“Measure twice, cut once.” my dad would say each and every time I would TRY to help him in his myriad of woodworking projects. Having assisting hundreds of businesses large and small in marketing their service or business I’m constantly shocked to discover how many businesses, and marketing firms don’t follow the same sage advice my dad constantly gave me.
In Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he gives us this advice in a different quote. “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
All marketing firms and executives see the value in digital and traditional marketing, however few go about the process in an effective manner. Many will look to their competition for inspiration and insight and eagerly jump into the process of creating content (social media posts, blog posts, email campaigns, etc) to drive new traffic to their business. Only to discover that their traffic increased, and their revenues did not.
They marketed first, and measured second. Rather than measuring first, and marketing second.
Many marketing firms that focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) start working with a new client by identifying keywords for the client to rank for and then begin writing article after article focused on those keywords. They look at metrics like search volume, competition, etc. to find terms and phrases where they can quickly rank. This is great IF those are the phrases and terms that will drive not traffic, but conversions and therefore revenue. What’s worse is that even more marketing companies don’t take the time to set up the proper tracking to see if their efforts are really generating the desired results (purchases, contact us forms, etc). They MARKET FIRST, MEASURE SECOND.
There are other marketing firms that do a better job. These are the firms that set up the conversion tracking first and then actively begin to market and generate content and traffic to see what is driving revenue. This is HUGE step in the right direction, however if the firm is focused on organic traffic through inbound marketing and blogging they could be doing a larger disservice to the client by writing tens or hundreds of pieces of content that gets the client to rank high for the wrong terms. The result-a website that receives a lot of traffic and potentially a lot of emails and phone calls that lead to little to no sales.
The new omni channel scientific approach
In today’s society people interact with brands in a variety of methods and channels. For example, people receive emails, see tweets, see Facebook posts, ads, and go to websites of the companies they love. Each of these channels, IF MONITORED AND USED, gives the company a plethora of new insights that can allow management to make better and smarter management and marketing decisions. This allows the company to determine that the ladder they climb, or the content they write, will be leaning against the right wall, so to speak.
What every business owner and marketer can do
- First and foremost, every business already has a plethora of data available to them that can be used to make better decisions. For example, if you have an existing customer list why not create buyer personas based on that information. If you only have a few clients, take the time to interview them and listen for the similarities of what they are saying about the service you provide and what influenced them to choose your business rather than one of your competitors. Best yet, analyze your data and perform an interview.
- Spend the time to set up methods to track their success online and offline. The insights gathered from this data can save businesses hundreds and thousands of dollars.
- Treat your conversion data as a metric with the same level of care as you treat your financial reports. After all, the conversion data turns into hard cash at the end of the day.
- Segment your customers based on profit. If you have 3 different products you may be surprised to discover that one of them is generating the most profit for the business, but another product may provide you a higher profit per unit. With this information you can work backward to see what marketing channels allowed you to get those customers and focus on that; therefore generating more revenue for the business with less work.
- Look at your advertising investment not only in terms of ROI (Return On Investment) or ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) but take into account the knowledge gained. You may discover that your target demographic is completely different than you anticipated, your messaging is incorrect, etc. Knowing what isn’t working in many cases is more valuable than knowing what is working. As the old sales adage goes, ”for every ‘no’ you receive, you are that much closer to receiving a ‘YES’”
In the book Scaling Up, Vern Harnish talks about the Wasted Debate. The debate of whether a certain idea applies only to a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) engagement. He goes on to say that in the end we are all in the PEOPLE TO PEOPLE business. He couldn’t be more correct. For so long marketers have focused on only using certain channels for marketing their business because their service offering is for businesses only or only for consumers. Then they run off to focus on a particular channel. Nothing could be more wrong!
Every business should go through the process of advertising on every single possible medium they can. If you are an accounting firm that focuses only on publicly traded companies, you should be on LinkedIn AND ON FACEBOOK. Your advertising spend may not be the same, but decision makers at publicly traded companies believe it or not also have Facebook profiles. You may not have a Facebook campaign focused on converting them right away, but you may have a re-marketing or re-targeting campaign to target executives that have already been to your accounting firm’s website.
What we like to do is set up advertising accounts on as many mediums as possible (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Ad Words, Double Click, etc), as many tracking codes and methods as possible (Hot Jar, Analytics, etc) and then analyze what is and is not working prior to changing anything. For example, many people do not realize that if you install a Facebook tracking pixel on your website you can begin to gather demographic information on the people that are going to your website, above and beyond the demographic information you can obtain if your google analytics is set up properly. Many people also don’t realize that with Hot Jar and platforms like it you can see how people are interacting with your website…where they click, how they move their mouse etc. This information can be invaluable and help you ensure the ladder you’re climbing is leaning against the right wall and that you are marketing ONCE!