Actionable Marketing 101
It’s hard to achieve your objectives if you don’t know what you want or have a plan to get there. The same holds for your marketing. Many marketers are so excited about the details of the tactics that they don’t see the big picture. They need marketing goals.
3 Major marketing goals every business can use
Most marketing can be boiled down to three major marketing objectives:
- Get new prospects and customers. Regardless of your industry specialization, continually attracting new prospects and converting them into buyers is critical to your business’s survival. The reason is that even the most loyal customers eventually stop buying. Since the purchase process may take time, especially in a weak economy, customer acquisition must be a part of your on-going plans, even with a strong, high-buying customer base. Other variations include driving more traffic to your web or retail site and generating leads for more complex sales, such as high-ticket items and business-to-business purchases.
- Drive additional sales from current customers in terms of buying more of the same product, buying related product, and/or buying a more expensive version or brand of the product. Acquiring customers is expensive from a marketing perspective. Therefore, it’s critical to maximize the revenue potential of each customer with respect to where they were sourced.
- Reactivate former customers who already know your firm and have stopped buying from you for one reason or another. It’s important to understand those reasons so you can make amends for any miscommunications or poor service.
You may be surprised that I haven’t included branding in this list since many marketers focus on brand building as their dominant marketing goal. The reality is that growing your brand ultimately translates to one of the three efforts outlined above: getting new prospects to test your brand, persuading people with positive brand affiliations to buy more from your offering, and/or motivating people who previously bought from you to buy again.
3 Related metrics to assess your marketing success
After determining your marketing goals, set related metrics to assess your program’s success. This is an important step that many marketers overlook. The benefit of using these three objectives is that they tend to be highly measurable and translate to bottom line results. Branding by contrast, while supporting these goals, doesn’t necessarily convert to sales in the short term. Here’s a list of metrics to track towards achieving each of these goals.
- New prospects and customers. Measure the number of visitors, prospects and buyers. Examine the intermediate steps towards purchase such as email sign up, placing product in shopping cart, and customer service inquiries. Monitor where your traffic comes from and which sources have the highest conversion rate to buyers. Track completed sales, type of product(s) bought and average sales.
- Incremental sales from current customers. Include among the factors to track: the number of products purchased, their relationship to the initial product (the same product in a different color or size, or a product that coordinates with the original purchase), the amount of time between purchases, and whether they refer your firm to their friends and colleagues.
- Former customers. Calculate the number of people who bought from your firm in the past, who stopped buying, and started buying again. Evaluate why they stopped buying from your firm. Do you have a product that is age or need specific, such as baby products? Have you had issues with customer service or are there other factors causing problems? What have you done to make amends for these oversights? Have customers stopped shopping due to concerns discussed on social media platforms?
Setting objectives for your marketing is a critical step to achieving your goals. It enables you to focus on the tactics required, and the metrics to assess your success.
Photo credit: Steven DePolo via Flickr