• Dean Van Dyke

Let the Data do the Talking…


Whenever I sit down with a new client, I ask them what they think is the key to growing their business. Nine times out of ten, they tell me the same thing: "We need to spend more time and money marketing our products and services."


My response?


Hogwash.


Now don't get me wrong. Marketing is important. In fact, I love marketing! I've developed hundreds of successful marketing programs for clients in dozens of industries. But here's the simple truth...


Trying to grow your business by pouring more time and money into marketing that is already ho-hum is like a boxer who steps into the ring leading with his chin: you're gonna get knocked out as soon as you begin.


Now, you're probably thinking: "But in order to get new customers I need leads. And in order to get leads, I have to advertise…or at least do something!"


Perhaps, but in a majority of cases, the answer isn't simply doing more -- it's doing a better job of it.


And that's why you need this: A Tactical Marketing Plan


Before I get into the nuts and bolts of improved marketing, let me introduce you to a simple diagram I call The Profit Equation. It demonstrates how small, incremental improvements in a few critical areas actually lead to dramatic growth in your business over time.

As you can see, by achieving a mere 10% improvement in each of the areas above, you will reap amazing results! And note that most of the improvements are marketing-related: generating more leads, improving your conversion rate, and getting existing customers to spend more money with you, more often.


So how do you do it? There are two vital components.


First, establish a system for measuring your marketing.


Every ad, blog post, postcard, or letter should ask your prospect to do something as a direct result of seeing or hearing your message -- so that you can track the precise result you get. (This action doesn't necessarily have to be a buying decision -- often it's simply the next step in your sales process). Then, you must measure how well your marketing pieces perform. Once you know which ads are effective and which aren't, you have the information you need to save (and make!) a tremendous amount of money, simply by using those that bring in leads, and disregarding those that don’t.


As an example, a client needed 28 leads per month in their sales pipeline. The Tactical Marketing Plan we put in place allowed them to measure which tactic was working for them to generate leads.

Second, begin measuring your results by implementing high-impact, low-cost marketing tactics.


Here are some of my favorites...


  1. Ask for referrals. If you're like most business owners, anywhere from 50%-80% of your new customers come from referrals and word-of-mouth (if that's not the case for you, you've got some major room for improvement here). And yet, many companies have NO formal, incentivized referral system in place. I've had clients more than double their lead flow by implementing a formal and systematic referral process.

  2. Create a rewards program. Reward customers for buying frequently! Create a membership or rewards program that helps your customers feel more involved...and encourages them to come back more often! Everyone loves to feel like they belong somewhere or get special care just because of who they are.

  3. Invite inactive customers back. Remember: you can't get what you don't ask for. Send periodic invitations and special offers to customers who haven't been in for a while. You'll be amazed at how much more responsive a list of former customers is than a cold list.

  4. Understand why people leave. Take great care to track your customers so that you can become aware when they’ve stopped coming back to you. Whenever you lose someone, see if you can find out why they left. If possible, speak directly with them and ask what you could have done to retain their business. It might be a little painful to hear about complaints or problems -- but if one person has had a negative experience, chances are others have experienced something similar. This information will be invaluable as you make systematic improvements in your business to increase retention over time.

  5. Send an email newsletter. If you want to maintain a relationship with your customers, even when they don't have an immediate need for your products and services, the answer is simple: communicate with them! One of the best ways to do this is through email newsletters. Send them interesting, informative articles that they can use in their daily lives. Worried that you won't have time to create a newsletter each month? Check out Elance.com or Guru.com and search for ghostwriters, copywriters, and content writers. You can usually find surprisingly affordable providers who will take the burden of creating and deploying your email newsletters on your behalf...so you don't have to worry about it.


In summary, an effective Tactical Marketing Plan will help you to monitor and measure which lead generation tactics work the best for your business. It allows you to change tactics if one is not working because you are able to identify it via your plan.


If you’re experiencing problems in your business related to time, team, or money, please don’t hesitate to reach out to info@pillarsgrp.com or click to schedule a complimentary 30-minuteBLiTZ Coaching session with Dean.

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