Marketing costs can be a big drain on your budget if your marketing is not delivering. I’ve seen very smart people running really great small businesses, spending 6 figures on their annual marketing budget, and seeing little or no return on that money.
Those smart business owners were working with smart digital agencies, who were really great at what they do at a technical level, but there was no meaningful strategy underpinning all that great activity.
Every business is different. When you are looking to improve your Return on Investment, I like to keep things simple. There are only three things you can do that will make the difference you want. 1. Have a strategy that connects the dots, 2. Promote your strengths and 2. Mitigate your weaknesses.
Where to focus your attention to improve ROI depends entirely on the strategy, strengths and weakness of your business.
I’ve put together a list of 21 Ways to Improve Marketing ROI, as a handy reference to get you moving towards stronger results.
I’ve divided the list into three parts
Business Level Strategies
You know how vital your marketing investment is to business success, and there are plenty levers you can use to improve your ROI, depending on the circumstances of your business.
PART 1 - Sales & Marketing Strategy
A successful B2B and professional services sales strategy starts with clear goals, expressed in a simple format and kept on hand for reference.
Remember, when you market to everyone, you market to no one. Each campaign requires a disciplined approach.
Ask yourself and your team the question – who in the market place has a need that your business can uniquely solve, better than anyone else - profitably and sustainably. This group must be your focus.
Select your most exciting, most distinctive and most profitable product(s) to be the hero of your marketing campaigns. These are the products that your selected Customer Groups are looking for – or if they are not yet looking for them, they will be excited to hear about them.
Build out extraordinary value Product Offer to capture the attention of your audience - by packaging extra services and complementary products that are not costly to you. Spell out this value with an amazing price to differentiate you from others in the market.
People are busy and distracted by lots of noise, and they need a clear and simple message that tells them how you can help them better than anyone else – to solve that burning need that they have. Select a low risk call to action to get the conversation going.
Set a marketing budget, and measure the return on your investment in each campaign. Keep it simple. This might seem like a no-brainer, but many businesses do not have a strong test and measure program in place, and end up wasting a lot of time and money.
Decide which metrics will give you the information you need. Use these to drive your marketing activities and to measure ROI. Start with a benchmark position, and then aim to increase on that by 10% or more with each campaign.
PART 2 - Business Level Strategies
Strategy Before Tactics
A clear strategy will tie your marketing tactics together, tell a story that connects emotionally with your audience, and amplify the power of your investment, for a greater return.
Does your brand need a refresh? Is it consistent across your business? Do you need to extend your branding into other areas to support your new campaigns?
How will your campaigns drive traffic to your website? What landing pages and content will be required to support sales? Is it easy to purchase, or is there ‘friction’ in the customer journey that needs to be smoothed out?
Who else in your stakeholder groups need to know about your campaign offerings. Who can support your objectives, and how? Do you have promotional or delivery partners you need to work closely with?
Sales & Marketing People
Do you have the right people on the bus to achieve your objectives? Who needs training in what area? Is the team ready to respond to enquiries?
What expert help do you need from an agency? Which agency?
Resources, Suppliers & Distributors
Are your current arrangements sufficient? Who and what else is needed? What new opportunities are available?
Have you reviewed the effectiveness of your automation? Is the tech fully integrated and efficient? If not, what is required?
Reporting & Management
How will you know when you have achieved your objectives?
Is your measurement and reporting system working the way it needs to?
New Product Development
What new products would your customers love to see in the future? Can you get them first and exclusively? What action is required?
What pricing strategy will communicate your market position effectively, and deliver profitability at the same time?
PART 3 - Campaign Planning
You only need one great campaign to reach the right people in the right place, and with the right message. Having said that, you can choose to create as many different campaigns as your budget, resources and skills will allow, providing each one is strategically planned and well executed,
Campaign by Campaign
Give each campaign a name, and define the elements of each - Using a combination of Customer Group-Product-Message-Channel (Tactics).
Profile Building & Lead Generation Tactics
Consider the alternative marketing tactics and communication channels available to each campaign, and choose those most appropriate to the Customer Group and Product match.
