(part 3 in a series of 3)
“The Shop Around The Corner” made two mistakes:
- extreme loyalty to its customers,
- not reacting to the new competition.
First, loyalty to your customers is not a bad thing, but in overdrive could blind a business owner to trends from their customers. In the movie, Kathleen Kelly had asked a author when her new book was coming out so she could schedule a signing, and the author told her not until January. Some days later, Ms. Birdie Conrad passed by the window of the competition, she saw a sign indicating the signing had been scheduled — with Fox & Sons Bookstore. When you combine this with the trailing foot traffic count and the loss of $1200 in revenue within the first week of the competitor’s opening, you get a profile of a business in trouble.
Second, reacting to changes around your business is normal, almost an evil necessity, but whenever possible should be tamed with strategic planning and measuring. You can plan which buyer personas (a.k.a. target markets) to concentrate on with a specific message and call-to-action (CTA), and how you will follow-up with each person. Next, you must build a sales process to give you a roadmap for engagement with each persona. This includes knowing where each persona is inside your sales funnel, and how you will move them along to the next level: conversion. Without strategic planning, any marketing effort will be watered down to a “spray-and-pray” disability that will hinder growth.
Along with that, if you don’t measure your marketing efforts, you won’t know if you are achieving your goals or falling short. Use a good CRM software like ZOHO or Salesforce to help you track prospects, leads, and client conversions. Perform A/B tests on your landing pages’ CTAs (calls-to-action) and adjust for a better customer engagement experience. Calculate what your conversion ratio is and what types of marketing helped you achieve it. Measure where your prospects and leads are coming from — you may have a referral partner and not know it. Measure all the good and be courageous when looking at what needs improving.
Be vigilant and flexible to changes in and around your business. Measure and compare your efforts to your marketing and business plans. Are you still on target to reach this year’s goals, or do you need to make adjustments? Are your marketing and sales departments (or hats) working together? Don’t just think you’re successful; know you are.
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Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.