The Consultative Process…
To identify the best marketing solutions and craft the best marketing plan first requires us to understand the past, present and future of you and your business. It’s best to know what’s worked and not worked, what your best and worst customers look like and where you want to end up with your business before making a game plan to start implementing.
The tabs below follow the order of the consultative process we follow in a). making sure we’re a good fit for you as a client, b). you’re a good fit for us as a customer and c). that we’re suggesting the right solutions to the right problems in helping you grow your business and take it to the next level. Reviewing the process below would be a good start in understanding how we can work together and should help in preparing for our next meeting.
The best marketing plan requires some information…
What was the original vision when the business was started vs. what they are now today?
What products / services are being sold and what do your best and worst customers look like?
What marketing efforts have worked, have not worked and are starting to work less?
What are your customers saying about you and your business on the web?, on review sites?, social media?
This information is all really helpful in figuring out which marketing strategies will be most effective, profitable and grow your business at the right rate of speed in the right direction. After gathering this info, we can better suggest options for moving forward.
Finish Best by Starting with the End in Mind…
How much new/added business could you handle right now
What are your long-term goal(s) and your exit strategy?
Will you expand via franchising or licensing?
Will you sell then move into another business or retire?
How many years until you plan to change gears or retire?
Will you be selling to a stranger, partner, employees or family?
Know who your best customers are to find more…
It is very helpful in putting together a marketing plan, to know as specifically as possible, who your best and worst customers are and what they look like.
Are they more often male or female? What are the ages that are most and least interested in what you have to offer? Are your customers mostly uneducated, high school educated, college educated, etc? Are there better times of year, days of the week or times of day? What other interests or hobbies do they have in common or act as a lead in to buying your product or service? What are the best places and times to tell them about your product or service?
There are certain types of marketing that are a better fit for each of these groups, so knowing more about your best and worst customers helps to target more good customers and avoid more bad customers going forward.
Calculate Lifetime Customer Value to Check ROI…
In making decisions on what type of marketing strategies to implement, it’s extremely helpful to know how much money your average customer will spend on your products and/or services over the average lifetime? This info, combined with conversion tracking on each of your marketing strategies, will make it easier to know how much return you’ll make on each marketing dollar spent and how to adjust your spending moving forward. Without this info, it’s hard to know how much is reasonable to spend on getting new customers.
For example, if it costs $20 per lead, and 20% (1 out of 5) leads convert to a sale, with each new customer being worth $2,000 over the next five years, then every $100 spent on that marketing strategy makes $2,000 gross. If the cost of providing those products/services was 50%, then $1,000 would be the actual profit on the $100 spent, or a 1,000% ROI (return on investment). It would be the same return on $50 leads if a 50% conversion rate and also on $10 leads with a 10% conversion rate. This is the best way to compare marketing strategies as apples-to-apples, but to do so requires knowing how much a customer is worth over the life of the customer.
Many businesses make marketing decisions based on how much they’ll make on a first or initial sale, but that can make it appear that there are no or few good marketing options because it’s based on such a short-term view. The marketing strategies that are effective at making a quick immediate sale are not as effective at attracting the best long-term clients, which then means many more new clients will have to be attracted each month and year to replace them, while a marketing strategy that attracts better quality long-term clients can actually provide a greater ROI and more stable business income in the long haul.
It can be hard to calculate the value of a client over the life of a client, so feel free to contact us for help in calculating this info.
The Best Marketing Options for the Best Game Plan…
Once we know about you, your business, your exit strategy, the demographics of your customers, the lifetime value of your customers, etc. then we can put together a list of suggested marketing strategies, including suggested budget and order of implementation. You can then figure out which options, budget and timeline is best for you and your business. If you would like changes or need questions answered, we’re glad to take care of that as well.
A Marketing “Game Plan” is the Map to Growing Your Business…
The initial marketing options, budget and timeline once fine tuned and approved by you will become your business’s marketing plan…a “Game Plan” to implement based on.
Be Prepared for Long-term Growth of Your Business…
Implement…measure…adjust…until success, then rinse and repeat…scaling up wherever we can. It’s import to remember, that bringing new customers in or getting existing customers to come back more often won’t be of long-term benefit if the customers can’t be kept happy and satisfied.
Truly, the most important words a business owner will ever hear are the complaints and critiques of his/her customers. To hear and respond to them quickly is to multiply all other marketing efforts, while to ignore them is to sabotage and undermine all other marketing efforts.
The value of satisfied customers, good reviews, word of mouth and social proof can not be understated and only continue to gain importance in a world where good and bad information can get to each of us in a second. Quality, service, community, personality and consistency are of high value in all markets, they represent the highest of value and will garner higher prices and profits for those that can sustain them.
To initiate a system for collecting and posting great reviews is of utmost importance in the beginning of a new marketing plan, while to monitor and protect one’s reputation along the way is just as important to maintain the advantage so hardly fought for.
Truly, a fine reputation, personal and business, is precious and valuable…to be protected at all costs.
Now that you’ve had a chance to review our consultative process, please give these areas some thought, write down some notes and questions for us…then call to schedule your consultation with one of our local marketing consultants. We look forward to earning your long-term business and promise not to waste your time or money…but instead, to partner with you as your “for hire” Marketing Department and help you grow your business as big as your dreams for it.