Everyone is always asking the question, what is the best form of marketing? What is the best advertisement to place an ad in? How much should I spend? How can I leverage social media? What groups should I network in? Are the yellow pages worth utilizing? Questions, questions, questions, it seems like everyone is looking for an easy way to locate the silver bullet of marketing. However, should these be the questions that business owners ask themselves or should they be asking different types of questions?
Marketing when you get down to it is all about math. More money coming into your business from your customers than money going out on your marketing and you have found yourself a winning campaign. So, if it’s all about math, are we then really just buying customers?
If you are in business, any kind of business, then you need to understand the concept of buying customers. Unfortunately lots of business owners are not familiar with this concept. Why? It’s because too many business owners are treating their marketing as an expense, posed to treating it correctly as an investment.
As any business owner knows, you get returns from investments, not from expenses, so understanding that you’re investing your marketing dollar in the plan that it will bring you a return is the only way of looking at your marketing and advertising that makes sense.
Buying customers is all about generating leads, converting them to customers, knowing the likely amount that they will spend in your business while working ways in keeping those customers coming back again and again and again. When you understand and measure this, you will then know how much an average customer cost and what they can generate in dollars to your business over their lifetime.
Unfortunately this process happens too seldom because in the average business, the owner has little if any idea what the return on their actual investment is.
Too often the average small business owner doesn’t take the time to measure the response that each form of marketing generates, leading to uncertainty. Sure, you might think your two page yellow page ad which you spent way too much money on, is drumming up business, but what if it’s not? If you are not testing and measuring the results of your different campaigns you are essentially wasting your hard earned money. If you don’t know what your resources are doing for you, how can you ever really know how to use them most efficiently?
So how do you find out what return you’re getting from each form of marketing?
You simply ask each customer who calls, or comes into your store how they found out about you. You then record their response, and calculate how much business each form of advertising effort generates.
Yes it will be time consuming and you may not get every single customer right, but it will give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t and you can move forward from there, deciding which campaigns and materials are worth keeping or updating and which can be thrown in the trash.
Most importantly, once you’ve worked out the marketing campaigns that are making you money, or at least paying for themselves, and the ones that are costing you money, you’ll be able to stop throwing good money away and start to increase your profits. And we all know that the bottom line in business is all about profits.