Category

Marketing Performance

which supplier - from the buyer's perspective

The most powerful question in marketing

By A Helping Hand, Marketing Performance

which supplier - from the buyer's perspectiveClue: it helps you improve your marketing resource allocation

I had someone contact me through LinkedIn the other day, asking to talk about what SME Needs does and, in particular, about marketing ROI.

At this point I must admit I was a little sceptical, seeing as he described himself as a strategy and marketing consultant; why would I want to talk to someone who is a competitor?

The conversation started with a question about how you track the performance of a specific marketing activity. Is it possible?  Now of course this depends. Pretty much anything digital can easily be tracked; direct mail can simply use promo codes and you know exactly what happens if you are using telemarketing.

The conversation moved forward to how to attach specific sales opportunities to marketing activities.  For me that brings up a conversation about the most powerful question in marketing – that is:

Q: How did you find us?

All you then do is ensure this is recorded for every sales opportunity you have.

From there, its a few calculations to understand your marketing performance.

1. How many enquiries do you get from any particular channel and how much does it cost per enquiry?

Obviously the more you get, the better, but only if they are costing an amount you can continue to fund through sales delivered through the channel

2. How many enquiries do you need for each sale?

This will give you a great idea on just how much marketing you need to do in order to achieve the goals you have for your business. Do you agree with this? Do you believe this is the most powerful question in marketing?

I hope this proves to be useful and if you need anymore help on measuring the performance of your marketing, give me a shout.

Tracking isn’t just for rednecks

By Customer Understanding, Marketing Performance, Social Media, Technology & your business
  • A broken twig
  • fresh footprints
  • Frightened birds
  • Canddi return trigger!?!

All are signs a tracker will use when hunting their prey.  Knowing where their prey is through tracking is key for the hunter if they want to eat tonight.

The same goes for the your business (with the last one on the list only really for businesses).  Knowing who is looking at you and your online presence can really help you to grow your business. It’s key to be tracking your marketing

Let’s split this into two: you and your business.

Who’s looking at you?

As the owner or director of the business, you are a figurehead for the business.  People will look at you as an indicator of what the business is all about. There’s a few places people will go to in order to look at you:

LinkedIn

Both your personal and company profiles are likely to be looked at.  Are you happy they portray you well?  The good thing about LinkedIn is that you know who is looking at you and when they looked.  This means you can return the favour and then make a decision about what to do next.  Are they a potential client, a possible supplier or simply someone who could be a useful person to network with.

Twitter

To an extent, this depends on whether you tweet as you or as the business, but they’re still going to look. Keep it consistent and interesting. Most of all make sure you’re interacting.

Who’s looking at your business?

There are many tools you can use to check out your website’s performance, starting with good old Google.

Google Analytics

An oldy but a goody.  At the most basic level, you can see how many unique views you get, where they came from, how many pages are being looked at and what pages are liked/disliked (check out the bounce rate).  At the other end of the scale, you can see whether viewers are following the path you expect them to, what they are spending and what your demographics look like.

Check out Audience/technology/network as well.  You can see the names of some of the companies checking you out!

Canddi

No, I haven’t mis-spelt it, there are 2 d’s.  There are a number of more advance web analytics tools out there, including Trovus, Lead Forensics and IDFingerprint.  My favourite at the moment is Canddi.  Not only have they agreed to a free trial for all my clients, they won’t tie you in for a long-term contract and you can set it up to tell you when people return to your website.  Would you like the next conversation you have with a prospect to be timely and absolutely relevant?

I could go on forever about the various tools you can use to track who’s watching you online, but let’s save the 1984 bit for another time.   The simple truth of the matter is that keeping an eye on who is looking at you means you get a chance to interact with them, you know what they are interested in and you can have both a highly relevant conversation and one at the right time.

I wonder if your competition are doing the same thing?

Need a hand tracking your marketing performance? Call us on 020 8634 5911 or click here and we’ll call you.

 

 

Don’t Bottle – Share!

By A Helping Hand, Marketing Performance

If you follow SME Needs on Twitter, you will have seen a few tweets based around common sayings such as A problem shared is a problem halved or Two heads are better than one.

