Of the many strategies that contribute to business success, marketing is central. As a small business grows and evolves, its marketing strategy must also grow, evolve and improve. Ripe for improvement in many businesses are three practices that create inefficiency.
Get Rid of the Marketing Waste
In an ideal world, our customer attraction activities would be getting us all the business we can handle, but more often than not, despite our best efforts, results could be better. The solution for most businesses lies where they least expect it. It’s not that this tactic or that, whether cold calls, digital ads or anything in between, The solution lies in the way the customer life-cycle is managed where there is typically a large amount of waste. The three most important areas to examine when looking to reduce this waste are lost traffic, lost leads, and lost customers.
Take a look at the traffic coming into your website, or the contacts you make networking or the cold calls you make -whatever your promotion results are. What stands out the most? My guess is how little of this activity converts to actual leads.
In fact, nearly 98 percent of website visitors will leave without leaving as much as their name much less making a purchase. If this waste can be reduced by just 2% to 96%, the number of leads would double!
A lead (sometimes called a prospect) is someone who indicates interest in your business, its products or services. For example, a website visitor who contacts you with a question.
Most businesses are quite good with leads that are ready to buy right away but do not consistently follow up with those that may need more time to reach a decision. Many times these prospects are considered a bad lead. Yet studies show that it takes seven to eight “touches” for a prospect to become familiar with and trust a business before becoming ready to make a purchase. Most businesses stop following up after just two.
The third place to examine for waste are customers who used to buy but no longer return. Surprisingly, 60% of customers leave a business not because of a poor experience with their product or service but because they feel an indifference towards them, they don’t feel supported.
Creating an Ideal Customer Experience
Here’s the good news. These three causes of marketing waste can be greatly reduced by creating a buying experience around the customer, what we call the Ideal Customer Life-cycle. It consists of three parts Attract, Sell, and Wow.
First, become crystal clear on the ideal kind of customer you want to attract and create a lead magnet just for them. A lead magnet is something of value that you offer to your customers in exchange for their contact information. A good lead magnet turns anonymous leads into identifiable prospects that you can communicate with.
Second, focus on a follow-up system that will show your customers that you care, engages and educates them and follows up with them all the way to their purchase.
Lastly, give them something to say, “Wow!” about. New customers want to feel the love from your business, and given an experience that stands out like a thoughtful gift, handwritten thank you card or a unique discount will result in them telling their friends (and you can’t buy better advertising than this) and becoming loyal repeat customers.
At yorCMO, we look to eliminate the waste and establish automated systems to take the grunt work out of your managing your customer life-cycle. Give us a call today at 402.807.5414 or visit yorcmo.com to get started.
About the Author:
Dave has contributed leadership in a broad variety of roles and business units over a 26 year marketing career with a Fortune 50 Technology Market Maker. He has also helped over 200 small businesses increase their capacity to grow. The combination of start up, small business and corporate marketing experience results in a unique perspective on the disciplines that large companies have in place which smaller companies must put in place in order to grow.
Dave is based in the Greater Portland area.