By Sweta Patel
The typical business owner jumps on the bandwagon of sales and selling when the revenue starts to come in. Is this the way to revenue growth? This is the wrong way because sales focuses on one-to-one activities while marketing focuses on one-to-many activities. Businesses must grasp the concept of growing their revenue by focusing on the marketing function. Even though most businesses close with the sale, the sale needs to begin with marketing.
This process does not take a lot of time. In fact, if business owners are able to communicate their value in fifteen minutes or less then they are able to speak to the hearts of many and close the sale. The process of marketing is longer than fifteen minutes. From my experience working with Fortune 500 companies, 86 percent of our campaigns totally bombed, while they other 14 percent succeeded. This is where we go back to the fundamentals of testing when it comes to marketing. As a business owner, you have to have the mindset of: “you have to play to win!” Otherwise, everything may slowly turn into a regret.
The Big ROI Question
Most business owners are not able to realize how large a role marketing plays in their business. Why? They simply are not measuring the most important metrics. This is why they cut the marketing budget when funds are running low. If the metrics are not being measured then how can you value the marketing function of the business? You simply can’t. In short, here is what you need to keep a track of:
- Increase the number of new customers by ___%
- Increase the number of leads by ___%
- Increase the amount sold per customer by ___%
- Expand into a new territory with ___ in total sales
- We want to change ___ lives this year
Now decide what the specific goals are for each tactic in relation to the revenue growth. For example: our usual direct mail response is 1.2%, our email response rate is 24%, 92% of people buy after the fifth ask.
One client I worked with employed a star whose average sale was $32,000. He wanted to hit $2 million in annual sales. That works out to nearly 63 sales a year, or one out of every four leads. So this means they need to bring in close to 266 leads a year, or 5 leads a week. This is now the overall campaign goal and marketing no longer is a risk.
Best Practice: Go through each and every campaign tactic and create a measurable goal for each. This does not have to be a right on the dot, but the closer you are the more relevant the campaign will be.
Filling The Seminar Room
The first thing you want to do is to send out a survey asking your potential attendees what their biggest current issues are. This research will help you determine how to market to them in the future. You do not want to include the price in this survey, as that is something you will determine through testing.
The next thing you’d want to do is to create a silent campaign. This campaign should start four months prior to your event. This means you will promote your event in your other communication pieces. For example, if I were to create a newsletter, I’d include my event within it. Make sure you let your audience know that they should save the date.
The email series comes next. This email series should go out twelve weeks prior to the seminar.
Here is the process:
- Week 1: Create a landing page and announce the event with a registration link. If they respond the first week they will receive an added bonus.
- Week 4: Create a video with a few of the speakers inviting the attendees to register. In this one you’d want to include a different type of bonus when it comes to receiving a response.
- Week 6: This will be your video testimonials email. It should include past attendees who could not get enough of your event. Make sure you include a different bonus in this.
- Week 8: This should be the invitation stage where you send an invite to the people and let them know the details of the event. For those who still have not responded, let them know there are a limitednumber of seats.
- Week 10: Sprinkle a few more testimonials from people who have attended previous events.
- Week 11: This is it! It is their final chance. Let them know what they are about to miss if they do not attend.
Best Practice: Offer reporters and journalists free media coverage to your event. In addition, send a hand-addressed initiation to your key prospect list. It is important to sponsor events where you can promote your event. The last event I sponsored brought in 20 percent of the attendees to my subsequent event.
The Insider Circle Process
The audience wants to feel exclusive. They want to be part of something, just to know they made a difference. How will you give them the acknowledgement they want? What will you do to retain them and keep them coming back for more? You will do things for your audience that no one else is really carrying out.
For example, our mall client receives 100,000 shoppers every Black Friday. They only have 12,500 parking spaces to accommodate them. What did we do? We created a Twitter account where we reserved 98 of the spaces just for their most influential twitter followers. We used a tool called Twitonomy in order to find this data. This did not cost us a thing but it gave us a content strategy to help make our most valuable customers feel special.
One of our high-end Hollywood singer/songwriter clients has over 5 million fans on her fan page. You are probably wondering how she got all these fans and if they are fake? Nope, these are real fans. What’s the catch? She simply releases her music one week earlier to her fans on Facebook than she does to everyone else. If you want to be able to hear her next album before anyone else then you must be a fan. What did this cost us? Not a single dime. What did she get? She delivered a ton of value. She is able to share her music and have her fans share the music on their networks as well. She was able to break her record in digital sales last year.
Best Practice: Integrate your social networks into your sales process. Find out who your biggest influencers are and make them feel special.
Which strategy did you find the most insightful? Please comment below!
Sweta Patel is a San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur whose company is Global Marketing Tactics.
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