1. Listen to the Voice of Your Customer
In a perfect world it would be great to interact one-on-one with a large portion of your customer base - however, for most businesses, that’s not realistic. So here are some ways you can make sure you are hearing the voice of your customer:
- Brief Customer Satisfaction Surveys or the use of Net Promoter Software (NPS) – There are multiple companies which offer NPS including Listen360.
- Social Media – Every business owner should be constantly monitoring Facebook, Yelp, Google Reviews, Twitter, etc. To assist in doing this there are a variety of reputation management software services, which will notify you when someone has commented about your business on Social Media.
2. Treat Your Customer Database as a Media
The effectiveness of having a good customer database cannot be overstated. These are people who have already decided to do business with you and are your best source for additional business, referrals and reviews. However, none of this can happen if you don’t have accurate email addresses, phone numbers and/or other relevant information. There are a lot of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools available – one of the most well-known being Salesforce. These tools can be used to, not only, house this information, but help develop and maintain an effective communication strategy.
3. Track and Verify Everything You Do
The #1 tool to help in the digital domain is to have a tracking number on your website, as well as tracking numbers on landing pages, digital ads, newspaper/publication ads and every environment where you are using a phone number to solicit a response. To verify what you are being told from some of your various vendors, it is a good idea to have an independent auditing process. Look at resources like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and other activity tracking tools to see the actual results and conversions of your marketing efforts.
4. Check All Directories and Digital Media for Accuracy
One of the very important factors of an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is to make sure that your listings in Google Maps, Yelp and all other directory services match the Name, Phone Number and Address that you have on your website. It must be EXACTLY the same. If your address uses an abbreviation for Avenue (Ave.), you must use that same abbreviation for everything. Claim your business on as many directories as possible and again, confirm the accuracy of the information. All of this is extremely important for reaching mobile users.
Recent research shows that over 50% of all smartphone owners use their smartphone to get addresses, phone numbers and directions.
5. Limit Your Media Choices and Activities to Only Those You Can Afford to Make an Effective Impression In
When you try to buy a little bit of everything, you end up with a whole lot of nothing. As you consider each media option and campaign possibility, evaluate whether your investment will be significant enough to be impactful. Sometimes media vendors develop campaigns based on what they think your spending threshold might be – not how much investment it actually takes to get the result you want. The last important thing related to media is avoid “Shiny Object Syndrome”. You read an article about Snapchat or some other new, digital platform and decide that your business needs to be on Snapchat. Then you read another article about something else that is “hot” and you start doing that as well. Evaluate your choices based on your target audience, your specific goals and your available financial resources to be effective. Sometimes the best decision is to invest more in what is already working than entering into a new medium.
It may sound a little overwhelming and depending on the structure of your business, you may want to assign someone or hire a company to ensure you’re getting the best return from all your investments. Too often we see clients trying to buy advertising solutions without properly analyzing the effectiveness of each thing they are doing. Pick any one of the above 5 items and do it today - your marketing will be more effective going forward!