This is the big one. It’s what everyone wants their marketing to do. Branding? Great. Holding on to happy customers? Of course. Awareness? Sure. But what most people – especially small businesses – want their marketing to do is simple: generate new business.
Setting Your Marketing Expectations
In order to have a real marketing plan, you have to have at least a little bit of data. Maybe you know it offhand or maybe it’s data to gather, but to put together a real plan, you need to figure out the average spend a buyer has with you. (Sometimes that’s referred to as client value or lifetime value of a client). Then you need to keep track of what you’re spending on marketing, so you can track your return. Tally up what you spend on your marketing – and line item it out. You should be able to see how many people responded to your postcards. How many clicks and conversions you got on a Google ad.
Then, simply look at how much you spent for each marketing channel, how many leads you created through that channel, and how many of those leads actually converted to buyers. Sound complicated? As long as you’re tracking your spend and recording your sales, it isn’t. You can also use online ROI calculators like this one to help you get started.
Get a Process, Work a Process
OK, at this point, it’s clear that you’re actually serious about generating new business. So you need to show you’re serious. It’s important to remember here: Generating New Business is a little bit like speed dating. You will probably have to talk to a lot of people before you meet that special someone (or someones!)
The first thing you need to do is define a process that moves people from “Who are you?” to “Oh, maybe!” to “How do I buy?” In marketing-speak, this is called your funnel. Your marketing and sales funnel can be as simple or as complicated as you like. The most important thing is that it matches the needs of your business.
Next, you’ll need to create some definitions and outline some actions you want to take at each phase. Let’s say you adopt a simple funnel like the one above.
Ask yourself: How am I attracting interested prospects? The answer to this question would often be brand and outbound marketing. Send direct mail. Run social media ads, search and display ads. Go to community events.
Next, it’s time to attract interest. Define specific tactics you’ll use to find out if people might buy from you. Run promotional deals. Give away content – like a free ebook or book – on your website. Set up a chatbot on your Facebook business page that asks people why they’re there. If people sign up for free stuff, fill out your forms or interact with your bots, great news – they’re interested.
Once you’ve got people’s attention, you need to qualify them. Now, you need to determine if your prospects are a good fit for your product. Often, this is where your marketing and your sales shake hands. It’s time for a conversation. With some face-to-face time (or a personal email or two), you can determine if you’ve got a solution your prospect might need. It’s also your opportunity to fully explain the value of your services.
This phase also is when you might employ a drip email campaign. Say you’ve captured a prospects eye and squirreled away their email address and information. But maybe it isn’t the right time for them to buy. Send them regular emails (like an e-newsletter) or mailings (like Essential Living magazine) to stay top of mind with them for when it is time to buy.
That Magical Moment – Convert
Once you’ve rounded up your prospects, captured their attention, got them interested and shown them how great you are, there’s only one thing left to do: Convert them!
This Is Just the Start
Generating new business isn’t easy, and we’ve only touched the surface of what tactics to employ to do so. (You could spend a lifetime familiarizing yourself with just the digital marketing options out there!) What’s important for you is: 1) You have a plan. 2) That you can measure your results. 3) That you continue to refine your approach as the market changes.