was successfully added to your cart.
Tag

prospective customer Archives - Syneka Marketing

Measuring Marketing Performance – Don’t confuse inputs for outputs

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Last time we explored the customer journey, returning to the decision making process, as a potential customer begins at a pre-purchase phase prior to a purchase and then post-purchase considerations. We also explored the customer experience, to ensure that the term returns to its core definition within the marketing mix.

Both of these concepts demonstrate the need for consistency, as well as multiple contact points to reach customers and influence decisions. As a result, there is a need for a holistic view of marketing, since running disparate tactics will result in diminished outcomes. Furthermore, undertaking a holistic approach enables a greater degree of confidence in decisions and the ability to measure overall impact.

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation in regard to the measurement of marketing performance. Firstly, offline content, such as product factsheets, print media, radio and TV can be measured and should be evaluated to understand overall performance. Secondly, many digital metrics, such as website visitations, social media interaction are in fact inputs rather than outputs.

Far too often, we see marketing managers that report on website visitations, Facebook likes or Twitter followers, without providing metrics that consider the end outcomes, namely conversions into customers or repeat purchases. The key is to use these inputs and map the contact points that are required across the customer journey to achieve the end result, such as a purchase or repeat purchase. Similarly, the customer will have differing forms of interaction with a business, beyond promotions, such as a direct interaction with staff, or a visitation into a store. Each of these aspects form part of the journey and need to be measured, as an adverse experience across any of these areas can deter purchase intent.

Begin by assessing the channels that you use to raise overall awareness and then consider the next steps that a customer takes once there is general awareness. Is your prospective customer visiting a website and then following up through email or phone, or do they undertake further research, prior to returning? Is the first point of contact a broadcast medium or referral, rather than a website?

Pre purchase purchase post purchase

Each of these components form an input into the end goal, so consider overall reach, followed by identifying customers that have taken a subsequent step along the next contact point. Benchmark and evaluate these results so you can make informed decisions on the rate of marketing return and the effects of any modifications. As a result you can identify the relevancy of website visitors, whether event participation is reaching the target audiences and overall number of contact points and timing required to achieve purchase intent.

We’ve defined customer experience – now connect it to the customer journey

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News, Resources | No Comments

We recently discussed the need for marketing to move beyond buzzwords and to instead re-claim the definition of customer experience, which forms the very core of marketing theory. Our thoughts have now been viewed organically by over 5000 people in just 48 hours via LinkedIn, and continues to be actively being shared across key social media channels.

Interest in this article has demonstrated why marketing needs to reclaim its core remit, so today we are going to exploring another buzzword: customer journey.

In defining the customer experience, we returned to the core of marketing theory through the marketing mix. The overall customer experience is going to be defined by the impact of the impressions that are made across each of these elements.

We need to return to fundamentals to explore the customer journey, as we explore the steps that are taken for someone to become a customer and ideally remain so on an ongoing basis.

Phases in the Customer Journey

There are three interconnected phases within the customer journey:

  • Pre-purchase – where the aim is to raise awareness with your target markets and ensure that your brand is actively considered by these prospective customers.
  • The Purchase phase – where the prospect becomes a customer. This is where they commit to purchasing your product or service and the perceptions of its brand.
  • The Post-purchase phase – where your customer considers the outcomes and value they received, based on their perceptions and the outcomes that were achieved.

The three phases of the customer journey as mapped to the decision making process
The three phases of the customer journey as mapped to the decision making process.

 

The Decision Making Process has its origins in consumer behaviour stemming from the 1960s. We have adapted this model to explore each phase in the customer journey, as viewed through the decision making process. It explores both the rational (such as pricing and function) and perceptual (attitudes and subjective impressions) aspects that influence the decision.

The customer journey is not linear and this particularly true if there is a desire to build loyalty and repeat purchases. The experience you are creating through the marketing mix will impact on the ability to successfully transition your target market through the customer journey. The customer experience relates to their interaction with your business or brand, while the customer journey views this from the customer perspective as they identify the best fit for their needs.

Like other buzzwords in marketing there is a need to return to core principles, a Marketing Manager should have the ability to influence factors that assist in transitioning customers through the journey.  We will be continuing this series as we turn our attention to measuring both the customer experience and journey.

Marketing and Budgets – the two can co-exist!

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government | 4 Comments

Marketing, unfortunately, has a perception of being largely esoteric and unmeasurable and as such is often viewed as a cost centre.

It is imperative that metrics are developed for marketing activities. Consideration needs to be given to short-term initiatives, like sales campaigns, as well as activities that generate a return over a longer term, such as hosting events or attending exhibitions.

What should I set for my budget?

Research studies and surveys tend to indicate that a business will allocate around 5% to 10% of its revenue to marketing activities. These figures are a guide and would depend on the level of competition, the attributes of your products and services and the potential target markets.

Understanding how customers reach you, lets you prioritise how you invest in marketing.

Understanding how customers reach you, lets you prioritise how you invest in marketing.

Consider how customers reach you

When setting a marketing budget you should begin by understanding how customers currently reach you.

If your website is a critical entry point, then consider how you can bolster traffic to your site, through search engine optimisation and online advertisements. Key metrics, include the conversion ratio, between visitors and people that make online purchases or an enquiry. If the conversion rate is low, you need to explore how people navigate through your website, whether the sales process is easy to undertake and whether the offer is compelling.