Traditional Business-to-Business tactics such as live events, trade shows and speaking engagements are still as potent as ever, particularly when leveraged with the latest online platforms and tools. Use this mix to build profile and generate qualified new leads.
The Buying Cycle differs for customer groups, products and services, and individual organisations. It is important to gain an understanding about the normal buying cycle of each customer group, and set up a nurture program to build a relationship, build trust and exchange more information, as the prospect moves through the Customer Journey.
When each person becomes ready to purchase, you have a strong background of Know-Like-Trust to covert the conversation to sale. Email, phone and face-2-face meetings are normal tools for this stage.
Customer Nurture & Sales Conversion
Once a customer has purchases in your system, it’s important to maintain strong two way communication, ask for feedback, and continue to learn more about them. Seek new opportunities to serve them with the same or alternative products and services on a regular or ad hoc basis.
Testimonials & Referrals
Testimonials and referrals are the ultimate opportunity for happy customers to introduce new warm prospects into the mix. New buyers need to see the third party endorsement of testimonials and positive reviews, to help them feel confident about choosing you over someone else. Develop a strategy to ask for testimonials, after you know your customer is happy.
What kind of businesses can use these strategies?
Almost all businesses can reorganise their approach to create new recurring revenue streams.
Social Media Management
Training & Education
Sport, Tourism & Entertainment
How To Take the Next Step To Increase Marketing Results in Your Business
If you’re an ambitious founder or business owner, and you want to increase sales and marketing ROI in your B2B or Professional Services business, good strategy is essential.
My 3 Page Marketing Action Plan
A good place to start is a review of how well your sales and marketing activities are working together. Here is My 3 Page Marketing Action Plan that I have used in my own business to help me build out my business success. It’s yours for free and it’s an easy download, so just click on the link below and you’re on your way to the next step.
Leanne Knowles is a former professional skydiver turned Business Growth Strategist, who started two successful businesses in the adventure sport industry at 24 years old and sold them both ten years later. Leanne founded Headswitch as a marketing consultancy in January 2000, and now helps business owners in B2B and professional services to grow and scale their business using smart, simple strategies, the latest tech tools, and productive business relationships.
Leanne does this by sharing her decades of experience, hard work and research. The information and strategies are delivered primarily through online business training, private coaching programs, and The Headswitch Network, a business community dedicated to business success.
These strategies have been responsible for helping Leanne to grow and scale her own business, without the stress and overwhelm.
“In a short period of time Leanne achieved great results with respect to the management structure of our business. An excellent coach that was driven and dedicated to getting the best out of our management team. Thanks Leanne!"
- Jerry Yeghichian Director, Buxton Real Estate
“Leanne Knowles asked me once what I wanted to do with my life, and I answered, 'In a few years, I want to...'. And then she asked me, 'Why not today?'. Epic question. Epic lesson.”
- Chris Nolet Software Engineer at App
"Leanne is exceeding my expectations as a business coach week after week and I trust her partnership, dedication and commitment. "
Juanita Timpanaro Partner, The Object
"In short, my team and I feel that we could not have undertaken such an ambitious series of projects without Leanne’s professional advice and patience"
John Haines Director, LivCor
"Headswitch helped us launch our service into a new market and in the process, doubled our business in 6 months."
Sharyn Honey Lowe Director, Flaunt Marketing
"I was very impressed with the Headswitch programs delivered across multiple sites in our business. The transformation from a couple of months ago has been amazing."
Jon Ratcliffe National Franchise Manager, APCO
"Leanne understands the need for vision and is passionate about working with people to achieve personal and professional goals. "
Michael Brown Former Chief Executive, Hawthorn Football Clu
"I highly recommend Leanne as a coach - she will bring honesty, workability, clarity and integrity to the relationship, and your business will definitely flourish for it."
Helene Fuller Health and Wellbeing Coach
"Now that my business is successful and growing, I’m working with Leanne to crank up the systems and automation. It makes life easier working with someone who has done it all before."