Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Do You Really Know About Your Marketing?

One of the most-important things you can do is to regularly separate what you really know from what you think you know about your marketing efforts.

So, here's a question: What's working in your marketing?

Another question: How do you know?

Fact: If you can't answer "What's working in your marketing?" with cold, hard numbers straight from QuickBooks, you really don't know anything.

You are guessing. Playing blind archery. A danger to yourself and your business.

Okay. Enough tough talk ...

Let's assume I have sufficiently guilted you into analyzing your numbers and finding out exactly which marketing activities are producing which revenue.

Example: You got 17 clients and $74,600 last year from client referrals ... 13 clients and $57,000 from networking ... 5 clients and $31,200 from public speaking ... 3 clients and $23,000 from articles you wrote ... etc.

When you run the numbers, you will find, in all likelihood, that approximately 20% of your marketing produced about 80% of revenue. I have written before about this 80/20 Marketing phenomenon, so I won't do so again here.

In a nutshell, the 20% of your marketing efforts have HUGE upside potential. If you doubled these "20% Areas," you could expect to get 160% of current revenue.

And the other 80% of your marketing? They are dragging you down.

Your task as an entrepreneur (business owner, marketing manager, whatever) is to shift resources from 80% Areas of lower productivity into 20% Areas of higher productivity.

To illustrate, here's an example of low-value 80% Areas from one of my 80/20 Marketing students, along with his opportunities for becoming more productive -- and profitable. What parallels can you see between his business and yours?

Here are his 80% Areas to streamline, delegate, or drop:
  • His least-profitable clients are first-time home buyers. They require more education, showing of homes, hand holding through the mortgage process … for much less payout than experienced buyers.
  • His least-profitable marketing methods are sponsoring community events. They pay for a booth, have to set up everything, stand around all day, and don’t get any leads. But they do get "visibility."
Now, here's how he can leverage the power of 80/20 Marketing and create huge breakthroughs:
  • Clients: He can focus on targeting experienced “move-up” buyers and delegate as much of his dealings with new buyers as possible to his people/agents.
  • Clients: Turn new buyers into experienced buyers ASAP. Develop a “New Client Welcome Kit” that answers all typical questions and automates their education, so he can focus on high-value activities. A 15-minute educational video on YouTube could save him 3-4 hours of lost time per week (and get search engine traffic, social media mentions, and new leads to his site as a bonus).
  • Marketing methods: Taking the “New Client Welcome Kit” to its logical end, he could develop a series of articles or videos to answer the same questions he’s heard for years, then offer them to local newspapers as free articles. At the very least, have a college intern turn his knowledge into blog postings. No need to write – he can dictate much of the content off the top of his head via Dragon or other dictation software.
  • Marketing methods: Do fewer community “visibility” events and reinvest that money in efforts to surprise and delight existing clients (and stimulate referrals). Example: stage a nice event for clients and their guests; the theme can be seasonal, especially during his slow winter season. This is the perfect illustration of 80/20 Substitution: moving time/money from low-value areas to high-value areas!

You get the idea. In any business -- including yours -- there are screaming opportunities to boost sales and profits, by doing more of what makes you money in the time you waste doing what doesn’t. That idea is at the heart of 80/20 Marketing.

Bio: Kevin Donlin can help you grow your business and enjoy the breakthrough results your hard work deserves. If you're interested in boosting your revenues and profits, please click here.

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