If you operate a retail presence, you need to ensure that your store encourages customers to enter, and that sales staff are able to encourage purchases. Measure how many people visit your store and how many become customers. If the conversion rate is low, you could undertake sales training for staff, or potentially revitalise stock, or the store layout.

If you rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations, explore initiatives that can bolster referrals. Would a regular newsletter remind people of your services? Or could you undertake refer a friend initiative or other competitions? Provide a method of acknowledging key customers and the support they have provided.

Understanding how customers are reaching you, allows you to prioritise your marketing budget so you can consider where you can best allocate your resources.

Ensure you can measure outcomes

You also need to consider the outcomes you want to achieve, and then the activities that are likely to generate this return.

For example, conference presentations can be useful in reinforcing expertise, but are likely to generate return over the longer term. How many enquiries would you want from this activity and how do you capture the details of prospective customers?

Other initiatives such as promotions and specials are likely to result in shorter-term gains. You should consider the required number of customers you need to ensure that these specials remain economical.

If you utilise brochures and off-line marketing, then it is important to be able to measure the success rate of these tools.

There is an incorrect assumption that off-line advertising is less measurable than online. While it may be easier to automate online metrics, through the use of Google Analytics and website tracking, you can also measure off-line advertising.

Investing in a unique telephone number can allow to measure enquiries, or alternatively you could include a unique website address that lets you track responses. Referral and discount codes can also provide a method of tracking the effectiveness of off-line advertising.

Be aware of other costs

While budgets are primarily concerned with financial expenditure, it is imperative that you consider the people that are required to undertake the identified activities. Does your staff have the right mix of skills and are the right people allocated to these tasks?

Training may be required to provide the skills required, or you may need to introduce external expertise to complement these initiatives. Furthermore, you need to ensure that staff have sufficient time to undertake the required tasks, particularly if they are not part of their core duties.

There is an opportunity cost when requiring staff to perform activities outside of their core duties. it is important to consider how this will be managed, or whether external support would be required.

You also need to consider whether equipment or supplies are required to perform the required activities. For example, trade shows will require marketing materials and it is imperative that printing costs are factored into this activity.

Marketing can be measured - enabling you evaluate performance and results.

Marketing can be measured – enabling you evaluate performance and results.

Marketing can be measurable

Marketing, when it is undertaken effectively, can be measured, enabling the ability to set targets and to evaluate performance. Start by considering how customers reach you and the activities that can be undertaken to increase effectiveness within these channels.

Also consider, staff time and the other resources that are required for implementation, so that you can have an accurate understanding of the value you are receiving from your marketing activities.

Creating a Successful Sales Team – seven things every sales person needs to know

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Generating sales is essential for any business and it is important to have the right approach with prospective customers and clients.  We’ve compiled seven tips that we believe are essential for anyone involved in generating sales for your business.

  1. Successful sales people put their customers/prospects at ease by conversing in a relaxed style, asking quality questions and genuinely listening to what the other person says.
  2. Successful sales people appreciate that customers would rather talk about their needs (and not the need of the salesperson). They do not interrupt nor do they overwhelm customers/prospects with a load of verbose waffle.
  3. Successful sales people actually have a PURPOSE for being there! Customers/prospects appreciate that the call is well planned and well structured, thus saving them time and effort.
  4. Successful sales people are skilled at identifying NEEDS, creating SOLUTIONS to satisfy those needs and wrapping VALUE around the solution.
  5. Successful sales people possess flexibility as opposed to rigidity. They work within a structure and do the right thing for their customer and their company.
  6. Successful sales people work with their customer’s favorite buying strategy, rather than their favorite selling strategy. They adapt their sales style to the person’s buying style.
  7. Successful sales people seek OPPORTUNITIES every single time they visit a customer – internal and external opportunities to grow their customer’s business and the business of their company.

Sales is an interactive, two-way process. Sales is about understanding the needs of your customers and identifying the right solutions that solve these requirements through delivering tangible value.

 

Delivering Sales in Business

Five Questions Every Prospect Will Ask (Themselves)

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Whenever confronted with somebody who wants to sell them something, prospects ask five questions, in this order.

If the answer to all of them is not a resounding “yes,” a sale is not going to take place.

1. Do I want to do business with this person? Do I trust them?

Within two minutes after you meet a prospective customer, that person has probably decided whether they are willing to buy from you. That’s why first impressions, your appearance and building rapport are so important. Also, have you done your homework and researched this person’s company?

2. Do I want to do business with the firm this person represents?

There are two possible scenarios.

If the person is not yet familiar with your firm, it’s up to you to position it in a positive manner. If the customer is familiar with your firm, then you’ve either got a good reputation, a bad reputation (you’ve got to start with damage control) or a mediocre reputation–in which case, you’re back to positioning your firm to give the prospect a positive impression.

3. Do I want and need what this person is selling?

Through the conversation with the customer, you will discover needs (and requirements) that match your offering. The biggest mistake at this stage is breaking into the ‘sales pitch’. Remember: “Customers like to buy, but they hate being sold.”

4. Does the price and value meet my expectations?

The person has recognized the need, but is assessing whether or not what you’re selling is affordable–and, if affordable, worth the money. This entails weighing that need against the other demands that are vying for their attention and money. The customer may want (or have) competitive information that is competitive. Now is the time to stress value and benefits and diminish price and competition.

5. Is this the right time to buy?

A prospect can be completely ready to buy and yet still feel that it’s not the right time. They may believe that holding out will result in a discount, or they simply are not in a hurry to decide. What can you do, when gaining positive responses from one to four above, to move to the commitment stage?