Local Marketing Optimization – Local Marketing Strategy
As a business owner you get hundreds of calls a year from numerous marketing or advertising agencies. Each agency or marketing company has the next biggest thing in hopes that you will spend the bulk of your marketing dollars with them. They all want it, so before you share a portion of your budget with them, make sure they are worth it! So what can you do to make sure your hard earned money is spent correctly in the world of advertising? Diversify and optimize your marketing strategy.
In this article I am going to discuss ways to make the highest percentage of your marketing dollars work best for you over both the long and short term.
We have all heard that only 25% of every dollar spent on marketing actually works. That means 75% of every dollar is wasted on advertising that is not helping you bring in customers or generate revenue. That is a lot of money being wasted. This problem is really not a problem at all, if you know how to market wisely, diversified and optimized.
As a business owner you specialize in your service. You know your business like the back of your hand and can probably do most of the work in your sleep (that is if you even get to sleep). However, if you are like most business owners you have to rely on the word of your advertising consultant or ad agency, and hope they are placing you and your marketing dollars in the best possible places for returns. Unfortunately, in most cases, you are just adding to the wasted 75% of your dollars.
So how can you make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck?
1) Research. You want to research the best source of advertising for your specific product or service. While a tree service may get a lot of calls from a direct mail campaign with a special offer, an attorney will probably not get a return at all. This is why it is important to research the marketing platforms before spending your money in these platforms.
2) Create a proper ad. Creating the proper ad can make the difference between a successful campaign and a failed one. You want to make sure to create your ad for the target audience. If your target audience is a child, you may want to use animation. Whereas if you are targeting a professional audience you will want to use a more professional and creative way to peak their interest in the products or service you are offering.
3) Branding. Make sure all advertising you are doing corresponds to your brand across all platforms. In other words, if your logo is blue and green make sure to use blue and green in all your advertising. Branding plays a huge roll in your long term marketing strategy. Don’t confuse your potential customers with mixed messages or color schemes.
4) Track all results from all mediums. Use a similar but slightly different offer in each medium. Use call tracking numbers on each piece so you can know exactly how many calls you are getting from each ad (note: do not allow the marketing company to put all these separate numbers online. For one it could skew the results, but even more importantly could hurt your online efforts).
5) In-house tracking. Make sure the person answering your phone is always asking the customer how they found you. This is the number one thing we see a lot of businesses neglect. This is very important to optimizing your local marketing strategy. You need to know where your customers are coming from & what that client is worth to you over the period of one year. Have an excel spread sheet where you can enter the data as the job is completed.
6) Analyze your results. Run a 6 month campaign with each platform (note: some may require a 1 year. If this is the case track in 3 month periods). After each 3 month period look at your call tracking reports, website traffic analytics & excel spread sheets and analyze the data. It is good to do this every 3 months so you can put the 1st quarter up against the 2nd quarter. Some platforms may take a little longer to produce results, but those results could be stronger during quarter 2 so you definitely want to know this information for later ad buys. Recreate ads that aren’t working good after month 3. Sometimes it may be due to your ad not the platform.
7) Remove and rebuy. After 6 months if you are not seeing results, than that form of marketing may not work with your business. If you are not seeing at least 2x your money I would recommend dropping it from your campaign in most cases. However, if you are breaking even, you can think about running another 6 months to see if the audience grows.
8) If you are currently having an ad agency handle your advertising you don’t have to worry about most of the above. The advertising agency you are paying should be tracking results for you (the exception is the excel spread sheet, only you can do that part) and sending you a monthly report. If you are using an ad agency, there is something you will want to track. You want to make sure the agency is placing marketing dollars in places that are beneficial to your company goals, not to their pockets.
Most ad agencies charge you an hourly or set monthly fee to handle your advertising. It helps you because you can just send all those unwanted calls and stress of advertising to your ad consultant, so you can deal with the important things, your business and your customers. The problem is a lot of agencies will only place your ads on TV, Radio and in the newspaper as they will get a 15%kickback from those marketing forums to place your ads with them. That has to leave you wondering, are your advertising dollars being spent correctly? Tracking the results will give you those answers.
Hopefully this article will be helpful in all your marketing efforts. All of the above tips can and should be used with all your marketing platforms. If you track the results, analyze the data and continue future buys accordingly you should be able to spend less money and generate more business. Making your advertising work is more important now than ever. Stop guessing what marketing dollar is the one working, because it is said only 25% of it is working at all.