Small Business Marketing Techniques and Return on Investment, ROI
How to increase your marketing ROI by recording and reporting on quality information. Then selecting the best small business marketing techniques...
Marketing has got to be right at the top of the 'wish we could get better results list' for many small businesses and their MDs. News flash... marketing is about ROI (return on investment)! If your marketing techniques do not provide you with a return on your investment, they are crap!
For SMEs it is vital that marketing techniques deliver return on investment almost immediately, because without results in month 1, 2 or 3... you will not have any money to invest in further marketing. So, I ask you...
- What is your ROI from your marketing overall?
- What is your ROI from each of your individual marketing techniques?
- What is your acquisition cost per new client or sale overall?
- What is your acquisition cost per new client or sale for each individual marketing technique?
- What is your acquisition cost per new lead or enquiry overall?
- What is your acquisition cost per new lead or enquiry for each individual marketing technique?
Don't know the answers to these questions? ... Then how the heck can you expect to get better results? Magic beans won't help.
Hey, I understand it's tough... you're running a business, you're flat out as it is, you wear 5 different hats as it is. This is just another task to add to the to do list, or the nice to have list, right?
Well, no. It is now much much easier for small business to measure return on marketing investment. There is an army of savvy people and tools out there that solve this very issue. And that in turn will lead you to much better marketing results by selecting the best performing strategies and techniques. You see, what we are after is the right information.
Why Information is the Key
If you've been in business for more than a few years it's highly likely that you've heard the old saying.. "you can't manage what you don't measure". Now, most people nod their heads in agreement, but very few have all the information they need across all areas of the business. 'Knowledge is Power', another well known saying... for business owners and MDs quality (or the right) knowledge is the key to success. Quality knowledge comes from the right information.
The better the quality of the information, the better your knowledge is, the better your decisions are, the better your actions are, the better your results, the happier everyone in your team and life will be.
I found out a long time ago that if you want to deliver better performance in any area the easiest and first place to start is by recording and reporting on it. This instantly brings no bull facts to the table and draws the attention of everyone involved to deliver better results. This simple action alone has got to be my number 1 marketing or sales technique... Implement a Recording and Reporting System.
Small business marketing techniques
There is no magic list of small business marketing techniques which work for every small business wanting to get the maximum ROI. Each business should be unique and so you'll need to develop your own "[insert your company name] Marketing System" where you select the best strategies, tactics & techniques for your business. However, I'm not a huge fan of the typical marketing consultant / business coach or consultant default cover my butt speak like "well you have to test and measure". It makes me want to say... "Ummm, what about I take £20,000 or $20,000 from your bottom line net profit and tell you its all good because we are testing and measuring?"... This is mad, why don't we learn from others all around us that are doing well and thus we minimise the expense of 'test'. So... in this spirit, here are the top techniques I currently use myself and with clients to get RESULTS and max ROI;
- Marketing Fundamentals
- Positioning Statement and USP
- Lead Generation Offers (No Risk & High Value Offer that has the potential customer providing their contact details in exchange for something of value to them and permission to communicate with them)
- Case Studies
- Online Video
- Archived Webinars
- Live Seminars
- Live Webinars
- Experience Days / Evenings
- Lead Nurturing Offers (Engage the Lead in your content, company, and the experience your company/product/service is about so that they)
- As per lead generation offer types listed above.
- Outbound Marketing
- Direct Methods
- Direct to Target Market (Only to high value very targeted suspect list)
- Cold Calling
- Direct Mail
- Direct eMail
- Phone, eMail, Phone
- Phone, Mail, Phone
- Strategic Partners or Referral Partners (Only to those with high direct influence with your target market, or those able to directly provide plenty of repeat business)
- Cold Calling
- Specifically approach at Networking Event
- Mass Advertising Methods
- Public Relations
- Networking Events
- Inbound Marketing
- Website Enhancement
- Landing Pages and Conversion Pages
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
- Social Media
- Permission Marketing
- Newsletter (eMail and/or Print)
- Direct Mail
- Direct eMail
This list is almost worthless! That is, unless you do 3 vital things;
- IMPLEMENT it,
- Implement it well (there can be a world of difference between how you execute different campaigns using the same basic marketing technique, get it right or wrong...the results will show up in your ROI. You must use best practice to produce the best results), and
- have a Recording and Reporting System to see where to focus your limited resources (your time, your staffs time, your marketing budget).
Successful implementation is ALWAYS the hurdle that stops small businesses improving results with marketing, but one of the key ingredients to overcoming this hurdle is to have quality information and your eye focused on it. This comes by way of a recording and reporting system...
Setting up Recording & Reporting for Marketing Return on Investment (ROI)
You can do this using a range of methods to suit any budget and level of sophistication required;
What should you record & report?
- Paper base manual daily/weekly/monthly marketing & sales recording sheets. Then reporting sheet.
- Excel spreadsheet
- Accounting software
- CRM software
- Marketing software
- The Profit Funnel - # of Suspects/Visits, conversion rate 1, # of Leads, conversion rate 2, # of Opportunities, conversion rate 3, # of customers/sales, total value of customers/sales, average sale value, total gross profit, average gross profit per sale.
- Marketing ROI, Overall - direct revenue from marketing campaigns, direct gross profit from campaigns, marketing expense, ROI (gross profit - marketing expense), ROI%, acquisition cost per lead, acquisition cost per opportunity, acquisition cost per sale.
- Marketing ROI, Tactic 1 - direct revenue from marketing campaigns in tactic 1, direct gross profit from campaigns in tactic 1, tactic 1 marketing expense, tactics 1 ROI (gross profit - marketing expense), ROI%, tactic 1 acquisition cost per lead, tactic 1 acquisition cost per opportunity, tactic 1 acquisition cost per sale.
- Marketing ROI, Tactic 2 - etc
All of this above is just a part of what makes up what should be a clear map or system for how you conduct your marketing, an Integrated Marketing & Sales System. But, if you start with this simple tactic... start recording and reporting on your marketing information, you'll get better results immediately!