How many of you remember the the Super Bowl Ad called “Cat Herders”… Now… how many of you can tell me who the ad was for? I've seen dozens of examples like this over the years… especially with small business.
Back when I started B2b, I found the perfect tchotchke (that's tech talk for promotional item). It was a CD opener with my logo on it. At the time it was a big hit since it was different and useful. Now, I am not picking on promotional products… (they can be a great way to keep your name in front of people), but when was the last time you reached for a CD opener? If you are like me… you now buy your music 1 song at a time from ITunes or something like that.
There are many business owners who continue to do what worked in the past simply because “It worked before… It will work again!”. They still take pride in having the largest and best ad in the Yellow Pages. They see nothing wrong with their email address firstname.lastname@example.org for business. They spend countless hours labeling and stamping post cards to mailing lists of prospects they buy.
I can tell you I generated a lot of compliments on my CD Openers, but not a single sale. When I ask owners how many sales each activity brings them, or what their cost per acquisition of each is… only a handful can give me a detailed and straight answer. Measuring the results (leads per activity – sale per leads) is key to know what is working. A lot of business tend to prospect like they cook (stole that from Mike Cooper at the Sales Kitchen). A pinch of this and a dab of that… as long as it tastes good at the end. Then trying to repeat success or avoiding missteps is much harder without measurement.
Marketing is the process of defining your market, which media they use and respond to, and adjusting your methods to increase responses. Advertising is broadcasting a message to the masses and hoping a subset of that group will respond. I know there are many definitions for either or both, but research and measurement is a much better way to manage results and expenses. Here are some basic tips:
Have you ever conducted a survey of your past clients? You can gain a lot of perspective with a few phone calls or a Facebook poll. Keep it short and direct and you will get a much better response. Do they prefer eMail or print newsletters? Do they read eMail in the morning or afternoon? What's their biggest pet peeve about websites?
A-B testing is a great way to measure what works better. You send two slightly different emails to your mailing list (A to 1/2 and B to the other 1/2). See which one gets better opens and clicks. That will help you better define what interests your audience.
The use of landing pages can help you better understand what is working. When I do this blog I use eMail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Technorati and more to publish it. Between Google Analytics and landing pages, I can track trends and effectiveness of each.
I normally get 3-5 calls after each eNews and blog post. I can also track that 25% of my new business comes from my Facebook Posts. I also have to be ready to answer text messages, eMail, phone calls from the same client. Knowing what works helps me better serve my clients and build my business!
If you want to learn more… check out our new service called “Personal Webinars” – Click here for more info.
Bonus Video of the Week
Still perplexed about the Cat Herder commercial, or just a big fan who wants to watch it again? Here You Go… Enjoy!