported having a documented digital marketing strategy. For many businesses, creating a strategy would be a great, and critical, first step.
The amount of time you spend planning your marketing strategy should reflect the scale of your business, your market and the goal you’re trying to achieve. If you’re a small business with limited resources you might have what I call a shoestring strategy. This is a very basic marketing plan that highlights your target customer, their consumer journey, a visual prioritization of channels you’re targeting, what tactics you’re utilizing and what metrics you’ll be using to measure success.
For a business that is a little more established and looking to achieve some serious growth goals, you will want to spend more time and resources in the research and planning stages possibly creating detailed customer personas, performing in-depth research around your customer’s journey to better inform your channel strategy and comprehensive competitive analysis. You will want to involve a number of stakeholders and really outline processes so that communication between departments actually enhances the effectiveness of your strategy as opposed to diminishing it.
Make Your Product or Service Your Best Marketing
Too many people think that marketing stops once a lead has been created or a sale has been made. They think now it’s sales, fulfillment or customer services’ job. The fact of the matter is your customers can and should be your best marketing. If you follow my advice above and become obsessed with understanding your customers needs and delivering on them then you will constantly be innovating your service to stay ahead of the curve and this will pay off handsomely in the long run.
Your people, passion and processes are key components to developing the best product! Make sure you invest in hiring the right people that are passionate about their craft and ultimately develop a culture of innovation to consistently improve your processes. This will allow you to create an upward spiral of innovation and improvement.
Measure Meaningful Metrics that Make Money
In the late 1800s, John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Fast forward to today, where the ability to measure key performance metrics in your marketing campaigns has advanced considerably and it blows my mind how many businesses are still feeling this way.
For many small businesses phone calls represent 80 percent of the conversions on their website, but so many aren’t tracking which marketing channels originated these calls to understand whether organic search, paid search, organic social or paid social media or some other channel is their main revenue driver. This creates a position where you have to guess and gamble if you want to make decisions. You can even measure calls from other mediums like direct mail, billboards, radio or TV. There’s an old saying, what gets measured gets managed. So, you need to have the metrics in place to be able to make educated decisions, and when you have those metrics you’ll be able to optimize your budget and get the most out of it.
You local business listing on Google My Business also provides insights into the activity on your listing, including how many people requested directions to your business, clicked on your website as well as how many people called you. I was reviewing this with a client the other day and they had more than 100 calls just from their GMB listing. Most agencies aren’t even paying attention to this, let alone business owners.
If you’ve read this far it means you’re very interested in this topic. So, can you do yourself a favor and commit to measuring the metrics that matter? If so, you just need to start with prioritizing the actions you want your customers to take. This could be phone calls, driving directions, someone filling out a request for consultation form, making an online purchase or even downloading a white paper.
After you’ve listed out all the actions you need to order them so you have a clear priority of what the No. 1 action you want users to take on your website (or platform). A fair amount of these metrics can be tracked with Google Analytics, which is free. You will need to set up “goals” in order to track some of these, but once you’ve done that you will start capturing meaningful data.
When you obsess over your customer, develop a successful marketing strategy, commit to providing the best product/service in your industry and you measure meaningful metrics, your business will experience incredible success and so will your clients.
Kevin Getch is the founder of Vancouver company Webfor and director of Digital Strategy. He started his career in marketing more than 14 years ago and was a member of the Vancouver Business Journal’s Accomplished and Under 40 Class of 2014. Getch can be contacted at Kevin@webfor.com