Firstly let me warn you…if you read this article, enjoy it but then carry on with your business as before, you will not gain anything from it! I have done it myself on many occasions, reading along and thinking, ?This is interesting?, ?inspiring even?… then got back to my inbox, started to catch up on the things I have missed and moved on… guess what, reading alone doesn?t do anything?unlocking your marketing potential is about taking action so please make notes of key action points that will benefit your business and start with a mindset of ?taking action?.
So I would like to ask are you ready to take action?…you are still reading so that is amazing, it seems you are ready to take action and unlock your full marketing potential!
Data is the new oil
It is likely that you have heard this expression before. There is an interesting article published by The Economist in May 2017, titled ?the world?s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data?.
Think about some of the everyday digital platforms you use, Google search, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Maps. What is a common theme? These are all free of charge for users (ignore YouTube Premium!). These incredible search engines, websites and apps run seamlessly, despite huge levels of users into the billions! I personally use WhatsApp for all of my messaging, as I can send pictures or videos for free, easily set up groups to organise events, holidays, parties, etc. The only person I text is my Dad as he doesn?t have a smartphone! Yet all of this is free of charge, we do not pay or subscribe to these services. So how do they sustain them and the vast infrastructure behind these incredible platforms? It is through our data in which we pay by exchanging our data with these organisations.
The large corporates and blue chips are using data to make intelligent decisions, crucial to their growth strategies. Data reduces risk, opens opportunities and increases profitability.
Do you have ?60k to ?80k set aside annually for a data analyst? If not, worry not! There is so much available already at low to no cost and we are going to reveal tools and systems for you and your businesses that will help to unleash your full marketing potential!
What data is important to monitor to improve your marketing?
Can you currently answer yes to all of the following questions?
- Know the average spend of your customers
- Monitor and record all leads
- Know your lead to customer conversion rate
- Know your monthly website visitors
The reason I ask is once you collect and collate this data, you can insert it into a table as below to calculate how much revenue your website is generating for you each month. Let?s take a look at the example below:
If your website has 1000 visitors per month and 1% of those make contact, you will receive 10 enquiries per month. If you convert 20% of those into customers and they spend on average ?5000 then your website is generating ?10,000 per month in new business.
What impact could investing in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and paid advertising have on your revenue?
So if you invest in SEO, start concentrating on content marketing and Google Adwords in order to increase the number of monthly visitors from 1,000 to 1,500 (an increase of 500 visitors per month), we can see following the table and your data your website will start to generate ?15,000 (?10,000) per month.
What if you focused on Conversation Rate Optimisation (CRO)?
What if instead of focusing on increasing the headline figure of website visitors, you instead focus on maximising the potential of your current website and traffic? This can be done using brilliant free tools such as Google Analytics, Google Insights and other analytical tools and then applying methods such as A/B testing. If you increased the 1% CRO to 1.5%, 2% and eventually achieving 3% of website visitors making contact?suddenly you have ?30,000 per month in new business from the same level of 1000 visitors…Wow, what a positive impact that would have on the business!
If you are not testing, trying different methods and monitoring your website regularly, it is like heating your house with all of the windows open…you are wasting money and not unlocking your full marketing potential!
What if you do both?
This is when the real magic happens! Combining the efforts to increase traffic (just 500/50% additional visitors and having the website conversion rate at 3% would result in ?45,000 a month being generated instead of ?10,000…what a game changer!
Of course, there are other elements you could invest in to further increase the impact. If you invested in sales training to convert more enquiries into customer and that goes from 20% (1 in every 5) to 40% (2 in every 5) ?45,000 becomes ?90,000?if the business created an upsell and loyalty campaign that increased the average order value to ?7,500, it becomes ?135,000 a month…
These figures may be much higher or much lower than yours but the principle remains the same. It is so important to make the most of what you already have and maximise it. Your current website traffic and leads, your current database and your current customers. A blank copy of the spreadsheet, so you can input your own business data, is available by request here, along with the tools to source the information so you can easily input.
Your website investment should not stop after a large development, it should be constantly tweaked and improved to ensure it is always achieving its full potential.
A marketing agency or marketing department should be recording, monitoring and reporting this information. With it comes great insights, a justification for additional investment and beginnings of a change of mindset within businesses whereby marketing goes from a cost to become an investment.
The Fruitful Marketing? Methodology
Marketing is often over complicated from my experiences. There are numerous buzzwords, programmes and terms that seem to be created every day, so it is completely understandable that those from outside of a marketing role find it difficult. At Fruitful Marketing? we have created and share with clients our methodology which we think is far easier for anyone to understand. It has three stages:
All three stages are very important and combined into a process of continuous improvement to achieve the ultimate aim of success.
These are the processes that again large corporates and blue-chip organisations will follow, however, they will have several dedicated experts and departments focussed on each element. The Fruitful Marketing? methodology is low cost and many of the tools are free so start-ups, one person businesses and SMEs can compete with larger competitors and maximise their potential for growth.
Having studied and reviewed hundreds of businesses marketing, there are some challenges and mistakes. The top three I see are:
- Businesses not knowing which part of their marketing spend is effective and working – with digital marketing there is absolutely no excuse for this.
- Businesses jumping to the implementation stage of marketing, missing out on the key initial strategic part of the process. For instance ?we need to be on social media, let?s go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat…trying get on every platform they can?. ?We haven?t done any email marketing for months, let?s quickly send a newsletter to our entire database? just doing an old fashioned scattergun approach!
