Since we are marching through June, I thought now would be a good time to ask how things were going and to offer a suggestion on how to improve the rest of your 2014. But, you don’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been, so let me start by asking:
- Spending the same on advertising as last year or less?
- Spending more on advertising as this time last year?
- Spending less on advertising as this time last year?
Whatever your answer, is that what you budgeted for the year?
Now let’s talk about what is working. Where would you say you are getting the best return for your marketing?
Are you getting good results from online advertising, offline ads, direct mail? What is bringing in the most leads?
Are you converting a higher percentage of leads this year over last year? In other words, are there more buyers than shoppers?
Do you think the economy is recovering in your area or are you still feeling the pinch?
Now, here’s how to improve:
A lot of the work I do with my clients could almost be classified as therapy sessions. I ask a lot of questions, prodding them about their businesses and what they’re doing to improve their bottom line using marketing and advertising.
Many times they don’t have the answer that I am looking for. They are too busy just trying to meet payroll and get the job done to worry about little things like bringing in new business. I don’t mean that sarcastically, but unfortunately marketing falls way down the bottom of the list on a day-to-day basis for many contractors. It’s something they remember to do in the fall or right after the holidays in January, but this is a full time job, I assure you.
So I have come up with a checklist that you can use everyday to make sure you keep your marketing sharp everyday.
First, let’s talk about your offer
1. What is your offer in the marketplace right now that makes your clients or customers choose you over your competition?
2. How do you want your prospects to respond to your advertising? — Phone call, e-mail or walk in? Are you making it easy for them to do that?
3. What product or service would you use as a loss leader to gain new business in a delicate economy?
Now let’s talk about your current advertising
1. What exactly (be specific) are you doing right now to attract more customers?
2. What are you doing to protect old customers from going to your competition?
3. What is your competition doing to steal business away from you?
4. How do you monitor the effectiveness of your advertising?
5. Are you sure your advertising is targeting buyers or are you just reaching everyone?
Now we’re going to get into your value
1. Value is what allows you to keep your prices steady, so make sure you showcase your business to the exact type of client or customer that matters most to you.
2. Doing things the same way everyone else does put you at the same group, what are you doing to add value to your product or service which will allow you to maintain or increase your price?
3. What add-on services or products do you have available that would make you more desirable to do business with than your competition? If your answer here is zero, you’re doing it wrong.
Finally, you need to always have answer to these two questions; what is the biggest benefit customers have by doing business with you? 2) What do you want your customers to think or feel or say after they’ve done business with you?
Having solid answers to the questions above will put you head and shoulders above your competition. I know because I’ve probably talked to them and I get the answer I got in the second paragraph above…I don’t know. So doing this will strengthen your resolve to make sure what you put out into the marketplace helps you every day.