These sayings are often considered as old-fashioned or twee, but they’re still so true.  Think back to the last time you went – Oh Yeah. Was that when someone added to a conversation or discussion and then, suddenly, things made more sense?

See, I told you two heads were better than one

Let’s think of some examples:

  • Napoleon had his Josephine
  • Susan Ma has Lord Sugar
  • even Tony Blair talked with Alastair Campbell!

At the other end of the scale, Nero spent too much time talking to his fiddle, proving that it is better to have someone to talk to about your issues and if you talk about them, chances are they become less of a problem and great things can happen

I hope this is useful – talk to you soon.

 

Visitor Movement

By Customer Understanding, Marketing Performance

How are viewers moving around your website?

When you build your website, you think you have a logical path through the site. You want visitors to arrive, find what they want and then move to “Contact Us” so they can get in touch with you. Sometimes this isn’t the case and so you need to understand what paths are being taken so you can make changes to get your website visitors through your site.  This is where Google Analytics comes in.  The new version provides a tool called Visitor Flow.  this tool provides a graphic image of the routes through, and out, of your website that your visitors take.

If you’ve got a Google Analytics account, make sure you’re using the New Version. If you’re still on the Old Version, click on New Version just below the top right hand corner. Once you’ve clicked you will see a graphic representation of how your website visitors move through your website.  Starting from their country of origin. The image below shows that the majority of visitors come from the UK but go to a number of different pages.  The visitors from the USA, India, France and others all go to the Home Page.

image of Google Analytics visitor flow, supporting a small business marketing article for SME Needs Ltd

Let’s work our way across the image and explain what it is telling you and how this can help you to improve the performance of your website.

Starting Pages

Below Starting Pages it shows the number of visitors in the measured period (default is the last 30 days).  Next to that is the number of people who left without looking at another page (Bounced as it’s known). The thickness of each line represents the volume of visitors to each page so you can see 120 landed on the Home Page etc.

First Interaction

From each initial landing page you can then see lines moving to the right and joining up with another page name.  In our example 15 people went straight to Contact Details, 11 to the blog etc.  Of the 75 visitors who had that first interaction, 29 then left the website, leaving the rest to make a 2nd interaction.

Further Interactions

On your Google Analytics page you will be able to follow the image right for 12 interactions, giving you a detailed understanding of how visitors are using your website.

What does this all mean?

What does this all mean?  Simple; for your Marketing Director, or senior management, they can see where visitors go and, more importantly, don’t go. Are they following the path you want them to? If not where are they going? Are they clicking on the internal links you have on individual pages? If not, perhaps you need to make them more obvious or you need to improve the content

There is a great deal to be learnt from Google Analytics about the performance of your website and Visitor Flow is just one of the new features that I particularly like.  I hope you will find it useful too

How to qualify your prospects as a small business

By A Helping Hand, Marketing Performance

Are your properly qualifying your prospects?

As a small business, of course you want to generate as much business as possible. Your marketing is aimed at generating as many prospects as possible. However, not every prospect is going to bring their business your way, and so it is vital that you identify which are worth your time and effort and which are not. Being a small business, you don’t have the time to entertain every single prospect; you have other tasks that need attending to. So how should you go about qualifying your prospects?

Can you provide a solution?

The prospect needs to be clear as to the exact nature of your products or services. Similarly, you need to grasp precisely what it is the prospect requires or how you may be able to provide a solution to a particular problem. There is no point in proceeding any further if the prospect is looking for something you simply do not provide, so it’s best to just walk away at the first possible opportunity. Ensure your website and any marketing material is clear and updated regularly so anyone who comes across it can easily understand what it is you offer.

Do you have the time?

This is something that is often overlooked with qualifying prospects. Yes, it may be very nice to receive an enquiry, but if you don’t have the time to fulfil it, then you need to say so from the outset. If you take on the work but know that you already have more than enough to fill your time, then some or all of it is going to suffer, and you could ultimately lose out on future business. Check with the prospect first what sort of timelines they have and then consider whether your schedule will permit the work. It is believed that most businesses have 15% pipeline close rate efficiency, meaning that time and resources go into something that 85% of the time doesn’t drive revenue – don’t let that 85% include time wasted on prospects.

Does the prospect have the funds?

