This may be about the time of year you say “hey, we don’t have a whole lot of time left to do the wonderful things we put in our 2017 Marketing Plan ” (like grow 10% or 40% or 3,000% or whatever). I mention growth because that’s a pretty common objective, right?
Let’s focus on that growth piece -- more specifically, what’s happening (or not happening) with your marketing to make that growth feasible. The title of this blog promises “questions” to help you do this. In fact, I’ve decided to make it even easier than that, with simple “true or not true” statements. If you agree with them, you’re on track. If not, you’ll know where to focus your attention and investment when it comes to marketing.
The place to start is what you are saying in your marketing. You can be blogging, your sales team could be networking and calling on prospects, and your marketing team could be spending lots of money. But if what you have to say isn’t attracting the right kinds of clients and compelling them to contact you, your growth goals won’t be achievable.
Do you agree with the following statements:
“Our marketing clearly presents a compelling reason to consider our company that is different from mainstream competitors.”
“Our marketing content focuses on the problems we help our clients solve and the results our firm can help them achieve. (i.e., it’s more about them than it is about us).”
This is certainly not meant to be exhaustive -- just a quick exercise that you can do right now to determine what needs the most help. Marketing “materials” is a big subject and can encompass everything from the LinkedIn profiles of key staff to your business cards, collateral, and certainly your website. Truly judging the effectiveness of those materials would be a huge task.
For now, just think about all they “stuff” with which your prospects come in contact. Do you agree that…
“The look and feel of our materials (website, collateral, etc.) rank above our most direct competitors in terms of quality.”
(Hopefully) armed with an effective message, and quality materials that carry that message, your marketing needs to make you more visible to the right audience. How’s that working?
“We consistently reach or attract enough new prospects so that our growth goals are feasible.”
“We track our results and refine our efforts based on those results.”
True or no?
Gaining visibility is just the beginning. An effective marketing strategy really starts to hum when it engages those people even before they are in a buying mode, and certainly when they are starting to get serious.
"Our ideal client who is researching potential solutions (but is not yet ready to buy) will definitely encounter a good reason to follow us or otherwise make themselves known to us when they reach our website.”
“Our website compels our ideal prospect, who IS ready to invest, to buy or request a conversation.”
Do you agree?
Throughout the entire experience that a prospect encounters with our marketing, the next step we want them to take should always be obvious and inviting, including the process of becoming a client.
“Our marketing articulates the standalone value of arranging a conversation with us. In other words, we make it clear there is no obligation AND they will benefit from talking with us even if they choose not to become a client.”
“When we meet with the right kind of prospect, we enroll 75% or more of them as clients.”
Remember, your current clients have a 2nd life -- they’re on your competitors’ list of prospects. Your marketing effort should be working to constantly bring them more value, not just hit them up for more business.
“Once we bring on a new client, we continue to share information that is relevant to the kinds of challenges they may face, even those outside the scope of what they hired us to do.”
“We personally contact our “A list” clients and past clients on a regular basis just to check in on how things are going (they don’t feel like it’s a sales call at all).”
“We enjoy above average retention and revenue per client, relative to others in our industry.”
So how did you do? If you answered mostly “true” to these statements, you’re doing better than most businesses. If you started to sweat halfway through, you’re not alone. But if you want a shot at those ambitious goals, it’s time to take action. Start by measuring how well your marketing is performing. Download our marketing metrics cheat sheet below.