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Wednesday, 29 July 2015 9:02

Are You Hitting Your Target or Missing the Market?

By - Michael Rader

You’ve chosen a company name, created a website, entered the realm of social media, and are now starting to market yourself. Now what? The answer could be the difference between a successful marketing campaign and a money drain.

There are no one-size-fits-all answers to that question. The first thing you need to determine is who your target market is and what sites they typically visit. Some companies will want to focus their marketing efforts on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Others may do better on LinkedIn or Google+. The bottom line is that your customers are out there; you just need to find them.

Over 56% of Americans have a profile on a social networking site. Of these users, only 36% report that social networks had no influence on their buying decisions during 2014, an extreme drop from 68% the year before. You will waste marketing dollars by trying to focus on all of the possible sites at one time. By analyzing your target market and focusing your efforts on those specific sites, however, you will put your company in a position to experience the most marketing success.

After you devise and implement a sophisticated online marketing campaign, you need to find a way to measure its success. The internet hosts many analytical websites designed to do just that. Some of the more popular sites are Klout, PeerIndex, Twitalyzer, and Crowdbooster. Finding an analytical website that works for you and meets your needs is a paramount part of launching a successful marketing campaign.

One of the first things you need to determine in your marketing efforts is who your target market is. Finding out where on the web those customers currently visit can help you funnel some of that traffic in your direction. You can also join online conversations, forums and chat rooms in order to build a solid reputation. A positive image in the industry can go a long way towards elevating your company’s identity. Another way you can monitor your image is by utilizing Google Alerts, which allows you to find out what people saying about your company. What do your customers think? Are there any mentions at all? The more buzz you can generate regarding your business, the most likely customers are to give your company a look.

What specifically should you look for when measuring the success of your online efforts? Jayson Demers, Marketing Specialist for Forbes Magazine, lists ten marketing metrics that can help you perform your own analysis. Understanding these factors and reacting accordingly can help you maximize your efforts and build the client base you are looking for.

Website Optimization:

Your company’s website should be the main target of your marketing efforts. Measuring total visits can be a good way to monitor its effectiveness. You should expect your amount of visits to grow steadily. If not, there is something lacking on your site. Bounce rate, time on site and load time are a few metrics to keep a close eye on.

New Session:

Breaking down the visits into new visitors and repeats can give you an idea of how fast your online image is spreading. Remember, the goal of your marketing campaign should be both to attract new customers and to retain existing ones.

Channel Specific Traffic:

Once you understand your target market, you can spend more time focusing on attracting specific traffic. Things like income, time of visits, and amount of money spent can give you good intel as far as when and how to market yourself.

Bounce Rate:

Your site’s bounce rate measures the number of visitors that leave without engaging in further exploration. If a viewer looks at your company’s home page and exits without investigating inner links, that viewer has “bounced.” Your goal is to engage them as long as possible.

Total Conversions:

It is one thing to get people to your site, but that alone won’t make you successful. Unless customers take some type of action after visiting your site or researching your company, your business will still be doomed.

Lead to Close Ratio:

The lead to close ratio is a measure of the number of leads or contacts that turn into actual sales. By dividing total sales by total leads, you will find out how effective your marketing is. A high lead to close ratio is indicative of a company that knows how to seal the deal. A low ratio indicates trouble somewhere in the process.

For example, if you received 120 leads in a given month and had 40 sales, your lead to close ration would be 3 and may indicate a problem in some area of the marketing/sales funnel.

Customer Retention Rate:

Retention is the ultimate goal of your marketing campaign and your customer service. Unhappy customers can cause problems in two ways. First of all, they will not be repeat customers. Beyond that, however, negative word of mouth can deter potential customers before you even have a chance to meet.

Customer Value:

Customer value can be quite hard to quantify, especially for new businesses. To determine your customer value, you have to take into account all sales the average customer will initiate over the course of your relationship or over a given time period. Estimating the number of transactions you can likely expect from each customer and then determining a related value can help you plan your marketing efforts accordingly.

For example, if you had 140 customers who will average 4 transactions over the next year at a value of $20 each, you would have a customer value of $11,200.

Cost Per Lead:

Marketing can be very expensive, which is why it is vital to use it to your advantage. An expensive marketing plan would be a sound investment if it led to a plethora of new clients. To determine your cost per lead, divide your average monthly cost of marketing by your number of leads.

For example, if your monthly marketing cost is $3,000 and it generates 100 leads, your cost per lead is only $30. The lower your cost per lead, the better.

Projected Return on Investment (ROI):

The ultimate goal of your marketing plan is to generate business. Determining your ROI is a good way to discover if your efforts are successful or not. To calculate ROI, you’ll compare your cost per lead against your lead to close ratio. This number will then be compared to your average customer value.

For example, if you pay $50 per lead and close 50 percent of your leads, you’ll pay $100 for each successful new customer. If your average customer value is more than $100, your marketing campaign is successfully attracting customers.

Some of these analytical measures may seem difficult to determine, which is why it may be helpful to utilize the services of a qualified company. Whether you do it yourself or outsource they work, it is vital to have an accurate measurement of your efforts. Starting a company is hard enough without throwing money away on a flawed marketing plan.

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 9:20

Michael Rader

With over ten years in web development and design, Michael Rader has expertise and technical know-how. But more than a skilled technician, he is an entrepreneur and innovator who helps startup’s and new businesses identify and define their future with a unique, brandable business name. Michael Rader is the founder and CEO of Brandroot®, a leading .com domain name marketplace. He currently lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where he operates the business and authors a blog dedicated to naming and brand name establishment.