Can you answer these questions about your marketing? Part 1

In my opinion what sets good marketing apart from “bad marketing”  is getting the basics right.

By this I mean having actionable data on customers and the market that dictates the direction of a company’s marketing.

Going from good to great requires imagination and flare, however, to get to great you first need to be good.

Below are a collection of basic questions you should be able to answer about your business marketing (part 1).

You can read part 2 here.

What are your main sources of referrals (traffic & sales)?

This may seem like the most obvious question, but from my own experiences, there are a lot of small businesses that can’t answer this using data.

They rely on personal opinion or guess work. I’m sure you know this, but having a clear understanding of which channels send you the most traffic and sales means you can focus on the areas that are working and drop those that aren’t.

This in turn saves you money and increases sales.

How to get this information:

  • Install Google Analytics on your website & tag all incoming links with a tracking URL
  • Ask customers how they heard about you upon sign up

How many of your customers would recommend you?

A happy customer is valuable, a brand fan is worth their weight in gold. Customers who proactively recommend you without you bribing them are your most powerful marketing channel.

The question is what percentage of your customers would recommend you?

Knowing this figure will give you an insight in how happy/ unhappy your customers are with you, and provide you with actionable ideas to improve if necessary.

How to get this information:

Ask them! Using the Net Promoter Score to benchmark your customers, send a survey simply asking them “On a scale of 0 – 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a colleague or friend?”.

You can then categorise your customers in to three groups:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fuelling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 1-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

To calculate your company’s Net Promoter Score, we take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.

To put your results in to context, the iPhone is 67% and Sony is 39%. The challenge is to

  • Mobilise your promoters to increase word of mouth sales
  • Turn the passives in to promoters
  • Engage with the detractors to discover the root of the problem and prevent them from damaging sales and your reputation

What are the most important factors for your customers when choosing a supplier?

Do your customers make their purchase decision based on price, features, customer support, geographic location, reputation etc.?

I’m sure these are all important, but which are the primary motivators for them?

Once you know this, you can start to tailor your entire customer facing collateral to emphasise these elements.

How to get this information:

  • Run a survey asking your customers to rank their top 3 most important factors
  • Run tests on your website showing two pages and see which is most effective e.g. one focuses on price and the other your customer services.

How effective are your offline marketing channels?

Magazine, newspaper, radio, PR and other offline marketing are all notoriously difficult to track effectively, especially for small businesses.

This is in part one of the reasons online marketing has seen its share of the budget grow.

National and international businesses spend a fortune on tracking brand and campaign awareness, but this just isn’t feasible for small businesses.

The reality is, it is going to be tough and the results will not be deadly accurate but it is not impossible.

How to get this information:

  • Ask customers how they heard about you upon sign up
  • Use different URLs/ phone numbers for each advert to track responses
  • Offer a small discount (e.g. 5% off) and a unique code per advert to track responses

Which keywords are you targeting for search engine optimisation (SEO)?

90% of SEO is surprisingly easy for anyone to do, seriously. If you spend a couple of hours reading up on the basics you’ll find much of it is within your control and very straight forward.

I would recommend starting with this free guide from SEOmoz.

Additionally much of SEO is based around keywords. These are the words and phrases people search for in the likes of Google.

Google determines which websites are most relevant largely based on their use of keywords on their website and the keywords used to link to them from other websites.

You can increase the amount of traffic you get from search engines by targeting the most searched for keywords in the industry.

How to get this information:

  • Use Google’s free keyword tool
  • Use your target keywords in your URLs, H tags, website copy, anchor text etc.

Read part 2!

I have written another set of marketing questions you should be able to answer, which you can read here.


3 thoughts on “Can you answer these questions about your marketing? Part 1

  1. Great post Matt! I’m really glad you included the Net Promoter Score… I’ve been trying to implement it more with KISS Insights. It’s definitely the best/easiest way to judge your product/service.

    1. Thanks Brad. I’ve used NPS at work and it’s a good way to gauge how you are performing and benchmark performance over time.

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