- Businesses targeting to a larger demographic. We like to think that anyone can and will buy our product, however in reality if we can niche and have a clearly defined target market, our marketing spend can be so much more effective.
Let’s start with strategy?
What is your strategy for your business and product or service?
At this stage you should be:
- Market research – Look at current trends, opportunities and analyse your competitors.
- Do a SWOT analysis – Look closely at your business…What are the opportunities? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses and how do you turn them into opportunities or strengths? What are the threats and how can you be prepared?
- Define a target market – This is so important. Unless you have millions of pounds to spend on marketing, you will need to define a clear target market because…
- The scattergun marketing approach does not work anymore, you will waste so much money if you do this.
- Define your target market by areas such as geography, gender, age, hobbies, industries, income – there are many elements of criteria, which apply to you?
- Research your audience and learn everything about them. There are excellent free resources you can use such as ?Answer The Public? and ?Google Trends?.
- Agree a budget – There are so many ways to implement marketing but without a budget how can you decide the best methods to invest in?
- Set goals – Have these clearly displayed, so many studies show writing down goals greatly increase the chances of achieving them. Display them clearly and share with your team. These can be turnover, leads, new customers, etc.
- Create a marketing plan/calendar – If you are responsible for the marketing of your business and this is one of the many hats you wear, it is crucial to book and allocate time in your calendar! Do this right away. Marketing falls under the quadrant of ?important but not urgent?. As a result, if you do not allocate time, marketing tasks will slip further and further back. Don?t be afraid, you can move the time if something urgent comes up but at least it will happen! A marketing plan that can be flexible for the upcoming 12 months, is a great base.
Now for Implementation…
So how do you go about implementing your marketing strategy?
There are so many options available…
- Social Media
- Direct Mail
- Email Marketing
- Email Automation
- Print advertising
- Online Advertising – PPC, Remarketing
- Video Marketing
- Event Marketing
- TV/Radio Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing
- LinkedIn Campaigns
- CRM systems
We won?t go through all of these methods in further detail here but it is important to keep consistency throughout your chosen digital marketing methods.
Time to Analyse…
This is the key element businesses either forget or ignore. Without this stage, how will you know where or how to improve? How can you maximise your marketing budget? Analysis is key to ?unlocking your full marketing potential?.
Some methods to help you analyse your marketing are:
- Google Analytics – The amount of data that can be ascertained from google analytics is incredible! There are headline figures which are helpful but to fully unlock your marketing potential you should dive far deeper. Look at what website pages are working, question why and how can you use elsewhere to improve? Similarly what pages are not working, question why and then how can you improve them?
- Site speed – Are your customers exiting your homepage because it?s taking too long to load? The attention span of a goldfish is calculated at 9 seconds. Post-mobile generation the average attention span of a human is calculated at just 8 seconds! Website load time and speed is crucial. Has your site been optimised for mobile use? Slow loading times will result in significant lost visitors, who in turn will go to your competitors. There is a great free tool called ?Think with Google? where you can enter your website URL and Google will run an immediate report. The report provides a score for both mobile and desktop speed, along with suggestions to improve performance which can go straight to your website developer!
- A/B testing – A/B testing allows you to run two versions of a website page in parallel, monitoring which is the most successful. This is a highly effective way to improve your success and conversion rate optimisation (CRO). Changes can be as seemingly insignificant as the wording of a sentence or colour of a call to action but can have a huge impact on your results. If we think back to the chart I showed earlier, the return on investment from doing this can be highly lucrative and if you are not, then you are heating your house with all of the windows open…I don?t know about you but I hate wasting money!
- Google My Business – Since Google+ was shut earlier this year, they have ploughed more focus and revenue into their Google My Business system. If your business is not signed up, do this! It is straightforward and quick to do. Google will send a physical postcard to your premises to verify your company and then you will be live for the world to see! There are search engine optimisation (SEO) benefits and for local business, you will appear on Google Maps. The platform is currently completely free of charge and is constantly evolving. You can even include a 30-second video for free, so why not add this as well?
- Sales and lead data – Ensure you record ALL of your leads and sales, along with the source where they have come from. If this is on a spreadsheet, CRM or even piles of paper, just make sure you do! Capturing this and analysing is crucial to becoming more intelligent and effective with your marketing spend.
- Look at your reviews – These are a crucial part of your marketing, did you know 85% of people trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations? You should be proactively asking your customers for reviews to develop trust amongst your prospects. Many will read your reviews as part of their buying cycle, so they can have a huge influence on their buying decision. If you collect reviews through Google My Business, the score and number will be the first thing people see when finding your business on Google Search. Similarly, when your business appears on Google Map searches, these will be displayed. Imagine if your score was far greater than your local competitors, what impact that would have on your enquiries?
So, ask yourself again, are you ready to take action? Hopefully, this article has given you some valuable insights into how you can achieve your full marketing potential and some of the latest techniques to implement into your business. It is so important to take accountability and ensure you are dedicating time to carry out your marketing. I promise you will begin seeing fantastic results if you do so!
If you’d like to speak to me further regarding any of these elements, or would like a blank copy of the spreadsheet so you can input your own business data, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01256 806333. I love a challenge and am always keen to help businesses so that they achieve their full marketing potential.