The last thing you want is to press ahead with the deal only to find that they cannot pay you for the goods or services. One way of ensuring that a prospect is likely to pay is by running a credit check or gaining access to company credit reports. This can be an incredibly useful way of highlighting whether a prospect has a healthy credit history and could save you a considerable amount of time and money in the long run. Company credit reports can let you view important information such as credit rating and limit, 5 year accounts, CCJ information and full director information, as well as links through to debt scores to find which of your outstanding debts are most likely to be paid, and access to any media stories about that particular company.

Are you speaking to the decision maker?

A sure-fire way to waste time and effort is to do your dealing through someone who isn’t the main decision maker in a company. If you only speak to an assistant or someone who is not the decision maker, then you will likely have to wait for them to feed the information back to the relevant people, which takes time and could be misinterpreted. Always ask to speak to someone in authority, such as a Sales Director, and question the sincerity of a request from someone who is not willing to talk to you themselves.

These are just a few points you should consider when qualifying your prospects, and each prospect will have to be handled slightly differently, but they should give you a good basis from which to start.

 

Do People still buy People?

By Marketing Performance

The old adage is that people buy people and that decisions are often made within seconds of the start of a meeting.  Is this still the case?

Absolutely but I believe there is a condition attached now:  People buy people with demonstrable experience.

I spoke about this a couple of weeks ago when talking about a piece of website review work I was doing with a client. The discussion was about what pages were important on their website and I argued that evidence (their What We Do pages) had some of the highest traffic levels of any part of the site.  Google Analytics helped me to prove this…. but I digress slightly.

In order for you to get the opportunity to get in front of someone and help them buy your services, your marketing material needs to persuade them to get in touch.

Let’s assume that you are looking for IT support and you do a Google search.  Two of the top four have case studies that can be easily seen and read; the other two either don’t have them or I couldn’t find them.  If they are not prepared to talk about what they have delivered to their clients, would you trust them to be able to deliver what you need?

It’s the same whether you are looking for a good restaurant, for a web designer or an accountant. Reading positive comments and how they have helped their customers makes you much more likely to pick up the phone, so please make sure your website and marketing material demonstrates how you can help new customers.

If you would like me to review your evidence, give me a call on 07770 970 557 of complete the form below and I will call you. As your Virtual Marketing Director, I’m sure we can help you improve your small business marketing performance.

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I know 50% of my marketing works, just not which 50%…

By Marketing Performance

Which 50% of my marketing works?

The best person to ask which part of your marketing worked is………… your customer.

when was the last time you asked a prospective client how they found you and then recorded it somewhere?

As a small business your time and your money are both valuable commodities.  Your money you may get back but your time is lost forever.  If you could have some of both, by knowing which marketing activities are working for you, how much better do you think your productivity would be and how much healthier your bottom line you be?

By asking your customer how they found you, you gain from a series of learnings:

  • You can see which routes to market are generating  the most suspects, prospects and sales.
  • You can match your marketing campaign expenditure to income and generate campaign return on investment (ROI) statistics
  • You will have an insight into the quality of your pipeline management and sales techniques (from the rate of drop-off through the sales pipeline)

The information generated and the insights achieved allow you to then make quality decisions around your marketing activities and budgets.  Even if you simply stop and pocket the money usually spent on a poor performing marketing campaign, your profits will improve.

For further information or assistance in improving your marketing performance, give me a call on 07770 970 557 or click here and I will call you.

I hope this is useful to you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

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bounce rate statistics from Google Analytics. Image to support article on creating more traffic for your website

How to attract the right traffic to your website

By A Helping Hand, Marketing Performance, Small Business Marketing

Creating more website traffic is a key goal for most small businesses, as more traffic means more business – right? Most of the time, yes, but not always. There is good website traffic and then bad traffic. Here are 15 tips on how to attract the right traffic to your website…

Good Website Traffic

In a perfect world, every person who visited your website would get in touch, as they want to buy what your small business sells. In reality, a 1-2% contact rate is going to deliver a great flow of leads into your business. There are a number of different ways to recognise good website traffic, so you can do more to encourage it.

Bounce rate

Do you know the bounce rate on your website? If you don’t you need to as it tells you whether you are making a good first impression. Google defines a bounce as:

The percentage of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further.

