Getting the most out of your marketing energy doesn’t always need to be complicated, though sometimes it’s easy to ignore basic changes that can have a marked influence on your outcomes. Here, we’ll share with you how to Step Up Marketing ROI in 5 Easy Steps.
It took some of the planet’s biggest brands decades to stop thinking about marketing from the inside out. “We’re the best at…” “Marvel at all these shiny bells and whistles.” “Our process is so unique…!” When we begin crafting our marketing communications from the outside in, our message changes drastically from an “all about me” perspective to an “all about you” perspective. University studies like those performed by Dennis P. Carmody and Michael Lewis at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School have shown through magnetic resonance imaging that multiple regions in the left hemisphere, including middle frontal cortex, middle and superior temporal cortex, and cuneus actually display higher activation to one’s own name. See the full manuscript here. Now all of this may be a bit scientific for most of us marketers, but it certainly supports the idea that the sweetest sounds to humans, particularly in marketing communications, are more about the person, the client, the patient, the customer (A.K.A. the buyer)… not about us strutting down the seller runway.
Takeaway: If your entire marketing plan and language isn’t focusing on them (the customer), but rather on you (the company), reshape your plan.
OK, we know social media is the hottest marketing channel since the original TV station, W2XBS, rolled out the very first television broadcast on September 11, 1928. There are literally hundreds of social networking sites in existence today (just Google Wikipedia for the top 150+ and you may recognize half of them if you’re lucky). Eighteen of the most popular worldwide can be found below. Even with the greatest social media management tools like Hootsuite or SocialBro, the tendency is to spread our time and resources too thin. Sure, we want every opportunity for social spreading of our brand, offering or just community building, but it’s far more efficient to capitalize on those few social media networks that offer the biggest returns. Understanding where your target audience spends their most time, will save you money and a lot of anxiety. For example, Twitter is the hot spot for Millennials [and celebrities ;-)], while Instagram not only attracts Millennials, but also Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers up to around age 24. Yet only about 1/3 of businesses use this as part of their social media marketing. Ask yourself, “how does this social media channel fit into the bigger plan?”
Takeaway: Avoid social media saturation and get selective; focus only the apps that give back.
The marketing theory of casting your net as far and wide as possible in order to attract as many eyeballs as possible is dying faster than Dollar Store® batteries in a flashlight tag marathon. Reach and frequency have taken on a new meaning. Most businesses encounter the decision whether to aim to satisfy every potential customer out there (aka, be all things to all people seeking help in your industry) or a few really good things to a few really qualified people (A.K.A. niche your market). Here’s a few simple questions to ask yourself and your employees that can help you recalibrate and determine if you’re on the path to selective success or a watered down reputation.
- What thing(s) does my organization do best?
- Out of all the products and services we offer, which deliver the greatest value to the purchaser?
- Which offer the greatest ROI?
- Where can we “trim the fat.” In other words, are there any products/services that consistently consume more resources than those they drive in?
- How can we package and deliver those remaining services/products, not only to a segment of customers, but to a subset of those most willing to open their wallets?
Takeaway: Niche and then double niche your target audience into sub-segments.
When most business professionals talk about goal setting they often reflexively dive right in to the numbers… revenue, sales, etc. without first making sure that their overarching goals are defined (or re-defined) and that they are in line with today’s consumer climate. Vision, mission statement and permeative culture may be some of the most overused terms in business today, but they are worth revisiting, or in many cases, establishing. Thoughtful strategic direction is inevitably driven by these fundamental elements. Even with all the digital noise, they continue to serve as the backbone of nearly every successful company. They provide purpose, direction and an expectation in recruiting like-minded partners and employees. As operations and marketing strategies have become more complex, it’s a good idea to take a few steps back and revisit the foundations of vision, mission and culture. Establishing key sales, marketing or financial goals become easier and more meaningful when longer term, big-picture goals are kept current.
Takeaway: Re-evaluate and establish current goals and/or KPI’s from the bottom up.
Your Customer Experience impacts so many critical sources of profit-building, you can no longer afford to ignore it. Studies have shown a direct relationship between Customer Experience, and increased profits, in many cases with little added investment. By now, most marketers have heard of the concept of the “Customer Experience” (CX), but few have ever taken the time to truly understand the variables impacting it, let alone make adjustments in their business that are proven to boost profitability. Whether you’re an established small business with multiple employees/departments or a “solopreneur” who single-handedly works with clients one-on-one throughout the engagement and sales process, take the time to understand the most critical forces directly and indirectly persuading your clients/patients to buy from you or bail out.
Takeaway: Establish a system that dissects your business and identifies every aspect that can affect your Customer Experience. Then generate a “Customer Experience Income Improvement plan.”