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Marketing and other voodoo

“I just don’t know what is working and what isn’t working.”  Have you ever thought or said that about your business marketing strategy?  Do you have a strategy?  Is it the radio ads that are working?  Is it the Google ads?  Is it organic search?  Is it word of mouth and referrals?  I don’t know.  Even when a customer says “We found you on the internet” what does that even mean?  You’re probably listed on sites you didn’t even know you were listed on.

Lost at sea or headed toward land?

What do you do if you can’t put your finger on it?  I’m a bit of a stickler for details and the details are eluding me.  The good thing, is that something seems to be working.  Are your customers still coming in?    Mine are.  I’m just not sure exactly why.  I’ve blogged about this very issue before and yet I’m still unable to collect the data in a fashion that tells me what is working.

I’ve been told that a potential customer who actually needs your service needs to see your advertising between seven and twelve times just to “maybe” think about using your service.  Maybe.  So maybe, just maybe (that’s a lot of maybes) the equations is the sum of all parts equals one customer.  I really don’t know just yet but you can be sure I’m going to find out.

Here’s what I know so far.  Marketing that does not give direct feedback is sort of like magic to me.  Radio for example, I have no idea who is hearing my message.  I only get a report saying that the ad played.  Whoopee.  I knew that going in.  I even have a specific phone number to track calls but that is not even a fool proof method.  What does work is talking to people directly.  I like that.  I like the feedback.

So I am paddling in the lake of marketing uncertainty only really knowing that I’m exerting effort but the tide seems to be sloshing me all around without a discernible course.

What’s worked for you?

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  1. June 13, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Mr Reiter,

    The funny thing about marketing, is that there is no right or wrong way. Actually the only wrong way is to stop trying, but there are hundreds of ways to market. Try them all and keep the ones that work and trash the ones that don’t. But some of your marketing needs time to gain traction and you have to recognize and learn which ones those are. It took me a year or so to start getting regular business from Twitter. But that’s a long term relationship based method. I don’t cold call anymore, but there is a guy in another office in town who does and is killing it. Find what’s works, what you like, do some research, ask your successful collegues and build a plan.

  2. June 13, 2011 at 11:51 am

    What is appropriate is that your marketing mix is right for your business. If you have got into the situation where you don’t know what works and what doesn’t, then I suggest a pause in activity. Choose one medium and make a change in isolation and measure the effects you get from that. Repeat with another aspect of the communications mix and so on. Over time you will have isolated the key drivers of response.
    However, if you can talk face to face to your prospects and customers, then just ask them why they buy or why they don’t.

  3. June 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Matt,

    Your comment was stuck in my spam folder! How rude of my spam folder.

    I agree that you have to keep at it. I’m thinking of giving my agents a short questionnaire to have my customers fill out. We have HOURS of waiting around time while we wait to complete our transaction.

    Also, I’m finding that cultivating relationship directly with customers and influencers to be a much better route to sustained growth. Hand shaking. I like the direct feedback.

    Matt

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