If you haven’t got Google Analytics on your website, click here to set up your account and get your web developers to add it.
A healthy bounce rate is 15 – 40%. If it is above that, you are attracting the wrong visitors, or you are not giving them what they are looking for on the first page they land on.

How to improve your bounce rate
  1. Look at what pages have a good bounce rate, and which don’tbounce rate statistics from Google Analytics. Image to support article on creating more traffic for your website
  2. Is there a big look or feel difference between the content on the good and not so good pages?
  3. Use Search Console to identify the keywords that are generating natural, or paid, search for that page.
  4. Shape the content so the viewer is getting better information when they land on those pages.

Returning Traffic

How much of your traffic is returning? If viewers are returning to your website, it suggests that they are interested. Google Analytics shows you two stats to help this: New vs. returning and Depth of Visit.
To increase the amount of returning traffic, look at the pages that are being returned to and create more content like that. Alternatively, consider using remarketing as a way of getting people back to your site after they’ve visited.

Engaged Traffic

If your website is grabbing the attention of your visitors, they will stay and read more of the content before getting in touch. Again, two numbers to keep an eye on: Length of visit, and Number of Pages Visited. The longer the visit and the higher the number of pages visited, the better.

How to improve website engagement
  1. Look at what pages have a high Exit Rate. They either do not have useful information or they don’t clearly show the viewer where to go next.
  2. Review your website routing. Is it logical and giving the viewer a good route around your website?
  3. Are there appropriate Calls to Action on the website. Too few will mean people don’t get in touch and too many will seem desperate, and put people off.

Traffic that is making contact

Do you know how many people are calling you (is there a phone number on the website?) or completing a Contact Request form? These are the lifeblood of your small business, giving you a flow of leads you can convert to new business. Without a steady flow of new leads, you are going to struggle to achieve your growth and performance targets.

How to increase the number of people who contact you

1. Add a phone number. Too many websites lack a phone number and so will stop people getting in touch.
2. Ensure they are links to your Contact Us page on every page of the site. For some landing pages, you may want to add a Contact Form to those as well. Not too many though (see above).

Are your mailing list and social media working?Google analytics screen shot to support article about increasing website traffic

Do you know how much traffic hits your website from your social media activity or your email marketing? If these marketing channels are part of your marketing mix, you will be investing considerable amounts of time on them. You need to know whether the time is being invested wisely. Google Analytics will show you how much of your website traffic is coming from these channels.

From the right keywords

Google Analytics, Search Console and other premium tools, such as SEMrush or Moz, will tell you what keywords are driving traffic to your website. You want to drive more traffic from the right keywords, but ensure that the wrong ones (cheap, free, in another geographic region, etc.) are not driving traffic.
For Google Ads, this is simple; you simply add negative keywords to your campaigns so that Google doesn’t show your Ads to people who type them into the search bar. For natural search, this isn’t quite as easy.
You cannot block natural search, but you can ensure that your content and metadata doesn’t include the negative keywords you want to avoid. If “free” or “cheap” are being used in different parts of your website, in conjunction, with your service or product offering, you run the risk of getting natural search traffic that you don’t want.

The Bad traffic

Bad website traffic isn’t just a waste of bandwidth. It’s a waste of your time too. If you are getting enquiries coming in from people who are expecting something different to what you are selling, they take up time before you qualify them out. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Traffic that Bounces or leaves quickly

Google may not use bounce rate data directly within its algorithms, but it does pay attention to how long people stay on your site after a search. If they see lots of people leaving very quickly, that tells them your site isn’t providing what people are looking for when using the keywords they searched on. Google will then move you down the rankings for that search term.

Traffic from outside your target area

If you only sell to companies in the UK, the last thing you want is traffic, and potentially enquiries, from outside the UK. Appearing in their searches is simply wasting their time. Enquiries from them are wasting your time. Nobody wins.

Stopping this type of website traffic isn’t always easy. Probably the easiest way to limit the amount of out of area traffic is to talk more about the area you want business from. You’ll see on our Contact Us page a map showing where our clients have been based. We’re actively looking for clients across the UK, so we use the map to show this. Look at how your website content shows where you want to work. Include an address on the site (not just in the Privacy Policy page) so it is very clear. Add a telephone number so the search engines can pick up your area dialling code too.