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How do You Know When To Change Your Marketing

marketing strategyWhen you put an ad in a magazine, send out a sales letter, or put up a web site, you want results. You want your prospects to contact you and to buy from you; you hope to get a flood of calls and sales.

If your marketing isn’t generating the results you want, then it’s time to change your marketing strategy! Don’t expect to improve your results using the same strategy.

Here’s an example. A search engine positioning firm I work with was having trouble generating leads. Yes, in spite of their superior ability to put their site at the top of the search engine listings and do the same for their clients, they were hardly converting any of their site visitors into leads and then clients. They were getting well over a thousand visitors a week to their site and generating at best a single inquiry per week.

Think about this for a minute. Most people assume that getting your web site to the top of the search engine listings will solve all their web marketing problems. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how many visitors you get to your web site (or how many s.ales letters you send or ads you place,) if you aren’t generating leads and converting them to sales.

The search engine positioning firm I was working with has many satisfied national clients, are highly skilled and great people to work with, but their marketing strategy was broken. Their website looked very similar to their competitors’ sites. In fact, with a lot of information about what they do and who they are, it read like a blend of the information found on websites of other firms who offer similar services.

Many small business owners look at their competitors’ marketing materials and cobble together the information for their own pieces based on what they see. The problem with this approach is that they are copying a strategy that isn’t working for someone else. Once they publish their materials, someone else copies the same stuff and tries to make it work. Know anyone who has done this?

Nine times out of ten, marketing materials put together in this way lead with the company name and then list services or features. I can guarantee that if you are using this approach to marketing your business, you’re not happy. This marketing strategy doesn’t work.

Is your marketing working? Ask yourself the following questions:

– How many leads did my web site generate relative to the number of visitors it gets?

– How many leads did my ad generate relative to the cost and number of people who saw it?

– How many leads did my sales letter generate relative to the number of letters I sent out?

Then ask yourself:

– Given the number of leads generated, how many did I convert into s.ales?

– What was the dollar volume of sales generated from each lead?

It’s not a matter of time, either. If your marketing materials aren’t pulling in clients within a few days, they’re not going to do any better if you keep running them for months.

This client had the same problem with his marketing that my Dad has with his boat; he just couldn’t let go. After years of being dragged up and down a rocky beach, my Dad’s aluminum skiff has lost many of the rivets in the bottom.

Put it in the water and throttle up the outboard, and fine sprays of water push up through the small rivet holes as you pick up speed. Everyone in the boat gets an upside down shower. Wherever you’re going, you arrive damp.

Every year, the family tries to get Dad to replace his skiff, but he’s had it so long he can’t bring himself to part with it, even though its not doing the basic job of keeping water out.

Is your marketing like my Dad’s boat? You’ve used it for years but it’s not generating enough new business. If so, then it’s time for a change. It’s time to use a marketing strategy that puts you on top.

elevator speech, marketing message for small business owner The author, Charlie Cook, helps small business owners and marketing professionals attract more clients, whether you are marketing in print, in person or online. Sign up for the Free Marketing eBook, ‘7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business’, full of practical marketing strategies you can use to increase profits at www.MarketingForSuccess.com

 

 

Photo credit :Salvatore Vuone

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